Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
30 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Types of Game Reviews You'd Like to See rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chris Dragon
United States
Nevada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There's a great diversity of game reviewers out there. I have found several I enjoy, and I get different things out of them. Rodney Smith is a cool and composed tutor I could sit at the feet of to learn great wisdom. Rahdo is a that overexcited friend that I love hanging out with to learn about all the random topics that comes to his mind. And so the list goes on.

Sometimes, I do wish there were a really brief overview of games that don't go into 20+ minute explanations of most of the rules in addition to the overall thoughts of the game. If there were a 3 minute overview, you could see what type of game it is, how a turn might look briefly, get an idea if it uses drafting, programmable movement, worker placement, etc., so I could quickly show my wife and see if she seems interested in the game too. Then, we could do further research if it's a game worth getting together.

It might be a niche purpose, but it'd be nice to quickly learn about more games and see what might tickle our fancy. Which got me thinking, what are other types of reviews that you would like to see, or different styles or ways you'd like to see reviews done (as somebody pointed out in a different thread, besides standing in front of your Kallax shelves and pontificating).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Derek Lee
Australia
Leichhardt
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This isn't a direct answer to your question, but if you're looking for a brief video overview of games both the Game Boy Geek and Board Game Vault on YouTube do 2-minute-ish reviews. The Game Boy Geek calls them Allegro reviews.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason
United States
Ogden
Utah
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Something like these 2 minute reviews by GameBoyGeek? Basically, he does a regular length review and a short review specifically for situations like showing the game to a spouse.

Derek beat me to it. But, I did provide a link.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Dragon
United States
Nevada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Awesome! I'll have to look at those Allegro videos. Thanks, gang.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik J
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My favorite video reviews were the, sadly now defunct, Starlit Citadel Reviews. They were articulate, well-thought-out, and concise. There was a quick explanation of setup and how a turn or two might look, and then they ended with a really awesome pros/cons and discussion of who it might appeal to. The two hosts had some very different tastes so their point-counterpoint was always helpful to me.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Madison
Wisconsin
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
theedj wrote:
My favorite video reviews were the, sadly now defunct, Starlit Citadel Reviews. They were articulate, well-thought-out, and concise. There was a quick explanation of setup and how a turn or two might look, and then they ended with a really awesome pros/cons and discussion of who it might appeal to. The two hosts had some very different tastes so their point-counterpoint was always helpful to me.


Although not video, I believe

Matt Drake
United States
Arlington
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb


used to have some hilarious and concise written reviews. For some laughs, check them out.
2 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Look on my works ye mighty and despair
United Kingdom
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
More new games journalism stuff- review the experience not the mechanics.

More negative reviews.

More reviews that are just obnoxiously snarky for the sake of it. (Like the time Charles Sharr Murray reviewed Yes with the word "no". That was awesome).

Reviews like this - https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2010/jun/14/unse...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Dragon
United States
Nevada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
VaultBoy wrote:
Something like these 2 minute reviews by GameBoyGeek? Basically, he does a regular length review and a short review specifically for situations like showing the game to a spouse.

Derek beat me to it. But, I did provide a link.


Derek and Jason, thanks. I started checking out those reviews. That scratches the itch I had pretty well. The one minute overview is nice, for certain games I would prefer if he discussed the rules for a little longer, maybe even TWICE as long! But that's a cool start.

theedj wrote:
My favorite video reviews were the, sadly now defunct, Starlit Citadel Reviews. They were articulate, well-thought-out, and concise. There was a quick explanation of setup and how a turn or two might look, and then they ended with a really awesome pros/cons and discussion of who it might appeal to. The two hosts had some very different tastes so their point-counterpoint was always helpful to me.


I quite enjoyed them too. I was wondering why I hadn't seen anything from them in a while, so I guess that explains it. I do like differing opinions, and the pros/cons things they would do. I should look up some of their videos again.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kyle
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Show me something that beats a natural 20 and I'll show you hateful lies.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Abiezer Coppe wrote:
More new games journalism stuff- review the experience not the mechanics.

More negative reviews.

More reviews that are just obnoxiously snarky for the sake of it. (Like the time Charles Sharr Murray reviewed Yes with the word "no". That was awesome).

Reviews like this - https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2010/jun/14/unse...


I agree, more reviews of the experience, screw the rules, screw the mechanics, I want to know how it feels.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Dragon
United States
Nevada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
darthain wrote:
Abiezer Coppe wrote:
More new games journalism stuff- review the experience not the mechanics.

