Board Game Reviewers - Whose taste do you align with?


Tonight, I watched Tom Vasel's review of #Ragusa and he was very "meh" on the game. That's close to the vibe I got as I listened to his explanation on the rules. Seems to have some interesting mechanics and I really like how the components look on the board (why I ended up looking it up in the first place) but it didn't seem like the right game for me.

(Picture by user UntitledDocument on BGG)

Now the funny part was that Rahdo's final thoughts video on the same game was recommeded, and immediately after I played the video Rahdo opens up with "Hey everybody, it's time for Final Thoughts on Ragusa, WHICH. IS. AAAA SUPER SUPER impressive game." 

So I'm curious, do you have a number of reviewers whose opinions/preferences closely align with yours? Who are they and what sort of preferences do they have? Also, are there any non-"professional" reviewers you identify with? (perhaps anyone here or an acquaintance of yours?)


My answer:

When it comes to reviewers whose insights I appreciate, I do like hearing from Tom at Dice Tower and Quinns from SUSD. Tom for his experience with tons of games, and Quinns for his thoughtfulness, insight, and clever word usage that borders on a top tier car salesman.

But when it comes to having a common preference, I've yet to find someone I can closely relate to. And actually, I'm way more likely to be swayed by everyone here since I've gotten to know all of your preferences. For example, I'm very likely to check out a game if or were to start raving about it haha

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Premium User9 months ago

I haven't found one that I line up with perfectly, but I have usually agreed with Tom Vasel when I've played games he's reviewed. Another one along those lines is The Broken Meeple (Luke Hector) on Youtube.

I usually enjoy SUSD reviews, but I wouldn't say that I line up with their opinions particularly well (partly due to the fact that they have multiple reviewers). Even less so for No Pun Included. Plus with No Pun Included I usually come away from the review feeling like they hated the game even if they recommend it. I don't know what it is.

J from (3 Minute Board Games) has what seems like a wider range of tastes than mine, but for games he reviews that line up with the style of game I generally enjoy, I usually line up pretty well with his assessments.

Partner9 months ago

I really do like a lot more games than i hate :)

Supporter9 months ago

This game does look pretty.  And thanks for the high praise!  I'll share more thoughts in a bit.

9 months ago

I've found no one about whom I could say, if they like it, I'm confident I will too.  There are, however, several reviewers who provide valuable info about games that I can use to determine if I'll like them:  Tom Vasel, Zee Garcia, Joel Eddy, Rahdo, SUSD, NPI.  These guys are some of the most well-known names in boardgame reviewing for a reason.

9 months ago

I feel we have similar taste too Phil! I typically look up a game right away if you start mentioning it more. 

As far as media influence goes, I look to Heavy Cardboard and Game Brain Podcast mostly. I do not always agree with their style or preferences but they paint the clearest picture for me and discuss in a compelling fashion. 

9 months ago

I'm pretty even with Rahdo. I can always expect to align closely with his views. I tend not to listen to Tom Vasel's opinions other than to learn about the game (and not his personal views on the game). 

9 months ago

It's interesting, I listen to / watch a lot of board game content, some of my favorties are SU&SD, Dice Tower, No Pun included, Man vs Meeple, Rahdo, Game Night(BGG in general), Board Game Snobs Podcast, So Very Wrong About Games Podcast, and probably 20 other shows/podcasts.  I find that I don't align perfectly with anyone.  But watching the shows and knowing who I am listening to, informs me quite a bit about the games I purchase.  For instance, I've probably bought the most games from watching Game Night through the years.  Even though this is not a review show, there is something about that format where they just get a group pf people together, do a quick teach and play the game that really hits the sweet spot for me to purchase or not.  SU&SD is probably a close second, as they add a bit more of a critical view in to each episode.  I have probably purchased games becasue of evryone one of these shows.  But no matter what the show runner says or how entertaining they are, I'm not going to buy a game if it's not something I like to play.  For instance Twighlight Imperium, which most of these shows love, will never be in my collection.  It's just not my type of game. 

So I guess the best advise I can give anyone who is looking for others opionions is to branch out as much as possible.  Find the format(s) that fits you and content you connect with.  Once you discover those shows it will be a lot easier to make an informed descision.  Oh and watch Game Night, they play a ton of great games.



Supporter9 months ago

SU&SD and No Pun Included both have super insightful thoughts when reviewing that I can relate to or at least find useful when looking at new games. 

Supporter9 months ago

I always value their opinion and they are both masters at creating engaging reviews. 

Supporter9 months ago

I don't really know that I have a reviewer, professional or otherwise, that matches my tastes. Though, with , Liz Davidson is as close as anyone that I pay attention too.

For me the biggest factor is finding those people that can actually describe what a game will feel like for YOU. For instance, when SU&SD reviewed #Scythe, they didn't give it a very positive review. But, when I watched their review I knew that I would like it. The reviewers that I find that do this for me include:

  • Space Biff, Space Biff confines himself primarily to the written medium. But, he is a gem when it comes to putting in writing what a game will feel like.
  • Another one that specializes in writing is Quarter to Three. He does mostly video game writing, but whenever he addresses a board game, it is well worth reading.
  • SU&SD has some of the best video content around. I do listen to their podcast, but I don't find it as useful for actually getting the feel for games.
  • Solosaurus does a pretty good job capturing a feel of a game in podcast format.
  • The discussion on Board Game Barrage is always illuminating.
  • So Very Wrong about Games is a great podcast for this. Some have taken issue, and rightfully so, with the dismisivness which they use in their podcast. But, they do really do a good job helping me understand if I will like a game or not, no matter if they like it or not.
  • Game Brain gets honorable mention. But, their cast is too varied. And, some give me a really really good idea while others won't tell me anything.

There are others, but those are the ones that I probably pay the most attention to.

Supporter9 months ago

There isn't any one reviewer that matches my tastes exactly. Perhaps the closest is Liz Davidson. But otherwise I'm a mix between Tom Vassel, Rahdo, Solosaurus, Broken Meeple, and SUSD. I appreciate all of their input and their thoughts help to inform my decisions on games but all of their tastes are a little bit different than mine. 

9 months ago

Before You Play is great.  I've only come across them recently, but I haven't found other videos that present a game as well in a way that makes me feel like I've learned how to play a game and how I'd feel playing a game.  They've covered heavy games in the most clear and easily understandable way I've seen, and they've started doing designer-focused videos.  They recently finished up the Vital Lacerda games, and they're a couple games into their Alexander Pfister series, so you get to see the progression of a designer over the course of their career also.  I would highly recommend them.  I like them because I think they tend to like what I like; interesting game play, enjoying complexity, enjoying simplicity, appreciating how theme enhances the mechanics, they don't ride hype trains, and they don't just bash or rave on games.

9 months ago

I seem to align with Quackalope a lot. They also have this "right for you / wrong for you" review style which I really like.

Partner9 months ago

I find myself agreeing with 3 minute board games 100% of the time. It's uncanny.