Tell Me, Are There Camels in Istanbul?: Spiel des Jahres 2014 Results Are In!

Well, I don’t imagine too many monocles were dropped in surprise this morning when we learned that Camel Up has been awarded the 2014 Spiel des Jahres, and Istanbul the 2014 Kennerspiel des Jahres. In my readings of blogs and reviews and my conversations with colleagues who have played one or both, both seemed like pretty safe bets. Camel Up has appeal as a family or a grown-up game, and can scale up to eight players (and apparently does so very well). It’s easy to teach and easy to learn, so it’s good as a gateway game, which is always handy. (Let us not forget the endless opportunities for off-color jokes involved in the mechanic that involves camels mounting each other’s backs…) Istanbul has the elegantly fresh mechanic of creating your path with assistants, it has solid theme, it’s relatively easy to learn, and the modular board lends it high replay value.

I’ve not had the opportunity to saddle a camel or wander a Turkish souk, but I’m in line with many other American gamers to pre-order them for August. It’s not so long to wait now, and in the meantime, I’ll have to content myself with Malcolm, the wonderful camel who graces my desktop.


About Suzanna

Suzanna's passions are gaming, dogs, and writing. She also loves reading, travel, and cranberry juice. Above all else, she would have it be said that she is compassionate, funny, and too clever by half.
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2 Responses to Tell Me, Are There Camels in Istanbul?: Spiel des Jahres 2014 Results Are In!

  1. actually I TOTALLY WAS shocked– I really thought it would be Splendor or Concept.. I am totally anxious to play Istanbul for sure.. and still trying to get to play Splendor !! And I will give Camel Up a shot but it’s not speaking to me at alll….

    • Suzanna says:

      I haven’t gotten to play Splendor or Concept, either, but I’ve seen videos and read reviews. My impression is that Splendor is a good game as an abstract, but that the theme is paper-thin. I have a feeling this is why it didn’t win. Concept, I’ve heard really mixed reviews on. I think it probably was thought not to have as broad a base of appeal as Camel Up to fit the bill for the SdJ.

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