A while ago I created a podcast list in effort to produce a topic outline of many, many shows and episodes. I haven’t had the time to complete that outline, so I think I'll try my hand at podcast reviews!
With what I've got assembled, I'm all set to do reviews of Actual Play games on Youtube or Twitch, plus book reviews and yes, game reviews.
In general, I see these items divided into three categories: (1) Talk Shows/Advice Columns, (2) Actual Plays, and (3) Mixed Shows. My bias is toward talk shows and advice, although I have found a few APs (Actual Plays) that are worth watching. I'll first post these reviews as part of my blog, and they will then find their way into the forums for community discussion. Game reviews will find their own topics so they can be discussed in terms of mechanics and settings.
How should I depict my ratings? Hmm... I might go for headphones (or stars) on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 headphones (or stars) being the best. What categories would be useful?
Let's think about it.
• Info to Noise Factor: Do the hosts stick to the topic, or do they go off the rails?
• Entertainment Factor: How much fun is it listening to the show?
• Inspiration Factor: Do the hosts inspire you in terms of gameplay, or does inspiration take a back seat?
• Information Factor: Do you learn something from this show? Do they tell you things that will help with gameplay or design?
• Experience Factor: How much knowledge do they have on their chosen topic?
• Information/Plot Factor: How well do they stick to the topic or plot?
• Entertainment Factor: How enjoyable is reading the book?
• Inspiration Factor: Does the author inspire you in terms of gameplay?
• Information Factor: Do you learn something that helps your gaming?
• Experience Factor: How much knowledge does the author have on their chosen topic?
• Info to Noise Factor: How well does the designer present their mechanics and ideas?
• Entertainment Factor: How entertaining is it, playing the game?
• Inspiration Factor: Does the designer inspire you in terms of gameplay?
• Information Factor: Can you use the rules in other settings or with other mechanics?
• Experience Factor: How much knowledge do you need to have to play the game?
Totaling it Up
This review system creates a range of 5-25 stars, which can be broken down into the following rating groups:
10-14: Pretty Good; has its moments
15-19: Very Good; has multiple high points
20-25: Excellent; highly recommended
So there we have it: a review system ready for use. Now it's time to point it at a few things!