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German Games

German games mainly include the Kartenspiele (card games) and the Brettspiele (board games), although many non-German games like Hangman and Monopoly have, needless to say, been translated into German and become popular in the Germanic nations. Board games especially are huge in Germany.

Unique characteristic

German games tend to be more complex than American ones, yet at the same time they usually don't have the characteristics of those American games which are more complex in terms of time such as the military strategy games that can last for several days.

German games are characterized by having relatively short playing times and being light on rules. They also tend to shy away from being military strategy games, since German culture has been very anti-war since the end of WWII.

Games from Germany are, however, heavy on strategy, quick thinking, and all-inclusive moves so that all players are constantly involved.

High Quality of Design

Another standout characteristic is the high quality of design and manufacturing that goes into them. These games are the kind that show up in hobby shops, not on the mass market, which can make them difficult for those outside of Western Europe to obtain.

Their boards and cards are like works of art, while their playing pieces are like collectible miniatures. For this reason, these german creations give obvious credit to a games' designers.

They often rely on auctions and laying down tiles on a board as part of their play.


Some of the hottest selling German games in Germany and abroad, including the U.S., are:

Die Siedler von Catan (Settlers of Catan): The object is to got to uninhabited islands and build a civilization through buying and selling commodities; you want to do this faster than the other players.

Puerto Rico: The island must be colonized, farms must be developed for food and trade, and San Juan must be built into an exquisite capital city. Again, you are racing against your opponents.

El Grande: You need to get caballeros (soldiers) onto the board to help you cultivate favor with the King of Spain. It's simple, but it's not easy!

Euphrat & Tigris (The Tigris and Euphrates): This is a "tile-laying game" in which you score points for various actions while creating civilization. At the end of the game, the player with the most points is the winner.

Citadels: This one was actually designed by a Frenchman named Bruno Faidutti. On every turn, the players choose from a selection of stylized heroic figures - they might be a king, a wizard, a merchant prince, an assassin, or a number of others-each of which confers a special ability within the game; but they keep their choice a secret.

The players are racing against each other to build eight buildings within their city BUT they also have to build the most valuable city. The winner is the one who finished with the most valuable city.

Perfect german gifts

As you might be able to tell from their careful design and manufacture of games, Germans take games seriously. Each year, the nation gives out the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) award and the Deutscher Spielepreis (German Game Award).

These two different award ceremonies are like movie awards in the United States. For their serious role in Germanic culture and for their great artistry, German games make perfect German gifts.

Read here our german board games and german language games review.

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