Different categories have different rating systems. Sometimes when you look at the bottom you can find it hard to understand, so here you can find explanation on how everything is rated and what we look to determine the rating.
Boardgames Review Rating System
Boardgames reviews are based on our experience of the game. We sit down and try to understand the rules, set up the game, and play it a few times, before we form an opinion on it. Opinions change, so sometimes we will come back to games to amend the reviews. There are some very important things we look at when evaluating the game rating as a whole.
We always look at the game from the perspective of two players, but sometimes we also add an opinion for solo play (if able) or three, or more, players.
This is how many people can play the game. It is not a rating, and it doesn’t affect any of the rating values.
This is the rough estimated time that it takes to setup the game, considering you already have played it and have understanding of the game rules.
This is the rough estimated time for one play session. This is not the one of the box, but what we have experienced after understanding and setting up the game. It is usually an average of our gaming sessions time.
This is the age that it is recommended from the box. Most of the times we agree with the predefined age group, but in the rare cases we don’t, it will be noted specially.
This shows how easy the game is to setup. We look at setup time to playtime ration. If the game takes longer to setup then it is to play, the score is very low. After all, nobody wants to spend more time setting up then playing. Some games also have annoying setup, or take a lot of room on the table. Some games require bigger then standard dinning table, and that could lower the score, as not everyone has that much space available.
It is very important to have comprehensive rules, and not just until you learn the game, but to be able to refer during gameplay for quick answers. The rule book has to be well written for new players, with examples and useful pictures. If it comes with a reference book, it should be well organized and have all the needed keywords. Having online resources like updated rules, or official setup comprehensive videos is always a plus.
It is important for the game to durable. No cheap plastic for miniatures, or thin cardboard for tokens and cards. It should be well cut, so you don’t damage the items when you take them off the sheets and hard to tear or scratch. This is where we also look at the box, and how well items go in. If there is an insert, how well is it planned to slot the items, and if you need to buy outside accessories. The various size of cards and how easy it is to get sleeves for them is also taken into an account, as we value protecting games very highly.
It might be last but it is the most important rating. It is important to us to get the most value for your money, and replayability is a good way to do that.
Replayability is usually achieved by adding random factors, but that doesn’t always mean the game is more interesting and that you will pick it up again. There are games that have meant to be played only once, they will not be scored by the replayability as much as the time you will spend playing and if it is worth it based on the price. Options for custom modes by players, or printing out custom elements will also increase the score.
Some story games cannot be replayed and that is alright. If the game offers a lot of scenarios that you can play for a big number of sessions, that will increase the “replayability” score. For example, the Initiative missions cannot be replayed because you have already solved the cypher, but it offers over 50 of them, with an option to add more online, increases this score more then of escape room games, such as Unlock.
Games that you can play only once may have a lower score (mostly if they destroy pieces), but that doesn’t mean they are bad games. A good example of this is the Exit series, where they are unrepayable but still solid games.
We actually do not look at the price most of the times, because it is based on a lot of things, such as publishing, distribution, logistic, etc. Boardgames are expensive in general and price varies depending on little tokens, miniatures, cards, etc. If we find that a price is too high or too low, compared to other similar games, we will state it in the review, and it may affect the score. But this is not a criteria we will be focusing on.
Marvel Champions Identity Rating System
On this site we like to look at the Identities and their possible decks. We try to test out of the identity with different aspects and look at the synergies between identity deck cards, aspects, and other identities. The experience and opinion is based on cooperative two player expert mode, which could vary from single player and four player. We try sometimes to include those number of players, but we are mainly focused on two players.
Instead of breaking down each identity into categories, we like to put pros and cons, and give an overall rating, because each identity is different.
The more versatile an identity is, the higher the score.