Written Reviews for Board Games & Other Content Ideas

Supporter

I have several questions about written reviews/content:

  • How many of you read/like written reviews? Is that your preferred medium vs. video?
  • Who are your favorites?
  • What do you most like to see in a review? The least?
  • What are some other ideas I should think about that's more fun to you?

I'm just trying to see if I should entertain the idea of writing review articles from time to time for games I've played, or whether it will be more worth it to focus entirely on interviews (which I'll be going back to now that Trent's starting to work again). It can be hard to be consistent with interviews since it's dependent on another person's schedule and their pace. Plus, it take a lot of time for me. At the same time, interviews definitely get the reads and I'm guessing reviews will have a much smaller audience.

I thought it could be a nice way to fill in the gap in content when I'm waiting on my interviewees. Another idea I have is to forgo reviews entirely and to focus on analyzing our traffic data--think BGG hotness in terms of keeping track of the changing trends, but expanding it to cover other types of statistically interesting groups and writing articles on it (maybe a monthly coverage?)

Let me know what you think!

Edit: I should add--I seldom read written reviews by "professionals". I enjoy reading reviews and first impressions from everyone in the forum though, mostly because it's more relatable and because we know each other enough to care about our opinions on games lol. Besides this, I mostly like to watch videos of reviews (SU&SD, Zee Garcia), runthroughs (Rahdo), and 3 Minute Board Games for quick snippets of game info (if there's anyone following me, are you getting multiple notifications for my edits?)

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9 months ago

I prefer written reviews mostly because they're easier for me to consume. I've gotta be in the right place and time for video, since it requires me to sit and watch/listen with audio playing. I might not have headphones, and sopping and starting is painful. With written, I can leave it and pick it up where I left off easily. I also find written reviewers tend to be able to express their thoughts and opinions better.

As a written reviewer myself, I see many benefits of thee medium. However, there are plenty of benefits for video reviews as well. I'd honestly love to do video reviews, but that takes way more time. Setting up cameras, lighting, framing, reshoots, editing, outtakes, etc. all take a lot of time, and while I love working with video, I just don't have the time for it. So if you're looking to review, written might be best for time purposes (unless you use a studio with the equipment pre-setup).

I find video "reviews" work better as playthroughs or overviews, personally.

Supporter9 months ago

I like both, but I usually start with Videos because I can learn the rules better with videos.  One I know the concept and how the game runs though then I like to go to written stuff.  I also really prefer to read non-"professional" reviews because I'm not a "professional" gamer and find the pros and cons to be more for the every day gamer.  Sometimes professional reviewers are a little too hard on games because they play all of them.

I would absolutely read reviews though if you wrote them although I think I prefer to "First Thoughts" post because it allows us as a community to kind of review the game (if that makes sense).

As far as watched videos go I tend to go to the same people because I get to know their review style and sometimes what they don't say is helpful, and what they don't like is helpful.  For instance I know if Rahdo and his wife do not like a game I am likely to enjoy it.  They like things to be nice, I don't mind nice, but I like a little mean in my games.

Finally, I really like if I can find a good Podcast review of a game.  I like listening to stuff and so that is always good, but I find it a little hard to find for all the games I'm looking for.  Or sometimes I do.

Supporter9 months ago

I actually like both types of reviews. Written ones are nice because you can read them without headphones or speakers. Written reviews also tend to offer more in-depth thought and analysis than most video reviews do. But videos can give you a better impression of how a game actually plays. This is why I find both types very useful. 

Analytics and interviews are also fascinating. 

My answer is: do more of everything!

Supporter9 months ago

(also: finally figured out GIF)

9 months ago


Supporter9 months ago


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Supporter9 months ago

That is a good distinction. 

I think that is why I tend to gravitate towards playthroughs rather than reviews if I'm looking for video. Though, I do watch SU&SD pretty regularly. 

9 months ago

I do enjoy written reviews, but generally less so than videos. But since I log in here most days I'd definitely read any reviews you write!

I do appreciate when a written review doesn't spend too many words actually explaining how the game works. I prefer a review simply review how well the gameplay works, how it feels to play, how easy to learn and teach it was, components, etc.

Another thing I like in reviews is when the reviewer makes comparisons and contrasts with other games to help the reader get a better picture of how the game works.

9 months ago

That's a going point, comparing and making contrasts with other games. I do that sometimes in mine, but I think I could (and should) do it more. I'm going to see if I can do better with this. :)

9 months ago

Awesome!

Supporter9 months ago

I prefer written reviews. I do think I'm in the minority, so I'm not sure you should listen to me... But that is where I am. 

I, however, am sorta picky with my reviews. I sorta rate them like this : written... 

  1. Users on this forum I "know" fairly well. 
  2. A Cadre of "professional" reviewers. This is a quite small group. The main one in the group is Dan Thurot aka Space Biff. 
  3. User reviews on BGG. 
  4. Random reviews online. 

I do think it is harder to write a helpful review "professionally" than it is to film one. Even if the film is awful you can usually get at least some idea of what the game is like. But I have read and probably written reviews that communicated nothing that you couldn't have gotten quicker and easier from the game box. But, a lot of that is mitigated when one "knows" the author. 

I really really want you to keep in posting session reports or first impressions. I have been trying to post first impressions as I play a new game, and I have been very blessed by others who do so as well. But I wonder if maybe it wouldn't be good to focus more on analytics? 

I really don't know. But those are some of my thoughts. 

P. S. It just occurred to me..... I have been posting first impressions of games. But, I'm not sure why I don't review games that I own, play, and love but haven't reviewed. Maybe I need to take it upon myself to review #Innovation, or #Race for the Galaxy, or #Agricola (Revised Edition). I have a feeling if we, if I, would do that than we would have many more reviews on the site. 

9 months ago

Dan Thurot is probably my fav reviewer as well. Weird as it sounds, i prefer written reviews to video ones. 

Supporter9 months ago

That is weird... And awesome. 

Supporter9 months ago

Next up for your series: 300 Word Board Games? :)

Jokes aside, will we be seeing your Viscounts video around the same time as the March Kickstarter?

9 months ago

Thing is, i read fast. So i can read one of dans reviews by the time most video channels have finished the intro skit and credit sequence.

9 months ago

Nah, if i did written reviews, they would probably be wordy as

Supporter9 months ago

I like wordy reviews. 

Supporter9 months ago

Just to clarify, I'll always share first impressions of games like others have been, but I'm just trying to think whether I should write up more "formal" ones in article form from time to time for content. I'm leaning more toward thinking that there's already plenty of good written reviewers out there, so I should just focus on my strengths (likely focusing on interviews but with another monthly content that others would find interesting).