I’m thinking of doing some reviews. I’m not very good at it (see here). so maybe I should do more!
Anyway, in trying to figure out what I want to do I’m absorbing ideas that I like or dont like from elsewhere.
Ten Foot Pole is always a fun read…but that is part of the problem. You have to read a lot to get a feel for the author’s impression. I want to add a 5-star kind of quick glance for those of us that are in a hurry.
Tenkar’s Tavern is kind of the opposite. His mini reviews just barely tell you enough hints and encouragement to either just go out and buy it or dig around for more reviews.
I used to really enjoy the reviews over at Grognardia, like this one. The Buy This/Don’t Buy This bit at the end is a really great idea. It’s kind of like an Executive summary. I think a review should have a short overall opinion. Coupled with the star rating, this should give us enough to go on if we feel we can trust the reviewer. Read the rest of the review for the details.
Finally, I’ll throw in Endzeitgeist. This guy has taken reviewing to a whole new level. Unfortunately almost everything he reviews is 5-stars. Yes, there are few lower rated entries, but the vast majority are top rated.
That’s just crazy. It does me no good to see everything be 5 stars. There needs to be some level setting or something. Everything should start out as a 3 and then have to work to become 2 or 4. Think bell curve… 1 and 5 should be for those truly rare, once in a great while kind of works. If I see a 5 star I should go buy it without hesitation. Even 4’s would be a pretty sure thing in this scale. Everything sitting on 3 stars is why the review has details to help you decide if your precious dollars should be spent. Avoid 2’s and pretend 1’s don’t even exist. It would have to be a pretty horrible product to be a 1.
Maybe a 6 level system would be better so that the “within 1 standard deviation” rating becomes two levels, one above and one below. Or use dice instead of stars…
Anyway, I’ll start experimenting.