More negative reviews.

More reviews that are just obnoxiously snarky for the sake of it. (Like the time Charles Sharr Murray reviewed Yes with the word "no". That was awesome).

Reviews like this - https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2010/jun/14/unse...


I agree, more reviews of the experience, screw the rules, screw the mechanics, I want to know how it feels.


Referring to the "Experience over the mechanics" idea, how would that work? For example, saying whether a game is puzzle-y, stress-inducing, grippingly thematic, full of slow and thoughtful analysis, etc? Or maybe even the Experience at different player counts? Or with different types of players?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Osiris Saline
Australia
Red Hill
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
PizzaAroma wrote:
darthain wrote:
Abiezer Coppe wrote:
More new games journalism stuff- review the experience not the mechanics.

More negative reviews.

More reviews that are just obnoxiously snarky for the sake of it. (Like the time Charles Sharr Murray reviewed Yes with the word "no". That was awesome).

Reviews like this - https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2010/jun/14/unse...


I agree, more reviews of the experience, screw the rules, screw the mechanics, I want to know how it feels.


Referring to the "Experience over the mechanics" idea, how would that work? For example, saying whether a game is puzzle-y, stress-inducing, grippingly thematic, full of slow and thoughtful analysis, etc? Or maybe even the Experience at different player counts? Or with different types of players?


Shut Up Sit Down does it relatively well. They mention mechanics and ideas behind games but don't dwell on them if they don't seem fun/entertaining, or if they fail to work socially.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
OsirisSaline wrote:
Shut Up Sit Down does it relatively well. They mention mechanics and ideas behind games but don't dwell on them if they don't seem fun/entertaining, or if they fail to work socially.


What SUSD do very well is connect the two; how one leads from the other and what the effect is. Most other reviewers don't do this enough. The downside is that, not just with SUSD's approach but with all the reviews that have leaned towards a more subjective experiential critique, oftentimes you're left with the feeling that they might just have felt differently if they hadn't run out of milk that morning. They very well articulated their feeling-based problems with both Fief and Trajan (and I agreed with them over Trajan); I'm still not clear on why they took slightly against Shogun -- which isn't a problem: the problem is that you were left with the impression that neither were they.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eddy Sterckx
Belgium
Vilvoorde
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A big-name reviewer who isn't in the pocket of the publishers would be a breath of fresh air.

Somebody who isn't afraid to point out the gaping design holes, layout that hinders gameplay, the atrocious rulebooks, the imbalances, the crappy gameplay with x people etc.

It's become so bad you're better off reading 2 dozen comments from random gamers on BGG than read/watch a couple of "reviews" from big-name reviewers.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Osiris Saline
Australia
Red Hill
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Triboluminous wrote:
OsirisSaline wrote:
Shut Up Sit Down does it relatively well. They mention mechanics and ideas behind games but don't dwell on them if they don't seem fun/entertaining, or if they fail to work socially.


What SUSD do very well is connect the two; how one leads from the other and what the effect is. Most other reviewers don't do this enough. The downside is that, not just with SUSD's approach but with all the reviews that have leaned towards a more subjective experiential critique, oftentimes you're left with the feeling that they might just have felt differently if they hadn't run out of milk that morning. They very well articulated their feeling-based problems with both Fief and Trajan (and I agreed with them over Trajan); I'm still not clear on why they took slightly against Shogun -- which isn't a problem: the problem is that you were left with the impression that neither were they.


Very true, and I completely agree. It's why I'm sort of unsure reviews matter to me as anything but entertainment & examples of gameplay these days.

Quinns, Matt, and Paul are all amazing when they're on the ball, but as with everything in these days of mass reviews from people who may not be designers/musicians/qualified critics (in terms of awareness of history/style), any reviews that have specific environmental angles (number of players/shared experience with weight of the mechanics/ability to run with the same group or not etc) mean I really don't think there should be a lot of that style, mainly because, well, *points to tons of film/music review sites* that happens.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
eddy_sterckx wrote:
A big-name reviewer who isn't in the pocket of the publishers would be a breath of fresh air.

Somebody who isn't afraid to point out the gaping design holes, layout that hinders gameplay, the atrocious rulebooks, the imbalances, the crappy gameplay with x people etc.

It's become so bad you're better off reading 2 dozen comments from random gamers on BGG than read/watch a couple of "reviews" from big-name reviewers.

