Friday, November 9, 2007

Game Reviewer at Large

Board game reviewers are not exactly a dying breed. I can name four or five other reviewers off the top of my head, and if I bothered to look around, I could find another twenty without much effort. So what makes me think anyone is going to read one more crappy site about board games?

Hell, I don't know. I get lots more credibility by writing for Knucklebones, and tons of exposure writing for I get free review copies in the mail, half the time without asking for them. So not only are we at a place now where I don't know why people would read this blog, but now I'm wondering why I'm bothering.

I guess I could run this down pretty easy, if I think about a little. First off, most game reviewers are good gamers, but mediocre writers. Nobody reads game reviews because they're entertaining. People read about car crashes and adult video stores for entertainment. They read about game reviews because they might want to buy the game, and if they don't fall asleep by the end, they consider that a bonus.

Then you've got the fact that most reviewers hate writing bad reviews. They want to make game companies like them, because otherwise they quit getting free games. So when you read a review, most reviewers will have gone to great lengths to find something they like, so that they don't have to tell you their honest opinions. A rave review is still a rave review, but a fair-to-middlin' review might just be as low as a reviewer wants to go.

To address the first issue, I'm going to write entertaining reviews, and beyond that, I'm going to comment on things like gaming trends and events. This thing is called 'Drake's Flames', and I intend to voice off now and then. And hopefully it'll be the kind of gaming site that people want to read. Even if you own the game, even if you have played it hundreds of times, I want you to read my ramblings because you want to be entertained.

Plus I'm going to be blunt as a rubber mallet. If a game is boring, I will tell you that I would rather pull out my fingernails than play another round. I'll tell you exactly why I hated it, and what could have been done better, and if I really hate the game, I may just question the lineage of the game's creators.

Oh, and I'm going to make a habit of telling you why Reiner Knizia has seen better days.

So now that I have resolved why you should read my reviews, now I have to figure out why I'm going to bother writing them. I suppose it comes down to the same reason I started reviewing in the first place - free games. I sometimes have trouble getting some publishers to send me the games I really want to play, because other reviewers at my usual haunts have beaten me to the punch. And that irritates me to no end.

I'm going to try to add at least two articles a week. They may not all be very long, but I think if I set myself reminders for Tuesday and Saturday, I should be able to start compiling a healthy review library in a month or two. And then maybe FFG will finally send me a copy of Tide of Iron.


Unknown said...

First Post!

Hah! on with the show.

Truth said...

Crap... I thought when I removed the above comment that it would disappear and I could fix my typo without anyone being the wiser... anyhow...

Great review! I own the game, have played it a bunch of times, and have written a review of my own and still your review was entertaining. You're hitting your mark, as put forth in your first post, dead on.

Truth said...

aaand I'm retarded. The above comments belong on the Politico post.