#RPGaDay 2017: Day 10

The question for the tenth day of #RPGaDay for 2017 asks us where we go to get reviews for RPG products. Whether that is your friend down the street, a website with many volunteer or paid reviewers, or whathaveyou doesn’t matter. When you are curious about a game and want to get information about it and critical assessment of it, to whom do you turn?

For me, the process of investigating reviews happens when I am considering buying something. I have enough experience catering to my own interests now that when I know I will like something, I am confident in buying it. Where I will look for reviews is when the information about a product is vague and the publishers do not provide the information I am looking for.

The first place I will look is a publisher’s website or forum. Many maintain a collection of review links which are typically favorable, although from time to time negative ones are linked for fans to read and assess. Reviews shared by the publisher generally make the tastes of their fan base obvious and help form a framework for understanding for what and for whom the game was written. Understanding this bias is very helpful in learning to sort out the quality of praise and disparagement a given game might get.

The second place I look is RPG.net as it often has more than one review of diverse games, with something approaching a format for those reviews, even if only by accident with a dash of tradition. Here is where I go to get specific system details from people who own the game.

Finally, I will check Amazon for reviews about the game. If the game can be found there, and someone has taken the time to write a review, I pay attention to what sort it is – paying heed only to ones which talk about printing quality and similar physical details.

Once these quick visits are over, I have usually made up my mind about getting the game or not. To help confirm my decision, I will often check whether Matthew Pook has done one of his careful reviews of it. I do not always agree with him, but I know where we differ and that, as they say, makes all the difference. Reading his reviews is the next best thing to having the book in hand and assessing it myself.

Question 11: Which ‘dead game’ would you like to see reborn?

 

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