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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Trying to find my niche as a reviewer rss

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Stephen Hall
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I've been writing game reviews on and off for a couple years. I do it mostly just because I like writing, but if anything I've written has helped someone make a decision about a game, I'm delighted.

However, these days, it seems game reviewers are a dime a dozen. It's easy to feel like your reviews just blend into the mass of armchair game critics out there. I'm sure some of you have felt this same way.

I want to take a different approach to reviewing. In the past, I have reached out to very small publishers/designers to review their stuff, the stuff you might not see on The Dice Tower, etc. While this means my audience is probably going to be small as well, its rewarding to help the little guys get some publicity.
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Based upon my poor understanding of history, science, and ethics...
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Be the reviewer who plays the game before reviewing it.

Maybe even many times.
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Reed Dawley
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I have only written a few reviews but they have all been for smaller games. Everyone knows if they want to play Agricola or Catan or Codenames. I have nothing to add there, but smaller games with few reviews need love too.
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Keith B
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I don't generally watch or read reviews. I want to see how a game is played. Right now there are only a few that I watch and/or are tolerable.

Change over to play-throughs and have a fun personality without going overboard.
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Kelley Wolatz
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I am a busy working mom who loves board games. I feel there is no one who really reviews games from the interactive fun quotient, for people who aren't true gamers. I am what I would call a true gamer, but I play with people who aren't. I like to play about 2x a month and I like to play with my family. Sometimes we have guests over and we are looking for something easy to teach but really fun and "somewhat difficult". We like Powergrid, and Catan is something we have gotten bored with, but it was an easy game to teach with lots of replayability and interaction. I am looking for more games lik Powergrid - not dice oriented, and I find that I cannot easily and quickly find reviews or recommendations of this nature. I might be a niche player in this regard, but this would really help me.

I could see you making recommendations like, its easy to teach (20 minutes or less), its fun (rated that way by yourself and others) it makes people want to play it again, its interactive, and maybe on a scale of 1-10 how likely you would ask a guest to play this?

Although I love to quickly read reviews, I don't like to take 30 minutes to watch a video.
So if I am the niche player that no one is speaking to in their reviews, then are there other people out there like me as well? I don't know!!

Again, I think the fun quotient is sometimes missing. I like SUSD because I feel they do focus on the fun of a game, but they don't always present games that could be easily played with newbies, but at the same time be good for a true gamer.
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Eric Gergotz
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I decided recently that I would like to start reviewing as a side hobby for those times when I'm bored with nothing to do. I decided to start writing test reviews in order to see how I would write some. I've written one and am midway through a second one. And I've noticed a big change in writing style between the two. My personality is showing a bit more now. When I'm happy with some reviews I write, I'll eventually put them up on here as well as a side blog for others to check out.

That all being said, through my brief time trying to review, I've found that injecting your own personality into reviews helps. Read other people's reviews and see what you like and don't like about them. That will help shape your style. I also believe it helps to be passionate about the games you're reviewing (good passion or bad passion).
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ace hawkster
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From what I've seen on here either write a really positive review and fans of the game will shower you with thumbs or a negative one and sit back and watch the fans tear you apart.
Or do as someone else said play the game a few times and write about how fun it is. (as to me that's what game should be about) and the different types of gamer that the game will appeal too , also how long time to play (real time not how long box says, and not how long people who know game take to play, as most people reading won't know the game), time to learn, and time to setup. I used to love drakes flames reviews prior to finding bgg.
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Stephen Hall
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Koldfoot wrote:
Be the reviewer who plays the game before reviewing it.


It's sad that this needs to be said. I would never review a game without having played it, usually multiple times with multiple groups. Are there really reviewers out there who would review something without experiencing it? That's like writing about a movie that you've never seen.
 
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It requires a particular personality and not everyone would be able to pull it off, but I was thinking the other day what seems to be missing is the "anti-reviewer". Maybe not the best phrase for it, but the Mr.Cranky type of reviewer (if people remember his movie reviews from way back when). The cantankerous, curmudgeonly type of person who can really lay into a game and tell you everything that's wrong w/ it but done in such a way that it is amusing and you still want to play it.
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You could try posting a review comparing two similar games and how they match up against each other by concentrating on the differences. Pick some big name games to start with because they will already have plenty of reviews. it may already have been done but I haven't seen any recently.
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Jason Elliott
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As a reviewer myself, you will find that most people don't care. Then some of the people who do will be nasty with you. I have found in my experiences that the breakdown is something like this:

60% of everyone doesn't care
and of the remaining 40%

30% do care with a positive aspect
10% do care with a negative aspect

The thing is, if it makes you happy, if you are passionate about it, if you care about it, then do it.

Just don't listen to the negative people, because I have found that some people live to be negative.

All the best to you!

RET. SSG Jason L. Elliott
Game Consultant
PaladinElliott Productions
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nat tact
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juggler5 wrote:
I've been writing game reviews on and off for a couple years. I do it mostly just because I like writing, but if anything I've written has helped someone make a decision about a game, I'm delighted.

However, these days, it seems game reviewers are a dime a dozen. It's easy to feel like your reviews just blend into the mass of armchair game critics out there. I'm sure some of you have felt this same way.

I want to take a different approach to reviewing. In the past, I have reached out to very small publishers/designers to review their stuff, the stuff you might not see on The Dice Tower, etc. While this means my audience is probably going to be small as well, its rewarding to help the little guys get some publicity.


Under Utilized Review Niches?
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Statistical breakdown of games and decision's
Artist Spotlights/Reviews

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