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Subject: Board / card game reviewers rss

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Nicki Lloyd
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Hey, apologies if this has been covered somewhere else but have had a quick look around and couldn't see anything appropriate...sure someone will point something out super obvious I have missed haha

Basically though I was wondering if there are any board/card game reviewers anyone would recommend as fair and opinions valued etc? I would like to see soon how my game would fair with reviewers etc but also where people would go for new game recommendations etc
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William Beasley
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Hello Nicki!

While I'm not a known reviewer I do have a good group of people that I can at least test play your projects with and give you fair feedback. Not sure if that is helpful at all. You can PM me anytime if interested.

William
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Koen Hendrix
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Some well-known ones are

The Dice Tower
Rahdo
Undead Viking
Shut Up & Sit Down
JonGetsGames
Heavy Cardboard
ManVsMeeple
Space Biff

So I imagine those would be best for marketing/exposure purposes. But you should realize that "big name" reviewers generally have no time for the thousands of "small fry" games coming out every year.

Some will do (p)reviews for money, though.
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Crazed Survivor
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Hi, I'm a european crested tit, and a very small punk rocker!
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Are you asking for reviewers, or playtesters?

Depending on player number and playtime I could also review your game if I had time.
Which I don't -.-
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Nicki Lloyd
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Thanks for the replies all.

I am looking for reviewers to play the game, look over components etc and tell people there thoughts etc where people will listen and be either like "hey, that looks good and the reviewer had a great time playing it" or if I am unlucky "oh no, that reviewer hated the game...I will steer clear". Obviously we all know which outcome I would like though haha
 
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Crazed Survivor
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TheNick wrote:
Thanks for the replies all.

I am looking for reviewers to play the game, look over components etc and tell people there thoughts etc where people will listen and be either like "hey, that looks good and the reviewer had a great time playing it" or if I am unlucky "oh no, that reviewer hated the game...I will steer clear". Obviously we all know which outcome I would like though haha


Yay I would also love for folks to hate my content so that I can finally stop investing time in that BS and go on with my life whistle

Oh wait it's not what you meant?
 
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Rob Harper
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TheNick wrote:
I am looking for reviewers to play the game, look over components etc and tell people there thoughts etc where people will listen and be either like "hey, that looks good and the reviewer had a great time playing it" or if I am unlucky "oh no, that reviewer hated the game...I will steer clear". Obviously we all know which outcome I would like though haha


Be careful on this if your game is still in development and you are using a reviewer to get feedback. If the reviewer doesn't like the game as it is, you won't be able to ask them to look again when you have improved it as most reviewers have a huge queue of other games to cover. I have seen this happen.

If your game is in it's final form then go for it, and best of luck!
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Dave Platt
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Some of the bigger reviewers favour games that are widely available. Probably best to drop them an email first.
 
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William Beasley
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Nicki, I still think you may want to try what could be seen as a more unconventional review approach. More specifically, getting a few copies of your game out to groups of gamers and let them take a look at it.

I personally know several people and groups, my own included, that would enjoy to reviewer your game and take reviewing very seriously.

As for the more well known reviewers... Well IMHO they are not more or less suited to review ANY given game. They like most of us have preferences, likes / dislikes, pet peeves etc. but they are in the end gamers like us. I personally would prefer, at the beginning, to take my chances with more less known or unknown people than hoping your game can make it to the front of the mile long queues of games to be reviewed by those few well known reviewers.

So I know my group would be happy to help and give you our review.

Either way, I really hope you can get good reviews!

William
 
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Nicki Lloyd
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Thanks everyone.

I think the approach of not going to the big reviewers and going out to groups like you say would at least be a great start. My only problem is since my daughter came along a few months ago I kinda got to watch money and where it is going. I would love to spend £300 buying ten copies and getting them out to you guys to play and review but I just couldn't afford it. I have a prototype I have made over the months and also have a copy of the game I have created on TGC on its way which will be close to the final thing, minus any slight modifications I may see need doing.

Anyone got any ideas what I could do? Would reviewers or groups be willing to do a small crowd sale with me for a small amount and be some of the first to own the game before it is kickstarted and provide reviews. The crowd sale comes with discounts especially if a good amount are purchased. What are peoples thoughts on this? Been done before?
 
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Koen Hendrix
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Hey Nicki, can I just be a voice of caution? I wouldn't go into self-publishing without any money to spend.

If you don't have any money for review copies, is there money for other forms of marketing and promotion, or for art and graphic design?

Every week there are literally dozens of new tabletop games on Kickstarter. Do you think you'll be able to stand out in that crowd on a shoestring budget?

Have you considered pitching your game to publishers instead?
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Nicki Lloyd
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Thanks for being the voice of caution..my wife will certainly appreciate it so I don't get carried away or too excited with this game haha

I do have some money month by month, its just not enough to go and buy a dozen prototypes unfortunately.

I have got the art done over the past year and is finally complete which I am excited about and I plan and are using as much free publicity as I can such as social media but will also do flyers/business cards and other cheapish promotional items and plan to have a stall at UK games expo and hopefully one or two other cons/events over the coming months.

