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  • Writer's pictureJared Neal

Review Scale and Breakdown

Updated: May 2, 2021

I have seen reviewers use a wide variety of scales, and I have also seen their reviews vary greatly in what each level of that scale means. Generally, we use the scale that is represented on the Board Game Geek website, as it is the most widely used source of board gaming information.

Rating Scale

1 - Worst - I wouldn’t play this even if you paid me, clearly broken.

2 - Really Bad - I won’t ever play this again, as I really didn’t like the game.

3 - Bad - I wouldn’t choose to play, and would have to really be talked into playing again.

4 - Not So Good - not a game I would choose, but more willing to be talked into.

5 - Average - I could take or leave it, but willing to play if asked.

6 - Decent - I would periodically choose to play without being asked.

7 - Good - I am almost always willing to play.

8 - Very Good - I will periodically suggest, but am always willing to play.

9 - Excellent - I will regularly suggest, and always want to play.

10 - Perfect - I will usually suggest, and will always play when possible.

You will notice that very rarely do we review a game that scores below a 6, which if that was the worst games we were playing, would mean our scale isn’t very broad. However, we aren’t reviewing games we don’t have a copy of that we can dig into, and as of right now we are only doing reviews on games that are in our collection (or at least were at one time). We certainly play games that don’t work for us for one reason or another, and I do want to communicate that, but don’t want to devote entire reviews to these games. I think we will periodically do something to capture these, maybe something like 5 Games We Didn’t Like, all compiled in a single review.

Review Breakdown

Hopefully the reviews are presented in such a way, that they are self-explanatory, but I wanted to add a little bit of context for what each section should be telling you. If you find the reviews are confusing, or that something isn’t clear, definitely please let us know.

For the first 4 categories below, the first number is what the publisher has listed for the game, and then in parentheses will be what we feel is best based on our experience with the game.

Player Count: this is how many people you can play the game with

Age Range: this is the age at which someone can handle the full experience of the game

Play Time: this is how long a regular game is expected to last (keep in mind games where you are learning the game, or that involve new players usually last longer)

Complexity: this is how difficult it is to understand the different mechanics in the game, and how they are tied together in order to be successful

Mechanisms: this is a list of the different things you do in the game, and a more detailed list of what different mechanisms are, is listed under our Gaming Terminology Glossary.

Flavor Text - this is a games backstory or theme, that helps set the stage so that you can feel immersed in the game as you are playing.

Overview - this section is intended to give you an idea of the objective of the game, and a very high level explanation of what you are doing as you play.

Educational Value - this section identifies the ways the game helps to teach different concepts and lessons.

Luck/Strategy - this section looks at how much of the outcome of the game is going to be due to luck, and how much are you able to have a strategy or use tactics throughout the game.

Artwork - this section is discussing the artwork on the cards and board, as well as the components of the game. While this might seem like an odd thing to have it’s own section, for a lot of people the artwork of a game can make or break their experience.

Theme - this looks at not only what the theme of the game is being presented as, but also whether the mechanisms in the game actually tie into that theme. Some games may present their theme very strongly, but then not have it integrated into the mechanics at all, or vice versa.

Replayability/Fun Factor - this section is going to look at what things change from game to game, that allow it to continue to be fun even if played multiple times. Some games are a lot of fun to play the first few times you play them, but if there isn’t enough variation, they may become boring to play very quickly.

Conclusion/Audience - this is going to tell you what we thought of the game, when taking into account all the sections above. The overall audience for this website is going to be families playing games together, and so that is taken into consideration before weighing specific audiences within that subset that this game may appeal to.

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