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Subject: For the Meeple, by the Meeple (The Art of the Review) rss

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Michael Carpenter
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With board games prices being what they are, it is important to do your research. I know many people have their go-to video reviewer and it seems as though there is a hefty number of people that read written reviews also...


I am curious to hear what people are looking to see in a written reviews... not going to lie, I am interested in applying some of these things to my own reviews to help offer a better product. However, I don't mean for this to be a critique of my reviews. I read a lot of reviews myself and am just curious what others like to see when they open up a written review.

Thoughts?



If you enjoy my reviews or posts please recommend and check out my geeklist For the Meeple, by the Meeple
 
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Stephen Rochelle
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I like reviews (and threads generally) that are useful title first, branding second.
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Michael Carpenter
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If you're referencing the name of this thread with FtM,BtM first, I apologize that it is first I'm not trying to do anything there but keep the same format as my other threads and reviews. I don't get paid or offered any review copies I just like to write reviews and was hoping to hear what people think is helpful when reading. I apologize if I offended you. It is difficult to write reviews effectively (in my opinion) and was hoping to hear what people want to know about games they haven't played yet.
 
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Holger Doessing
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I don't care for reviews where half of the review is just an overview of the rules.

On the other hand, I really like reviews that get under a game's skin and try to analyze which parts of the rules that won the reviewer over (or not); a detailed analysis of the mechanics, an overview of the player interaction, a few words on theme integration, and generally how the reviewer feels and why you feel that way is key to a good review.

Discussing the game in relation to other titles is also important. I'd like to know how this new deckbuilder is sufficiently different from last month's hottest deckbuilder, or will I like this game if I already have that game (and should I bother owning both). If there is some history to the game, I also like seeing that - it demonstrates that the reviewer is knowledgable on the subject!

Btw, there is a lack of good negative reviews out there. When I am considering a game, I always try to look for negative opinions before buying. If the reviewer has done a good job at informing me of why s/he didn't like the game, perhaps I'll come to the conclusion that one man's turd is another man's treasure, or perhaps I'll completely agree. Either way, the review has done its job.
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Michael Carpenter
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Thank you very much for your opinion. When it comes to the rule set do you think it is reasonable to give an "overview" at all to help establish some common ground between the reader and reviewer about the mechanisms in the game?

I much prefer the assessment part of any review as well but I do like to be able to reference the review if necessary rather than have to go to another page to cross reference.
 
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Kyle
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I too want people to skip the overview, I can do that on my own, often do. Turn structure and rules are all wasted time and space. I'll skip them or the review altogether.

Analysis and what the game creates in terms of atmosphere and decisions are where it is at, discussing rules only as required (and determined it is absolutely required). Tell me how the game feels, and why, give me a few negatives as well.

I would disagree about referencing other games, which requires other knowledge prior which readers may not have, avoid this and make something entirely inclusive. External pulls are generally not good for clarity.

What's up with opening each topic with 'for the meeple by the meeple'? I don't think selling brand to general chat if going to go far (or be valuable), to be fair I always chuckle at people who 'brand' their reviews regardless (and most fall under overviews, so at least it helps me skip part them). Being ' recognised is not always the best choice, but does allow easy filtering.


Edit (big), I swear my phone gets worse at this every day. It even went French a bit there .
 
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Michael Carpenter
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darthain wrote:
What's up with opening each topic with 'for the meeple by the meeple'? I don't think selling brand to general chat if going to go far (or be valuable), to be fair I always chuckle at people who 'brand' their reviews regardless (and most fall under overviews, so at least it helps me skip part them). Being ' recognised is not always the best choice, but does allow easy filtering.


That's an interesting take. I agree with the last part that it does allow for an easy filter, but why is it so off-putting to you for people to put some type of title? I know you aren't "buying" anything from reviewers necessarily but you wouldn't expect stores to be un-named right? I am not looking to be the next big thing or please everyone so I think if there is even one person that is interested in reading more than one of my reviews it is useful to them to have some way of recognizing a source of information. Plus, I have to have a name for my geeklist... lol That kind of forces the issue if you attempt more than one review.
 
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David B
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darthain wrote:
I too want people to skip the overview, i cam taf The elles on my own, often do, do rturn structure and rules are all wasted time and space. I'll skip them or the review altogether.

Analysis and what the game creates term if atmosphere and decisions are where it is at, discussing rules only as required (and determined it is absolutely required. Tell me how the game feels, and why, give me a few negatives as well.

I would disagree about suffixing other games, received require other knowledge prior may not have, avoid this and make something entirely inclusive. External pulls are generally not good for clarity.

What's up with opening each topic with 'for the meeple by the meeple'? I don't think selling brand to general chat if going to go far (or be valuable), to be fair I always chuckle at people who 'brand' their reviews regardless (and most fall under overviews, so at least it helps me skip part them). Being ' recognised is not always the best choice, but does allow easy filtering.


That em effin auto correct.
 