I think a lot of what people are characterizing as "in the pocket of the publishers" is actually being "in the pocket of having to do this shit for a living" -- and by that I don't mean the sporadically-justified tin-foil-hattedness of saying they deliberately avoid biting the hand that feeds them; I mean that the environment and conditions of having to do this for a (partial-)living necessarily and unavoidably bias the experience when compared with the perspective of people who still have the comfort of engaging with this stuff as an entertainment and luxury.

Take Tom Vasel as an example. Tom Vasel puts out a hundred reviews a year. At least. Which means he played them at least once -- and that's an unrealistic lower bound as some of them he will have played much more than that. On top of that, he will have been in gameplay groups where he wasn't the reviewer. And all that's before we get to games he's played recreationally, or as a playtester, or as a consultant. But still, even though it's ridiculously low, let's take a hundred as the number. A hundred plays a year is way more than a large proportion of the members of this website get in at all, all year, when selecting for their favourite games, carefully.

I've mentioned this before but it bears repeating. In the engineering fields you often have aphorisms where it's "pick 2 from 3"; the point being that selecting for all out of three desirable traits is impossible, as at least two are mutually exclusive. In software development it used to be:

"On time; High quality; Cheap. Pick two.".

You can have it on time and of high quality, but it won't be cheap.

You can have it on time and cheap, but it won't be of high quality.

You can have it high quality and cheap, but it won't be on time.

The point with all these "trilogisms" is the same: Something's got to give way. You can't get three people simultaneously through a door which only accomodates two.

There's a similar "trilogism" that's applicable to the current state of reviewing board games, a "three C's" of sorts:

1.) Considered (judicious and comprehensive with regard to the individual game: depth-of-review)
2.) Complete (comprehensive with regard to the sum of all board-games: number-of-reviews)
3.) Contemporary (comprehensive with regard to the "hotness": up-to-date-ness of the reviews)

Pick two.

There is no way in hell that any small team, let alone an individual, can do all three of these to the standards that we as consumers demand of them. There are a thousand+ games being produced a year. You'd need a playing staff of at least 20, probably more, to be able to get through each game to the depth that we'd ideally see while still being able to keep up-to-date: multiple plays at all the different player counts -- the reward for which would often just be, "yeah, it's good at all counts".

The market isn't big enough to maintain this type of media organization yet, and -- if it were -- you'd end up in a situation where the liklihood of them being in the pocket of the publishers was even higher as they'd have vastly more overheads that required supporting from not-obviously-more income. The IGN / Gamespot problem: nothing's getting less than a 7.5.

The Dice Tower tend to lean towards doing (2) and (3), while doing (1) as well as they can. SU&SD do a bit of (1) and a bit of (3), but often at the cost of (2). Nobody can do all of it.

Sweating reviewers because ...

Quote:
you're better off reading 2 dozen comments from random gamers on BGG than read/watch a couple of "reviews" from big-name reviewers.


... is disingenously unfair. Of course you are. First of all, and self-evidently: there are 2 dozen of them, not 1, or 2, or 3. Secondly, none of them is under pressure to be up-to-date; they can take as long as they like to formulate their opinion. Thirdly, none of them is remotely near being complete: BGG has the effect of completeness because it's the sum of thousands of people with overlapping interests filling in the blanks a bit at a time (a la wikipedia); it's not "2 dudes in a basement with a copy of Final Cut Pro".
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
France
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The sheer number of games mean that most popular reviewers are giving their opinions after one or two plays so what you usually get is an idea of mechanics , theme and a first impression which works well for me. If a game grabs my attention I move on to more in depth reviews and playthroughs. It's this second tier which I believe allows for more creativity a place where lesser known reviewers can make their mark with their own style. The time issue can disappear and the quality show though especially for someone who doesn't have the expectation of making a partial living out of the process. I like the fact that someone can sit in their living room and give their opinion on why they love a particular game.
I believe the variety is out there but sometimes you need to delve a little deeper to find it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eddy Sterckx
Belgium
Vilvoorde
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Triboluminous wrote:


Sweating reviewers because ...

Quote:
you're better off reading 2 dozen comments from random gamers on BGG than read/watch a couple of "reviews" from big-name reviewers.


... is disingenously unfair. Of course you are. First of all, and self-evidently: there are 2 dozen of them, not 1, or 2, or 3. Secondly, none of them is under pressure to be up-to-date; they can take as long as they like to formulate their opinion. Thirdly, none of them is remotely near being complete: BGG has the effect of completeness because it's the sum of thousands of people with overlapping interests filling in the blanks a bit at a time (a la wikipedia); it's not "2 dudes in a basement with a copy of Final Cut Pro".


