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Subject: What do you want to read in a review of a game? rss

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Hanne Beate
Norway
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I've been thinking of writing a review of a game I play. I've read several reviews and also some info about it, but I want to know what you think it's a good review.

Please share!
 
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Aalsterse Spellenclub Prettig Gescoord
Belgium
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What I like is first a short description of how the game works, then the plus and minus points of the game. What I also like to know (but hardly find) is if you're making a review based on a copy you have gotten for free from the publisher or not
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Leonard Moses II
United States
Hixson
Tennessee
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If the game is similar to any others.

If you like the mechanics whatever they may be.

Strategies you used.

Why you thought it was fun.

How it compares to every other similar game you have played.

How much you paid for the game and if you thought that was a good deal.

How much other people that you played with liked the game.

If you think the weight of the game is correctly voted upon on bgg as far as the average.

How rare the game is.

If you have played any of the designers other games.

Does the theme come through and if so specifically how?

How good is the component quality?

Was it hard to punch?

Do you like the art? Does it have colorful character tiles and a drab board that doesn't fit at all like Rattus?
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Ladson
South Carolina
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Support. Your. Assertions.

For instance:

"Set-up time was good."

Really? What was it and why is it good?

"The game has a few tricky rules, but once you know them, it has straightforward mechanisms."

What are the tricky rules? What is tricky about them? Is that a good or bad thing? Why? What is straightforward about the mechanics? I assume this is a good thing. Why is it good in this case?

In other words, pretend there is a Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Series 800 Terminator looking over your shoulder as you write that keeps asking "Why?" to every one of your declarations.

P.S.-- Try to avoid Overused words, and BGG Euphemisms.
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Bryan Thunkd
United States
Florence
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Scottgun wrote:
Support. Your. Assertions.
You didn't actually explain your reasoning for this... So.... Why?

Admittedly, it's trivially easy to deduce your reasoning, but highly ironic that you ignore your own advice.
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Ladson
South Carolina
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Thunkd wrote:
Scottgun wrote:
Support. Your. Assertions.
You didn't actually explain your reasoning for this... So.... Why?

Admittedly, it's trivially easy to deduce your reasoning, but highly ironic that you ignore your own advice.


My review of reviews has been panned. Hoisted on my own petard again!
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Hanne Beate
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Thanks a lot to all of you! thumbsup
I prefer images in the review and also not a very long one. I'd make a review some days ago, but it was refused because it was to short.
 
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Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
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Tell me how you feel playing the game. The emotions the game elicits etc. I personally don't care for reviews of the components, rules overview, etc. There are 100's of reviews that do that and plenty of "how to play" or "unboxing" videos that I can use to get that info. What I want to know from a fellow geek is what makes it fun, why it's fun, etc.
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Pasi Ojala
Finland
Tampere
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Get the Imperial Assault Campaign module for Vassal from http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Star_Wars:_Imperial_Assault
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You tell me what things you like and why, and what things you don't like and why. The why is the important part. Even if I don't like the exact same things in games that you do and hate the same things that you do, the why part will be valuable information for me.

If you know, how does the feel of the game change with different player counts?

Is the game highly group-specific/dependent? How does the game work in your group, and what the group is like? What are the perceived pitfalls when it comes to the personalities of the players in the group?
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Michael Carter
United States
Marion
Iowa
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An analysis of what worked and didn't work for you. I can read the rule book on my own.
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Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
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I always need to know whether the game plays well with 2 players.
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Ladson
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EllenCaroline wrote:
I always need to know whether the game plays well with 2 players.


That's an excellent point. When I read a review, I do want to know how the reviewer experienced the game because enjoyment can vary wildly by the number of players.
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Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
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darkestoceans wrote:
If the game is similar to any others.

If you like the mechanics whatever they may be.

Strategies you used.

Why you thought it was fun.

How it compares to every other similar game you have played.

How much you paid for the game and if you thought that was a good deal.

How much other people that you played with liked the game.

If you think the weight of the game is correctly voted upon on bgg as far as the average.

How rare the game is.

If you have played any of the designers other games.

Does the theme come through and if so specifically how?

How good is the component quality?

Was it hard to punch?

Do you like the art? Does it have colorful character tiles and a drab board that doesn't fit at all like Rattus?


This is actually quite good. Maybe not compare it to every game similar, but still, this is a solid list. I also would add in length of both the setup/tear down and the play time. Also, do not hesitate to be critical of what, in your opinion, deserves your criticism. Critical reviews, even of games you like, is welcomed!

Lastly, player count...what you played it with, what you think it's best with and if it plays well w/ 2!
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Mike B
Canada
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I want to know what you didn't like about the game and why. Even if it's your favourite game in the whole world, I imagine that it still isn't perfect.