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Trevor
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holgerd wrote:

Btw, there is a lack of good negative reviews out there. When I am considering a game, I always try to look for negative opinions before buying. If the reviewer has done a good job at informing me of why s/he didn't like the game, perhaps I'll come to the conclusion that one man's turd is another man's treasure, or perhaps I'll completely agree. Either way, the review has done its job.


Agreed. There are so few negative in-depth reviews out there. Maybe it's because partly they don't want to be attacked by the hordes of people who love the game telling them why they're wrong.

I wish a reviewer or two would do a review series of games they don't like, and go in-depth as to why. And I don't mean the often said defenses like "well I just don't like war games."

Actually, it'd be cool if a review tandem did a batch of reviews where one person enjoys it, the other doesn't, and have them defend their positions as to why.
 
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Michael Carpenter
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Trevor03 wrote:
holgerd wrote:

Btw, there is a lack of good negative reviews out there. When I am considering a game, I always try to look for negative opinions before buying. If the reviewer has done a good job at informing me of why s/he didn't like the game, perhaps I'll come to the conclusion that one man's turd is another man's treasure, or perhaps I'll completely agree. Either way, the review has done its job.


Agreed. There are so few negative in-depth reviews out there. Maybe it's because partly they don't want to be attacked by the hordes of people who love the game telling them why they're wrong.

I wish a reviewer or two would do a review series of games they don't like, and go in-depth as to why. And I don't mean the often said defenses like "well I just don't like war games."

Actually, it'd be cool if a review tandem did a batch of reviews where one person enjoys it, the other doesn't, and have them defend their positions as to why.


I agree that people may be trying to avoid the attacks by advocates of games. I am new to reviewing so there's that... but I know I am a little nervous each time I do one it obviously doesn't stop me but it's always in the back of my mind that if I say the wrong thing someone is going to feel twice as strong as me on the opposite side.

I also like your idea of two reviewers working together. I know there are things like this but I would certainly be interested in participating in something like this if I ever found someone to do it with me. It may difficult in written reviews though
 
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Kyle
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pfctsqr wrote:
darthain wrote:
I too want people to skip the overview, i cam taf The elles on my own, often do, do rturn structure and rules are all wasted time and space. I'll skip them or the review altogether.

Analysis and what the game creates term if atmosphere and decisions are where it is at, discussing rules only as required (and determined it is absolutely required. Tell me how the game feels, and why, give me a few negatives as well.

I would disagree about suffixing other games, received require other knowledge prior may not have, avoid this and make something entirely inclusive. External pulls are generally not good for clarity.

What's up with opening each topic with 'for the meeple by the meeple'? I don't think selling brand to general chat if going to go far (or be valuable), to be fair I always chuckle at people who 'brand' their reviews regardless (and most fall under overviews, so at least it helps me skip part them). Being ' recognised is not always the best choice, but does allow easy filtering.


That em effin auto correct.


Yeah my computer wasn't working on bgg, can't see all the words on a phone screen.
 
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Holger Doessing
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MariettaTennis wrote:
When it comes to the rule set do you think it is reasonable to give an "overview" at all to help establish some common ground between the reader and reviewer about the mechanisms in the game?

Sure, it definitely is fine to do so - just keep it short and neat! However, I think it is equally reasonable to simply refer/link to 1-2 other reviews that you think do a good job of providing an overview of the game. Again, this would also convince me that you did your homework.

darthain wrote:
I would disagree about referencing other games, which requires other knowledge prior which readers may not have, avoid this and make something entirely inclusive. External pulls are generally not good for clarity.

I'll agree that this is not always a good thing, but some titles always get mentioned together with other titles and in those cases a critical comparison is fair and useful; even if I decide I might not be interested in the game in question, I might be alerted to a somewhat similar title that I can then research further. Your point about clarity is probably true, though.

Trevor03 wrote:
There are so few negative in-depth reviews out there. Maybe it's because partly they don't want to be attacked by the hordes of people who love the game telling them why they're wrong.

Could be, although it'd be unwarranted. I once did a negative review and I made sure to preface the review with a note about my intentions with the review: To let fellow geeks know why the game didn't sit with me and to encourage discussion for the common good. Some agreed with my comments, some disagreed, but overall the response was very positive and civil.

I don't know if this had any impact on how my "nay"-review was perceived, but I also made a point of throwing out a few ideas on how my issues with that game might have been resolved. This could have sparked some new variants, but I'd like to think it also demonstrated that I wasn't simply saying: "This is a crap game. Move on," but rather that I had put some thought into why I didn't like it. A prospective buyer could then reflect on whether they'd feel the same way or not.
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Michael Carpenter
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Thank you to everyone who has commented in this thread. I have put some thought into what I have read and appreciate the input!
 
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Ian Williams
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I often go to reviews for a sense of what the game is, so a short overview is very useful to me. 3 or 4 sentences to see whether I want to look into the game more, leading in to the actual review.

I quite like branded reviews. Branded forum topics seem silly... but here I am typing in one so what do I know?
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