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Pandemic review and a new review system

So I’ve been thinking about review systems  and how well they work for figuring out if you are going to like a game or movie and how they compare to the way you review movies with your friends.  

A friend recently came over and had seen Man of Steel.  He said I would like it and that my wife would not, and explained why.  This is similar to what we do with games when getting friends to play.  You’d like this game because of X and Y or you wouldn’t like it because of Z.  

With online reviews, the score doesn’t tell you everything.  It tells you what the reviewer thinks, then you have to read why they thought that to see if your opinions are similar to theirs to see if the review is relevant.  So how are we going to replace this?

For the inaugural review for the system, let’s go with one of the first games I purchased, Pandemic.

I was also partially inspired to think this way by The D6 Generation’s review system, where they alter the review for certain groups.  Check them out if you get a chance.

First go through each of these questions and add up the appropriate numbers to the base number listed.  For each question you have 5 options, Love/Like/Indifferent/Dislike/Hate.  If your answer isn’t listed, then treat it as +0.

By doing this you should end up with a number on a scale of 1-10.  If you’re below 1 or over 10, then it’s pretty obvious where you fall.

  • Base: 4
  • How do you feel about co-op games?
    • Love/Like/Dislike/Hate:  +3/+2/-2/-4
  • How do you feel about quick games(< 1 hour)?
    • Love/Like: +1/+1
  • How do you feel about games without much theme?
    • Dislike/Hate:  -1/-1
  • How do you feel about games with simple rules?
    • Love/Like: +1/+1
  • How do you feel about strategy games?
    • Love/Like: +1/+1
  • How do you feel about games without much variety game to game?
    • Hate/Dislike: -1/-1
  • How do you feel about games without flashy components?
    • Hate/Dislike: -1/-1
  • How do you feel about games where randomness plays a significant factor(possibly to the detriment of player skill)?
    • Hate: -1

So that’s how I would rate Pandemic.  This is what I would do in my head for a friend to try to figure out whether they would like it.  For this review, I went over every attribute I thought would either make them like it more or less and by how much.

For example, my wife likes Pandemic a lot.  After I made this rubric I asked her how she would rate the game 1-10 and she gave me an 8.  Then I asked her all the questions.  She loves co-op games(+3), is indifferent about quick games(+0), dislikes games without much theme(-1), likes games with simple rules(+1), likes strategy games(+1), is indifferent about games without much variety(+0), is indifferent about games without flashy components(+0), and dislikes games where randomness is a significant factor(+0).  4+3+0-1+1+0+1=8.   Luckily it worked out in her case.

So that’s basically the tldr version, but I’ll go into a little more explanation.

As a brief summary of the game, it is a co-operative game where the players play as a disease control team attempting to stop the outbreak of deadly viruses before they outbreak and destroy the world.  The players each have different powers and have to choose between stopping the current infections or finding cures.

This is a pure co-op game(there’s a small exception in the expansion) with all the pluses and minuses that come with that.  Some people love it because it allows you to win and lose together.  Some people hate competing against the game as opposed to other players or hate it when one person tells everyone else what to do.  It depends on the person.

It’s a quick game which also means that it is less involved.  Good for a quick game but not an event.

The theme is kind of off-putting and not very well established.

There is a good amount of strategy managing risk throughout the game but with the tight, straightforward rules, there is only so much depth to it.

The game plays very similar each time that you play it.  You might have different roles and the outbreaks will be in different places, but games will feel the same game to game.

The components are basic wooden pawns and cubes with some nice cards and cardboard chits.  If you want something stunning or clever, this isn’t it and that might bug some people.

The random draw of the cards doesn’t often play a huge factor, but there are times when the cards get drawn in such a way as to create 4 outbreaks immediately, and there isn’t much you can do about it.  This can stick in some people’s craw.

So that’s the review.  This is sort of an experiment to see if this sort of rating system will work so if you’ve played Pandemic, please let me know how your out of 10 score lines up with the one that gets calculated for you.  If you can think of additional attributes that you think should be included or that there should be an alteration to what is already there, let me know.  If you haven’t played it before, let me know if the review helps.  If it works out, I will certainly do more.

If this post was super helpful to you and you’re thinking of buy it, consider buying it through this link.

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