$10.00
How Would You Like Your Review?: The Different Reviewing Styles on BGG
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
77 
 Thumb up
0.60
 tip
 Hide
I've been meaning to do this list for some time. We all rely on good reviews to make informed decisions about what games to buy or which games to scrap from our wishlist.

But how do you like your reviews? Do you like humour, sarcasm, pictures, rules summaries, strategy tips? What makes a good review for you and who are your favorite reviewers?

I think this list will also be useful to those of us who create reviews. So add your thoughts and comments and let's see what people think of the reviewing styles on BGG!

If there are other reviewing formats that I've missed please add them. This is just a start.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Total Depth [Average Rating:6.35 Unranked]
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The Comprehensive Review.

You've come across these reviews - I've written a few myself. They try to cover pretty much everything. They'll often even give you an index or summary at the start.

Everything gets equal attention, from theme to rules to flow of game to analysis. Pictures are often used but the main feature is text, and lots of it!

The master of this genre is undoubtedly Neil Thomson. Neil organizes his reviews in three formats: detailed, light, and retro. Whichever one you chose to read you can be sure it is well informed and carefully put together.
22 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Picture Perfect [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The Pictorial Review

This genre was popularized recently by EndersGame, who got his real reviewing breakthrough with Dominion - after the success of that review, publishers started to take notice.

The pictorial review aims to give you a good sense of what's in the box, how the pieces work together, and how the game flows.

The pictorial review is sometimes criticized, not only because it can take a while to scroll through, but also because it can lead to a devaluing of analysis and opinion. However, the latter criticism is not always warranted.

And if you want to read a review that is 100% pictorial (other than the title), click here
28 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Wit [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The humorous review.

This type of review can encompass a vast range of funny, ironical, sarcastic, and witty writing styles.

The master of this type of review is undoubtedly Matt Drake, whose reviews revel in sarcasm and wit.

A good recent example is his review of Bombay, which drew both admiration and criticism.

But there are many others, so feel free to list your favourites.

One that still makes me laugh is falloutfan's review for Agricola, entitled "Worst Wargame Ever!"
26 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Step by Step [Average Rating:6.46 Unranked]
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The Step by Step Evaluation

This type of review will look at all the cards or tiles in a game, one by one, analyzing each one for its strengths and weaknesses. Some might say that this is more of a strategy article and less of a review, but these articles tend to be created with such care and love that I say: "who cares how they're categorized. Let's have more!"

The master of this genre is probably Joe Huber, as he shows in his review of Le Havre and in his review of Race for the Galaxy.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: I'm a Celebrity [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The Celebrity Review

I'm not sure how many of these there actually are, but when a celebrity writes a review, even if it's a small one, people take notice.

Check out, for instance, Sandy Petersen's review of Age of Empires III. Petersen was one of the lead designers of the computer game.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Good Question! [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:8442]
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The Interview

This format is ideal for incorporating the opinions of multiple people, making it a more collaborative venture. It also allows the reviewer to skip the rules and get straight to the opinions.

I tried my own hand at this in a goofy kind of way when I interviewed my kids about what they thought of Tally Ho! You can read about it here
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Lights Camera Action [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I almost forgot to add this one: the video review.

This unique genre has it's own characteristics, from dramatic openings to "special effects." The masters are still Tom Vasel and Scott Nicholson.

I wish my internet connection was just a tiny bit faster so I wouldn't have problems with loading time though. As a result I don't watch many of these and I wish Tom Vasel was still writing his reviews!

But perhaps others are in a better position to comment on what they like about video reviews.
22 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Tastes Like Chicken [Average Rating:5.41 Unranked]
Claudio Campuzano
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I like reviews that really give you the feeling or texture of a game, not just summarize the rules and comment on the mechanics and bits. I want to know: What kind of thinking does it make you do? What kind of fun will you have? What kind of challenges will there be? What kind of interaction - both social and gameplay - will you have? One of the reviews that exemplefies this is this Power Grid review (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/392410) by drunkenKOALA.

While not a regular reviewer, the comments of clearclaw reflect the kind of thing I'm talking about. Thoughtful discussion on the gameplay (not necessarily the machinary that drives it) with colorful, passionate language that help me understand the possible experience.

I guess more like a music review than a book report.

BTW: Thanks for doing this list. This has been on my list of things to do for a while as well. And you've done it much better than I would have.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Hold Short [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
MilwaukeeTEG
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
I personally use my geekbuddies and others comments on the games more than a review. I don't care about how to play the game in detail when I'm researching, I just want the gist and feel and to hear what others felt about it.

I applaud all of those people who add nice comments for games. It had inspired me over the last year or so to offer the same courtesy to those who might look at my comments, as well.

11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Fun Numbers [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Here's another type - the "Reasons Why" review.

There are quite a few of these types of reviews. They will give you the ten reasons why you will like this game, or the 15 reasons why this game is the best ever.

Here's a good example.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Game of Lists [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
And then there are the reviews in the form of geeklists.

I can't think of any examples, other than this spoof list, which I guess could also come under the previous type of review.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Pros and Cons [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Gus Browning
United States
Juneau
Alaska
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thought I'd add my review style to the list...

The Pros and Cons review:

These reviews skip over the gritty details of a game; instead opting to outline exactly what the average player is likely to like or dislike about it. Ideally they are as objective as possible and allow the reader to decide on whether or not he would like the game based on how it fits into his personal set of preferences.

Example:
A review I wrote for Descent: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/133475
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.