How we Review
We believe in honest, clear and transparent reviews. That is why we have put together an article on how we review board games. We feel it is important to let you guys know why and how we rate different board games. Different board games naturally appeal to different people, and like all things some have wider appeal than others. However, just because a game might not have a wide appeal should it have a bad review.
Our reviewers are from a small board game club, we all have families who in some cases love and hate board games, and have kids ranging from 2 all the way to 17. We all get involved in a review, that way no biased views can affect a board games rating. This is because some of our guys prefer card games over trading games for example. It will be of bad form to have a trading board game lover review only trading board games or card games for that matter, as the ratings can hurt for it.
They may love a particular trading game and give the one he is reviewing a bad rating for it or they may be bored of card games and because of that give the card game a bad result. That is why we do reviews by group!
How we review a game starts with a what is the board game, this allows you to get an idea as to what the board game is and what the general concepts are. We feel this is important because we can’t talk to you about a particular board game when you do not have a general understanding what it is all about. Here we will mention unique things that you may be doing in the game, we will highlight the goals of the game and underlying tactics you will have to be employing.
Before we start mentioning how it all plays out, and general appeal, we talk about the quality. Nothing is worse reading an entire review and then finding out the board game is cheaply made, the cards a papery, or the design is bland and uninteresting. That is why we talk about these issues and whether or not it is something that is worth your time, if it is a big factor in your buying decisions! Our general guide is that the board game is sturdy and easy to store.
It should have a clear, and appealing graphics on the board game. The components, such as the miniatures should be durable, easy to handle, and be related to the game theme. Cards as said earlier, should be sturdy, be clear in if they have words/descriptions on them, be different from other cards in the set so they do not get confused, as well as be designed to appeal.
How it plays
The biggest factor is how a board game plays. It may on paper have interesting rules, great components and a unique theme, but when playing, it can be cumbersome to setup, slow between turns, confusing to keep track of, and the strategies can be few and far between. We play out a game and talk about some of these elements if they play a role, we highlight the aspects that we really enjoyed as well as those we felt got in the way of the fun (if there were any).
We highlight the replay value of the game, as a great board game is one that you always bring out when your friends and family is around because it is one of those games that you really enjoy playing. Our general process is when we play the game a few times, we note different aspect that we like and don’t like so we can cover all the bases.
The family, the friends and your strange uncle
No board game unless it is single player, is worth the time of day if your friends and family do not want to play it. We bring the board games we review home to our families, give it to our friends who have small kids and we ask them that exact question, did you enjoy playing it, and more importantly, did the family enjoy it. Board Games Lounge is aimed at families and kids, so we want to give parents the ideas on which board games will suit them and their families.
Factors that we look at are the themes of the game, if it is a violent theme, the likely hood of you wanting your kids to experience it is not high on your list. Others include, how easy the rules are to get into, what the age recommendations are, how long the turns can be which can affect children who get distracted easily or tire easily. As well as how the whole family can get into the game and interact with each other.
And Our Conclusion
This generally sums up what we really liked, what we felt were issues, and what we did not like.
Having a rating was of much debate amongst us, mainly because people like to compare a 4 star board game of strategy to a 4 star game to a co-op game. We decided on a break down star system, so you can see which elements held up and which didn’t. These elements are the replay value, the components and how easy it is to learn.
Why these three? Replay value tells us that it is a fun game with lots of variety in play style from game to game. Components as mentioned in the quality section gives you an idea how we felt about the build quality which is important if you don’t like cheaply made goods. Then lastly, easy to learn, this is a big factor as if you want to pick up and play the game but you have to read a novel before or the rules are so strange then it reduces the fun value. However, some people enjoy complex rules, and this can really add lots of depth to a game.
We then add this all up and give you a final score.