Many gamers complain about the choices made by the jury of the Spiel des Jahres but there's no arguing that it's the most important award in our industry. I'm not referring just to the incredible effect it has on sales. (A typical "German" style game might expect to sell less than 20,000 units, the winner of the Spiel des Jahres will sell 300,000 or more.) Whether they agree or not, it's the award that people talk about, the award that, one way or another, fires people up. Other awards may be more in line with the sensibilities of our typical reader but none inspires as much concern, discussion or interest.

Congratulations then to Alan Moon and Days of Wonder for winning 2004's Spiel des Jahres for Ticket to Ride. This was hardly a surprise to me and I predicated as much when I reviewed the game back in April, it's an ideal choice. I'm particularly happy for Days of Wonder as they've quickly become a favourite company of mine. I love a well-produced game and they're probably the best in the industry right now. If nothing else, the award guarantees they'll be releasing games for some time, good news indeed.

-Greg Aleknevicus

I've got deduction games on the brain. In addition to the review of Coda this month, I've been working an a survey of some of my favourites (it's taking longer than I thought as I keep finding new ones to try). Finally, Matt Lanagan wrote in to request some note-taking techniques, anybody have any ideas?


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