So what you're saying is that Joe Average Gamer (me) is better off reading a couple dozen game comments than reading/watching "reviews". Seems to me we're in violent agreement.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
eddy_sterckx wrote:
So what you're saying is that Joe Average Gamer (me) is better off reading a couple dozen game comments than reading/watching "reviews". Seems to me we're in violent agreement.


If you don't mind waiting for a year or two for the signal-to-noise ratio to distill as the fan-weenies peter out, then sure ...

The point of reviewers is as a less-certain but short-hand proxy for not having to do that. Or for just being entertaining (which, lets face it, few BGGers are).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mortego
United States
New Kensington
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like a variety of reviewers but I have to find a replacement for The Starlit Citadel gals, they has nice scripted yet pleasing and quick way of explaining game play followed by brief personal thoughts about the game they presented.

Currently I watch a lot of Dice Tower game reviews.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shoosh shoo
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I do some reviews although life gets in the way of me doing it regularly. Ive never said a game that i reviewed was bad. When i do the reviews i try to show people what the game is like by talking about what makes it stand out or i try to give an accurate idea on what a play session might look like. I try to talk about the positives of every game i do but if theres something that i wasnt crazy about ill mention it. One thing i try to do is, instead of rating a game (i dont believe in ratings) i will tell the viewers who i think the game would be suited for. If its a filler game i will say heavier gamers probably wont find it interesting for example.

Im pretty inexperienced so maybe im not the best one to talk here the reality is that there will almost always be some type of person who like X game. If anyone has any feedback i would love to hear it. I dont get enough constructive criticism check me out on youtube. E=mc2 Board Games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eddy Sterckx
Belgium
Vilvoorde
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Triboluminous wrote:
eddy_sterckx wrote:
So what you're saying is that Joe Average Gamer (me) is better off reading a couple dozen game comments than reading/watching "reviews". Seems to me we're in violent agreement.


If you don't mind waiting for a year or two for the signal-to-noise ratio to distill as the fan-weenies peter out, then sure ...


Doesn't take that long - after a couple of months most games have enough comments. Range to look at : those who graded a game 2 to 8. This weeds out the fanboys and the haters.

Triboluminous wrote:

The point of reviewers is as a less-certain but short-hand proxy for not having to do that. Or for just being entertaining (which, lets face it, few BGGers are).


Well, to each his own, but there are few things in life I find less entertaining than listening to the opinion of people with a worse track record than the hive mind that is BGG.

Edit : there is one : the opinion of "reviewers" who discovered this boardgame thing a couple of years ago - i.e. the majority of them.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drew
United States
Dallas
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I find myself skipping the reviews and just watching how the game plays. I don't mind if they are a little long if they are entertaining and educational.
At this point I know what I like and don't like and I also know what I will be able to get to the table with my wife and/or gaming groups.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
eddy_sterckx wrote:
A big-name reviewer who isn't in the pocket of the publishers would be a breath of fresh air.

Somebody who isn't afraid to point out the gaping design holes, layout that hinders gameplay, the atrocious rulebooks, the imbalances, the crappy gameplay with x people etc.

It's become so bad you're better off reading 2 dozen comments from random gamers on BGG than read/watch a couple of "reviews" from big-name reviewers.


I think we do this well.

Or was this strictly about video reviews....?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Clark
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
darthhugo wrote:
theedj wrote:
My favorite video reviews were the, sadly now defunct, Starlit Citadel Reviews. They were articulate, well-thought-out, and concise. There was a quick explanation of setup and how a turn or two might look, and then they ended with a really awesome pros/cons and discussion of who it might appeal to. The two hosts had some very different tastes so their point-counterpoint was always helpful to me.


Although not video, I believe

Matt Drake
United States
Arlington
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb


used to have some hilarious and concise written reviews. For some laughs, check them out.


I had read Matt's San Quentin Kings review but had not realized he was so prolific. These are great, thanks for pointing them out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete
United States
Northbrook
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've often toyed with (being a lawyer and all) running a review series called "The Public Defender" and essentially writing up some reviews defending games that have gotten a bad reputation for some reason or another. They'd be incredibly one-sided (much like a public defender's argument for a defendant) but they'd seek to paint a particular "bad game" in the best possible light.

Pete (knows that with his job and small children he probably couldn't keep it up right now)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.