At the end of each year, Strange Assembly gives two game of the year awards for tabletop board or card games.
For that year, we award a preliminary game of the year – the best of that year as we see it at the end of that year. This is a preliminary awards because at the end of a year the penetration of a lot of games is not that great, especially given the way that gaming releases are often back loaded in the year due to GenCon and Essen. So the second, “real” award we hand out is the Game of the Year for the prior year.
These awards are determined by a vote (note that the pool of voters is larger than the people on a particular end of year episode, so the game of the year awards differ from the handful of opinions presented on the show).
Sometimes what we thought were the best games at the end of the release year were still some of the best handful of games for that year – sometimes there’s more of a shakeup (changes from year to year may also be affected by the expansion of the voter pool). For example, for 2015, 7 Wonders Duel slipped from a tie for Preliminary Game of the Year to runner-up status (not much change), while Between Two Cities vanished (down to T-11) and Pandemic Legacy claimed the top spot.
Eligibility years are usually, but not always, based on the BGG year for the game. Identified publishers are for the U.S. release.