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How Do You Rate

Supporter

So a few weeks back I grabbed #BANG! to play with a group of my guys for one of my jobs and we had a blast playing it.

It got me thinking about how I make ratings judgements on game.  There are two main ways I can think of to rate a game.  1. You rate it just as an overall experience in relationship to other games.  For instance #BANG! is quite low for me compared to #Root.  2. Rating the game based on what it proclaims to be. 

I think if I had to pick between the two I'd opt for the 2nd because a low rating for #BANG! I don't think is fair.  Yes it's not my favorite game, but it does what it claims to do.  Overall I probably mix both options, but still favor option 2 as being able to give me personally a better understanding of a game.

What about you how do you rate games?  How much stock do you put in how others rate games?

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Premium User4 months ago

I do a mix of:

  • How well I think the game is designed (as objectively as possible)
  • How much I like the game
  • How likely I am to want to play it again
  • How easy it is to get back to the table

I tend to have '5' as my base playable game. Anything below that I consider to be something that I pretty much won't play again. 5 is on the fence, but likely won't get played. Most of my 'good' games are in the 7 range. Above that I really like the game. I rate very few 10's.

4 months ago

Good question

 

Expectation management IS a large factor for me.

If a game sells itself as short, simple fun and it is all 3 of these words; it's shouldn't get a bad rating for me.

fulfilling expectations = you score average
Not fullfilling= the games starts with a significant disadvantage in my scoring.

THEN


if

  • it generated a wonderful experience and memories,
  • was I pleasantly surprised by mechanics and how they work toegether in complexity or elegance
  • Is the art style pleasing to me 
  • does the game overall have an excellent story arc
  • does it make me feel smart, powerful, expressing myself, intrigued or just completely immersed in a role?

then you get the bonus points that make you go from "ok game" to "good" or excellent" game.

 

A game can be a good game for others in creating these experiences but not fit you because of theme, complexity, mechanics etc. 

 

bottom line:

expectation management + objective criteria + subjective criteria

Supporter4 months ago

Yeah, so as I'm looking at ratings both here and on BGG I've noticed that a lot of games that are less complex or are party games have in my opinion punishingly low ratings.  I don't really think that's fair.  Is #King of Tokyo really a game that deserves a 63?  Or is it just a lighter family/party/fun game that should be rated on those merits and not compared to games that might offer more time at the table or complexity.

4 months ago

Nice breakdown. I think this is basically how I rate as well. Whether the game delivers on its promises determines it's base rating, and then I adjust for other factors like the ones you mentioned.

Supporter4 months ago

Nice explanation.  Well thought out. 

Owner4 months ago

This reminds me that I really need to go back and rate all of the games I've played..

As for your question, I thought it'd be easy to answer but the more I think about my process, the more I feel like it's not that straightforward. But in general, I think I rate games within these three categories:

  1. 2p games with my wife
  2. Solo
  3. Family

For instance, if I were to rate #Camel Up (second edition), I'd rate it relative to all other family games I enjoy. And games that overlap between #1 and #2 will generally get a bump up in rating if they manage to be the best of both worlds.

Then when it comes to actually coming up with some sort of a "Top 10" list, I'll place more weight in consideration of the category the game falls under (#1 > #2 > #3). So if a family game manages to place higher than some of my favorite solo or 2p games I play with my wife, then it's a big indicator of an exceptional family game or my enjoyment of that game. Or if a solo game places at the top of my list, then I must really love that experience.

Supporter4 months ago

I defnitely view my top 10 list and my game ratings differently.  Top 10 are the games I like playing the most... but I would also give a game like #Secret Hitler a 9 or 10 (I don't have a problem rating games at 10) because it delivers on what it claims to deliver.  But... I would not put it on my top 10 list.

Premium User4 months ago

I'm definitely more an option 2 guy.  I will rate a game highly if it does what it is intened to do really well. #Love Letter (2019 Edition), #Cockroach Poker, #Kingdomino, and #Take 5 are all excellent games in my opinion. 

Premium User4 months ago

I actually haven't officially rated any games on BGG, but I'd imagine if I did it would just be primarily on fun factor and my willingness to play again.

Now with that being said, I probably should start rating my games!

Premium User4 months ago

I like a nice scaling system and have all my games rated on BGG.  My base scaling is as follows

10. This is a fantastic game that I am inclined to play over and over again. Design is excellent, play is excellent.  I plan game nights around these games.

9-9.75.  Great game, great design, I love playing these games, possibly a great solo mode, I plan game nights around these games as well, gets a tick off due to setup, a nit-picky gap in game play, or somesuch.

8-8.75.  Very good games that I enjoy playing.  Possible game night fodder.  Perhaps a little extra set-up time, perhaps a slightly less engaging gameplay (i.e. Azul is a great game but isn't complex enough to hit my 9-10 range).  

7-7.75.  Good games that may have some over-complexity, or longer setup time than the experiences warrants, or games that require me to be in a particular mood for.  In some cases they may have tick in the gameplay I see as a weakness to one degree or another.

6-6.75.  These are games that have a particular niche either as a travel game primarily or party games or perhaps a game who's play and style fall outside my typical parameters.  

5-5.75.  Here lie games where I find a fault in the gameplay in one form or fashion.  Maybe a party game that I find a little weaker than normal.  Sometimes a game my family likes a lot but I suffer through falls in this realm.  

4-4.75.  This is where I rate games that have a fault I can't get past.  Perhaps they were good for one playthrough but I don;t have much desire to play then again.

3-3.75.  Games I just dont like to play and even the first play was so-so at best.  Sometimes a game sounds fun but once I played it I was like "this is totally broken".  

2-.2.75.  Monopoly and it's ilk

1.1.75.  Can't even sell it at a yard sale! Why do we have these still, omg!

Generally after watching a few reviews I might rate game before I've played it and sometimes I change the rating a few times after multiple plays.  I often check the rating I have after playing a game just to be sure it's rated as I think it should be.  

4 months ago

Rating before you've played the game? How often do you find those ratings change after playing?

Premium User4 months ago

Almost always!  I tend to rate lower on my scale to be safe.  Then, after playing, I can decide what I really think. They can really swing either way but generally I have done enough research on a game that I typically rate it higher as opposed to lower.

4 months ago

I guess I'm not seeing why you would do that in the first place, haha

Premium User4 months ago

I'm a nerd and like to guess a little and see how close my prediction is.

Supporter4 months ago

So basically he's playing as the Bene Gesserit but with game ratings

4 months ago

lol, nice

Supporter4 months ago

I too am struggling to see the value of rating games before one plays them. 

Premium User4 months ago

See above. No real value, just nerdom

Supporter4 months ago

I think I mostly judge on based on it's relationship with other games. I like #Codenames but it is not in my top 10, or anywhere close. However, the when I play codenames I have a great time, and, generally speaking, I play it in times and/or places where the games in my top ten wouldn't work.

I put some stock into how other people rate games. But, generally speaking I don't think much about the ratings from a single person, unless I know them somewhat. I do however pay attention to aggregate ratings, and the way that ratings break down. I am fascinated by games where there are a lot ot 9s and 10s and a lot of 1s as well.

Supporter4 months ago

Like others have mentioned you first need to consider what the game is trying to accomplish and judge it on those merits. I wouldn't score a game for family the same I would if I tried to play it solo. 

Supporter4 months ago

Yeah, that's my overall feel.  I don't feel like I can give #Codenames a low rating just because it's not in my top 10.  Obviously in most cases I'm going to pick #Root over Codenames... but if I'm going to play Codenames, does it give me what it says it does.