Sunday, April 07, 2013

Looking for a Good Game Review Site

I've been kind of glancing over a few games lately. In no particular order, Legendary, King of Tokyo, the Star Wars LCG, Miskatonic School for Girls, DC Comics Deck-Building Game, Red November, and Zombie Dice are all drawing my eye as I wander through games stores. (To say nothing of Zombicide, which is no doubt going to be my first purchase after I win the lottery.)

That said, the cheapest of those is about twenty bucks, and in the current economy, it's not easy to just drop $40 on a game without being sure that it's something I'm actually going to enjoy playing. What's needed is a games review site. The problem is, there's not really something that works as an actual games review site--all my google searches redirect me to BoardGameGeek, which is an interesting Metafilter-esque site, but which has the huge problem that unlike the actual Metafilter, it's not aggregating professional reviews; it's aggregating individual reviews. And unlike RottenTomatoes, which does that for movies quite well, games are very much a niche market with very different tastes, and all the games seem to be rated in the 6-7 range because the people who like it love it, and the people who hate it absolutely loathe it.

So I'm looking for a few individual reviewers who I can use to gauge individual games prior to their purchase. First, are there any game review blogs/websites out there that you'd recommend? (I'd also be looking for ones worth reading for their own sakes, as well as ones I'd use to help make decisions. Funny games blogs are funny.) And second, as previously noted, gamers have very different tastes. I'd be generally looking for multiplayer games (5-6 players, although games robust enough to handle 8-10 players are awesome!), generally with short playtimes (30-45 minutes a round), and I prefer humor (of all types) to serious games. And I'd be looking for a reviewer whose tastes reflected mine. (So, for example, if someone gave 'Diplomacy' and 'Axis and Allies' great reviews, but disdained 'Grave Robbers From Outer Space', they're probably not going to recommend games I like, even if they understand very well what makes a good game.)

With all that in mind, any recommendations? Or do I need to start a site like this myself? (If I do, feel free to send me reviewers' copies, game designers!)


Matthew E said...

Baseball writer Keith Law reviews boardgames on his own site; he even maintains a top-40 list. Here:

Shawn Kilburn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shawn Kilburn said...

I like the game reviews on the Mighty God King website. Their reviews/write-ups helped me to decide on whether to buy a game or not.

Anonymous said...

Watching Tabletop on Youtube is a great way to see if a game actually plys well.

chiasaur11 said...

Shut Up and Sit Down is my go to


It's by British people, and one of them is Quintin Smith, one of the best writers on game related things I've seen.

They're quite good.

Unknown said...

Tom Vasel and the Dice Tower Network is my go to for boardgames:

My brother swears by Starlit Citadel. I prefer Dice Tower, but I might as well mention it.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a weekly boardgame reivew as well, Cardboard Children.

Those are my primaries. There are others, of course, but these are the ones I look at first.

FREE DOWNLOAD demo GAME Scribblenauts Unlimited said...

Baseball writer Keith Law reviews boardgames on his own site; he even maintains a top-40 list. Here: