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Reiner Knizia - Game Designer - Profile


Reiner Knizia

Reiner Knizia

Photo © Erik Arneson

Best Known For:

Reiner Knizia's best-selling design is probably The Lord of the Rings, a cooperative game published in 2000 in which players work together to destroy the Ring and eliminate its evil influence while Sauron is trying to corrupt them.

Other Games:

More than 500 of Knizia's games and books have been published. Among the most notable of his games are Lost Cities, a two-player card game with an archaeological theme; Modern Art, an auction game about collecting art; Ra, an auction game with an Egyptian theme; Taj Mahal, a board game set in the famous Indian monument; and Tigris and Euphrates, set at the beginning of civilization.


Knizia has published numerous game-related books, including Blazing Aces! (2007, Convivium Publications and FRED Distribution), Dice Games Properly Explained (1999, Elliott Right Way Books), and New Games in Old Rome (1996, Reaching Moon), along with a number of German-language books such as Das große Buch der Würfelspiele (2000, Hugendubel and Weltbild), Kartenschach (2000, Berliner Spielkarten), Kartenspiele im Wilden Westen (1995, Hugendubel), Neue Spiele im alten Rom (1994, Hugendubel and Piatnik) and Neue Taktikspiele mit Würfeln und Karten (1990, Hugendubel).

Video Games and Apps:

Knizia has designed several video games and apps for mobile devices, including Dr. Reiner Knizia's Brainbenders (known by various titles depending on the country of sale) for the Nintendo DS and Labyrinth for the iPad. Numerous apps based on board games and card games by Knizia are also available.

First Published Game:

Knizia's first two fully published games were Goldrausch (published by Hans im Glück) and Digging (Hexagames), both released in 1990. Prior to that, several of his game designs were published in magazines. He also designed a handful of postal games between 1985 and 1987.

Best Games:

Here is my list of the best games designed by Reiner Knizia. Ra is on my list of the best auction games, along with two other Knizia designs: Hollywood Blockbuster (aka Traumfabrik) and Modern Art.


Keltis, also known as Lost Cities: The Board Game, won the Spiel des Jahres in 2008. Several of Knizia's games have won the Deutscher Spiele Preis: Amun-Re in 2003, Taj Mahal in 2000, Tigris and Euphrates in 1998, and Modern Art in 1993. Lost Cities won the Gamers Choice Award for Best Two-Player Game in 2000.


Knizia was born in Germany in 1957.

More About Reiner Knizia:

Knizia, a full-time game designer since 1997, holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Ulm in Germany. He also earned a Master of Science from Syracuse University.

According to Knizia's official web site, more than 13 million copies of his games and books have been sold worldwide.

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