Playing board games is not the same as writing reviews on them. So, it’s best if you master these five tips before trying to make a review on your next board game.
The love for board games is back, and we are all for it. However, with so many new games being released each year, it’s hard to keep up with all the updates. All games are designed for certain audiences, ages, gaming skills, and preferences. There are so many of them – strategies, combats, Co-Ops, deck builders, and so much more. Of course, there is one game that is perfect for each of us. However, finding one takes time and research. That’s where board game reviews come into play.
Hardly anyone buys a board game without reading about it first. A professional review should give you all the information you need on the game, including the overall experience and final rating. However, writing such a review is a lot of responsibility and work. A lot is at stake there since people count on such reviews, to be honest, full, and direct with you. So, let’s see how to write one of such reviews, whether it is for yourself or academic purposes. Here are the top five tips you need to know.
Play the game
Of course, before everything else, you need to see the game, hold it in your hands, observe its packaging, and, above everything else, play it. No review is possible unless you have played a game several times (or at least till you’ve mastered the rules) and made an impression about it. So, start by getting a box, unpacking it, analyzing everything you see, and reading the rules.
Give this game several chances. It’s best to play with the recommended amount of players, as it will provide you with a full gaming experience. However, try various combinations and play alone against the game, if allowed. See the common dynamics of the game, and try different strategies and characters. Time yourself while playing.
However, most of all, see how much you enjoy the game or not. That’s the main criteria you will cover later in the piece. In fact, that’s how you know whether the game is worth reviewing at all.
Discuss the logic, rules, and experience
The following next step must be the breakdown of all the main aspects of the game. So, start with the description of the game’s nature, style, genre, and overall game play. Explain what is expected from the players, how competitive or cooperative this game is, and what goals players pursue. Discuss the logic behind the rules, as well as the rules themselves. However, don’t focus too much on them.
Players did not open your review just to learn the rules. They have guidelines and other articles for such content. They want to hear your opinion on how those rules work in practice. How balanced they are. How easy it is to learn them and within how many games. They want to know how enjoyable the experience is and whether rules help or deter the game time.
Thus, your readers need to know the mechanics of the game instead of rereading the entire set of rules. Don’t go into specifics but show them what the game is all about. Here, knowing your audience may help you. More experienced players will know what to expect from the game as soon as you mention the genre and a few dominant rules. Others need a bit more information to make a decision.
Talk about the components and design
The production value is such a crucial thing in the game. How the game looks and feels is essential for the overall experience. People love pretty art, nice designs, and well-planned details that unite all components. Such things make the game truly unique and appealing. So, don’t withhold such information in your review.
Start by mentioning whether there is anything wrong with the packing, box, or quality of the components. Then, move on to their specifics, variety, numbers, and other valuable criteria. Finally, mention the overall art and design. Tell how well it fits with the nature and genre of the game.
Include final thoughts and rating
Once you are done explaining the gameplay, design, and logic of the game, it is time to conclude your experience. The best way here is to start by comparing the given game with other similar board games within the same genre. Such a comparison will help create a better idea of the given game, its strengths and weaknesses.
Next, explain your personal experience. Was it easy to understand, explain, and play? Will you play it again? What were the cons and pros that made this experience for you? Explain your rating and give it a final summary or, perhaps, a recommendation.
Follow the classical writing structure
Finally, don’t forget to follow the traditional writing structure. A review still needs a main argument, introduction, and conclusion. You have to deliver the main message by being concise, informative, and careful with your words and structure. Maybe, you can even order such a review form https://speedypaper.com/order if you worry about your writing skills. After all, a review is a big challenge for new writers. So, it’s wise to get help in some matters.