I find that constructively negative comments are very useful because they tell me why I might not like a game. It also gives me a better idea of what your tastes are compared to mine to help me decide if that game is right for me.
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Michael F
United States
Albany
OR
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For written reviews, here's what I like to see:

Organization - Separate your review into sections that are easy to distinguish from each other. If I already have a rough understanding of how the game plays, I don't need to read over your interpretation of how it plays.

Fairness - Even if a game rates a 1 on your own personal scale, there has to be something to like about it. Same goes with things to dislike about "10" games. When I do a review, I try to balance out the good and bad as much as possible. Even though I can live with a game that has a horrendously long setup time, I know it might be a problem for other people.

Comparisons - If this game reminds you of something else you've played, say so, and say why. Even if it seems like it's completely out of left field. For instance, Macao scratches the same itch as Agricola for me, since they are both have a slow burn towards these epic turns where you get a lot accomplished all at once. I kept Macao and got rid of Agricola for this reason. A lot of people may not see things that way, but that's how I feel.
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Moe45673
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What the game feels like to play. Shut Up & Sit Down have nailed this (usually). A glorified rulebook with an opinion is not a review. I like games with emergent decisions, something rulebooks don't convey (although a rulebook with good examples will begin to touch upon this).
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Igor Radic
Croatia
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Play example with at least one specific situation is all i need.But this is the least covered with reviews.
Everything else is personal preferences,setup time,like no like components,artwork,worker/soldier/ship/counter placement game,voice of the reviewer and haircut...etc.
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Hector Cruz

Philadelphia
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For me, a good review will talk about how easy or hard the game is too play, number of players it plays best with, mechanics, tactics, but most importantly: the fun factor. The most gorgeous looking game or the most strategic or innovative game would not be play unless is fun to play.
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D Weimer
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Prettig Gescoord wrote:
What I like is first a short description of how the game works.


Yes. Please, please, please, don't say "there are a lot of other reviews that can explain how the game works, so I'm not going to cover it here." Nothing else you say about the game can tell me anything meaningful about it if I don't have a concept for the rules.

newkillerstar27 wrote:
Organization - Separate your review into sections that are easy to distinguish from each other.


But, if it so happens that I am familiar with how the game works, it's easy for me to skip to the other parts.
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Moe45673
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Thank you for that link. Wow, what a picture he paints
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Michael Carter
United States
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Iowa
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tenhole wrote:
Prettig Gescoord wrote:
What I like is first a short description of how the game works.


Yes. Please, please, please, don't say "there are a lot of other reviews that can explain how the game works, so I'm not going to cover it here." Nothing else you say about the game can tell me anything meaningful about it if I don't have a concept for the rules.

newkillerstar27 wrote:
Organization - Separate your review into sections that are easy to distinguish from each other.


But, if it so happens that I am familiar with how the game works, it's easy for me to skip to the other parts.


The rule books are usually posted online.
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secoAce -
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I really appreciate objective reviews that cover different perspectives.
State the type of game and the intended target audience of the game it was designed for, and keep that in mind when reviewing a game. Evaluate the game for what and who it was designed.

For example, don't just say you hated a game because you hate shuffling cards all the time. If it's a deck-building game, shuffling is a given. You can say that this type of game doesn't appeal to you because you don't like deck-building games, but since the game was designed for gamers who do want to play deck-building games, state how well the game works as intended.

It's perfectly fine for the reviewer to give his/her personal opinions and feelings about the game, but then don't just be overly enthusiastic or completely negative about a game (unless it really deserves it) without explaining your impressions and considering the larger gamer audience.

For example, if you're reviewing a cooperative, 1-4 player thematic game, it's fine for you to say you didn't like the game because you're not into cooperative game, but then give your impressions if you think the game WOULD appeal to cooperative players because that is the intended target of gamers. Or if you played only 4 players, then say if you think it's only best with more players would would or would not work well for fewer players or as a solitaire game since that is what the game advertises.

For really long reviews, please structure sections with headers, which helps to identify and easily find the sections you want to read. Add a final Conclusion section at the end that summarizes your review for people who don't want to read the whole review.
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Samo Oleami
Slovenia
Ljubljana
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I think the lot of us put quite nice summaries and guidelines about what we want from a review here: Voice of Experience 2.0 Review Contest - Prizes!

And yes, there will be VoE 3.0 soon (or VoE III or ... we don't know the name yet, but it will be.
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Moe45673
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I'm going to spam my own review from way back when. I think it does a good job of what I like

This game is a jerk.
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Byron Morgan
United States
Freedom
New York
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1. quality of parts and components. from gameboard to cards to rule book material

2. extra add ons available like the lords of waterdeep dndeeples

3. where to buy game at the best deal
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