Being aware of the awards that are given out and the criteria for each one can help you decide if a game is for you or not. Here is a brief description of a number of outstanding board game awards that you should be aware of.
Boardgames Australia was founded in 2007 to encourage the growth and raise the profile of boardgames in Australia.
Boardgames Australia presents three awards each year, announced at the Toy and Game Expo. The awards are Best International Game, Best Australian Game and Best Children's Game.
(for more information visit: www.boardgamesaustralia.org.au)
Best International Game:
2013 - Guildhall
2011/12 - Cargo Noir
2010 - Dice Town
2009 - Pandemic
2008 - 10 Days in Asia
Best Australian Game:
2013 - Dungeon Raiders
2011/12 - Dweebies
2010 - Make 'n' Break Compact
2009 - Sorts for Kids
2008 - Archaeology: The Card Game
Best Children's Game:
2013 - Catan Junior
2011/12 - Nelly
2010 - The Kids of Carcassonne
2009 - Viva Topo!
2008 - Quoridor Kid
Each year five board games are given the Mensa Select Award, these games are chosen because they are "original, challenging and well designed". This award has been presented since 1990, and some of the more well known recipients include Trivial Pursuit and Taboo.
Recognition for outstanding games and designers is the aim of the International Gamers Award.
Committee members for all over the world come together to select the 'best of the best' with the hope that these games will come to the attention of the general public. Awards are given to Outstanding Multi-player game and Outstanding 2-player game.
(for more information visit: http://www.internationalgamersawards.net/)
Best Multiplayer Strategy Game
2012 - Trajan
2011 - 7 Wonders
2010 - Age of Industry
2009 - Le Havre
2008 - Agricola
Best 2-player Strategy Game
2012 - Agricola: All creatures Big and Small
2011 - A few acres of snow
2010 - Campaign Manager 2008
2009 - Day & Night
2008 - 1960: The making of the president
The Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) is perhaps the most prestigious of awards given to board games. The games that are nominated to receive this award are generally family style games. In the past more complex games have occasionally been awarded a special prize, but in 2011 the Kennerspiel des Jahres was introduced to recognise these more complex games annually.
(for more information visit: http://www.spiel-des-jahres.com/cms/front_content.php?idcat=123&changelang=4)
In contrast to the Spiel des Jahre, the Deutscher Spiele Preis is awarded to more complex 'Gamers' games with particularly good or innovative gameplay. The winner is announced each year in October at the Spiel game fair in Essen, Germany.
(for more information visit: http://www.deutscherspielepreis.de/)
The Golden Geek is actually a series of awards which are voted on by users of boardgamegeek.com. There are several categories where awards are given, including best family game, best party game, best art & presentation, etc. As well as the all important 'Game of the Year'.
(for more information visit: http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/BoardGameGeek_Golden_Geek)