The publishers idea is of course a good option but I quiet like the idea of doing it myself...with help and advice from you guys of course plus a few things turn me off the idea from some peoples posts on this forum now and then. I will freely admit a big reason is patience haha I know these things take time and appreciate publishers are busy and can't drop everything to listen to me etc so I thought heck, I will do it myself if I can. With a 5 month that keeps mem up alot I get a good few hours throughout the week where I am awake alone and can tinker and edit the game cards etc

Not to say I wont go to publishers over the next few months as it is still being mulled over in my mind
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Well, since this thread is about finding reviewers for your game or game prototypes, maybe someone could help me out and point me into right direction.

I'm a board game designer that have that misfortune to be trapped outside the world of board gaming.
There are no shops where I could buy board games (beside maybe Monopoly, Risk or Sorry, lol), the whole 1% of my fellow countrymen actually play board games, there are no publishers here, and usually, if someone sees you playing a board game (solo, because to find someone else here interested into tabletop games would be like looking for a silver-back gorilla in the Arctic) they think you are a child that never has grown up or just plain weird.

So, there is me and the big wall around me, and behind that wall I'm cursed to constantly get ideas for card or board games that only I will play and no one else. Well, almost...

Right now I have two little windows into the world, Tabletop Simulator (a Steam 'game' for online tabletop gaming) and this forum. Which are good if you want to discuss your designs, get some general feedback, showcase your game, get some opinions, and then back to your obscurity.
It's like treating bacterial infection with antibiotics which bacteria is immune to. There is no progress forward; wheels are just skidding in the mud.

Getting good feedback is ok, but it's all just tapping on the back toward your way into the dark cave from which you have emerged for an hour. I’m sure that any game designer would like to publish at least one game in his life, otherwise why bother? If you feel you are good at something and you get acknowledgment from the people you are sharing your designs with, it is natural to go to the next step. Otherwise the whole thing will invert and destroy you in the end.
Always asking yourself same questions: ‘’but, is this good and what if?’’ Its just torturing.

So, to actually see are your games any good you need to find someone who is reviewing them as part of his profession, right? Get some word put out that can help you out to find a publisher. Or at least create some contacts with some small publishers so they would know you are existing and alive.

In that case you would seek a local game convention to present your prototype.

But, how, when there are no conventions of that kind in your country, and the closes one is so far that you would have to change at least 3 planes and give a fortune for travel expenses, fortune you do not have?

Then you should print your prototype and send it to someone abroad, right?

But, how when you are of the charts and the cost of shipment alone would be like buying Kingdom Death Monster with all expansions, twice.
Plus, there is a language barrier. Well, that can be fixed with some help, surely, but still, another wall to climb.


Where do you go when you are cut off from everything by your poor finances, non-existing traditions of tabletop gaming in your country and the distance?

Well, Gamecrafter of course.

Using Gamecrafter I can at least print a good looking prototype. But, I can’t send it to myself due to the shipping costs; I have to send it to some address in the USA (preferably close to the location of the Gamecrafter Company). It would be great if I would be able to send it directly to some game reviewer.

So, does anyone know any game reviewers that is close to them and doesn’t charge large amounts of money to review your game? Preferably, a reviewer that can create at least some buzz (if the game is good).

Or, does anyone want to get a game for free? I can’t send it to myself, but I can to someone close to the Gamecrafter Company. Policy is that you have to pay the game and the shipping costs, and then it’s added to their shop so anyone can buy it later. It is some sort of publishing… Self publishing at least.

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Kai Herbertz
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8Oj4N wrote:
So, does anyone know any game reviewers that is close to them and doesn’t charge large amounts of money to review your game? Preferably, a reviewer that can create at least some buzz (if the game is good).


Broadly speaking, I tend to divide reviewers into three categories:

1. Starting out - the reviewer has a small-ish following on youtube of a hundred or a few hundred people. Often, these reviewers, who are not that famous yet, are willing to look at games that interest them and perhaps even review them for free. It's probably a mutually beneficial arrangement, as a review helps the game and the publisher spotlighting the review helps the reviewer.

2. Middle-ish reach, paid reviews: If the reviewer has a couple thousand followers, then he/she is often at the point where there are more review requests than there is available time. At that point, the reviewer might say that there is a queue, but if someone wants a review by a certain date (e.g. for Kickstarter campaigns) then it's essentially commissioned work and should be financially compensated. Besides, having a larger reach generates publicity for any reviewed game, so there is a tangible benefit to it. Charging money is perfectly reasonable in my opinion, especially if it is stated up front.

3. Large reviewers. My impression is that at a certain point of fame, reviewers have even less time. Counter intuitively they would not charge for a review. However, the odds of getting a review with an obscure indie game is even lower, because the reviewer can afford to be very picky about accepting a game. If the answers to questions like "Would my audience be interested in this?" and "Would I enjoy reviewing this game?" are not a resounding yes then I would imagine a large reviewer would pass.

To sum up, a reviewer that looks at obscure indie games, is free and has a large reach doesn't exist (with some exceptions of course, but getting the review still feels like winning the lottery).
It's one of these pick any two dilemmas: Free, good reach, willing to review your game.
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