I generally welcome review copy submissions, but there are a few things I want to explain so you know how the process works and if your game is likely to be reviewed.
First of all, my reviews are NOT PAID FOR! All I need is a free copy of your game. I am always happy to return your game when I’m done with it to you or forward it to the next reviewer, if you cover the postage.
I NEVER SELL review copies I was sent for free. If I’m told to keep the game, I will donate it to a board game club or a charity, I will auction it or add it to a raffle for a good cause, or in some rare cases, I will give your game to a friend for them to enjoy.
Secondly, my reviews are always based on actual plays of your game. I will explain here how often I play games before I review them, but what I will say is that I will play your game enough to be confident that I can constructively discuss it.
My review is my opinion of your game, as well as how others felt when they played it. That means I will talk about my concerns or things that I didn’t like about your game, as well as positive experiences. I will always be fair and ensure any criticism is constructive.
I always review games in written format on this blog. I promote my reviews via my social media channels, which currently are Bluesky, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Mastodon. I also release my reviews in audio format on the podcast, which is available on all major podcast platforms, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and others.
Deadlines and Lead Times
As you can imagine, it takes a while to play your game, write my review, record it and do everything else, so there are lead times to consider. It usually takes 4 weeks from receiving the review copy until my review is published. However, it depends on the game and my schedule as to how long I need for your specific game.
Generally speaking, there is no guarantee of a deadline. The release date for a review is down to my own discretion. However, I will try to fit my reviews around a game’s release or marketing schedule, whenever I possibly can.
Saying that, even if your crowdfunding campaign is soon, you may still want to contact me about reviewing your game. I might be able to have it ready during your campaign or you might want to use it to promote your pre-order or late pledge efforts. My review might also be useful for promoting your game if you’re planning to continue to sell it after your crowdfunding campaign is over, I think reviews released later on are always useful to keep the momentum going.
One thing that is fixed is the day of the week. I always release my reviews on a Saturday. So please bear that in mind.
I’m happy to review prototypes, as long as the rules are practically finished, meaning how the game plays won’t change apart from maybe some minor tweaks. I don’t mind if you’ve not finished laying out the rulebook, if your game’s artwork isn’t complete yet or if the components are standard ones and will be replaced with something else in the final game.
I’m happy to print out PDFs of print-and-play games, as long as there is not a lot of cutting out or other time-consuming assembly required on my part. So, a single-sheet roll-and-write with a few pages of rules is absolutely fine or you can send me your ready-made PnP. I’m also happy to add standard components taken from other games in my collection or use my own pens. Just bear in mind that the same applies to PnPs as to prototypes, in that the rules for your game have to be basically finished with no or only minor tweaks needed.
Online and Digital Versions
Even though my focus these days is on physical copies, I do sometimes still accept online or digital versions of games. However, I will make it clear when that is the case, because I will be unable to talk about component quality and the physical game experience. My review will focus on the mechanisms and the enjoyment derived from those.
Roleplaying and Tabletop Skirmish/War/Miniature Games
Despite the name of the blog, I don’t review roleplaying or tabletop miniature games.
I haven’t played RPGs for decades and don’t have a group to try them with. So it doesn’t make sense for me to try and review them.
With regard to tabletop miniature games, I’ve started to make a foray into tabletop miniature games, but it’s all still quite new to me. I will probably review some that I have bought myself to start with and then consider if I want to allow the submission of review copies of these types of games.
I currently don’t usually review solo-only games, or solo modes for multiplayer games, even though I have done so recently and I always strongly recommend publishers include solo modes. So please do get in touch with me if you want me to review a solo game.
However, if I can’t review your game, there is a large community of solo gamers and there are dedicated solo game reviewers, who I recommend you contact instead. Here are a handful of reviewers to start you off:
- Beyond Solitaire (USA)
- Boardgaming Mama (USA)
- Both Sides of My Table (UK)
- Brettspiel-Solo (Germany)
- Einzelspiel (Germany)
- Jeremy Howard of MvM (USA)
- One Man and His Meeple (UK)
- Plumpy Thimble (USA)
- Rolling Solo (USA)
- Solo Manolo (Germany)
- Solospiele Treff (Germany)
Light to medium-heavy two-player games are something I will review. It doesn’t matter if these are two-player-only games or games that can be played with two players. In fact, I will most likely play light to medium-heavy games only at the two-player count.
Three to Four-Player Games
Medium-heavy to heavy games for more than two players are always welcome, as long as you can play them with three players or more. Chances are I will play them at three or four players, even if they allow for two or more than four.
There are a number of things that mean that I will definitely NOT review your game, but these should be really obvious.
If your game contains illustrations, miniatures, descriptions, names, game mechanisms, rules or anything else that glorifies or promotes racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, ableism, body shaming, misogyny or any other discriminatory behaviours and prejudices, killing, torture or any other maltreatment of people or animals, even if your game does any of these in a tongue-in-cheek way, then please don’t send it in. I also do not review games whose main focus is on sexual practices, drinking or drugs, even if it’s in a fantasy or other fictional setting.
However, if your game deals with any of the above in a sensitive, constructive and meaningful way, in an attempt to highlight issues and educate people about them, please DO get in touch.
I also don’t want to see gendered pronouns like “he” or “she” in rulebooks or other game material, unless it’s to talk about a specific in-game character – but then I would expect your game to have a diverse range of characters. However, if your game uses gender-neutral pronouns, such as “they” or “you”, then that’s fine.
I will also never knowingly review games that have used AI tools that are based on copyrighted work. So if your game uses artwork that was created using tools that do not 100% require artists to actively opt into their work being used, then please don’t contact me. If you try to hide the fact that your game uses such artwork and I find out later, you will definitely get added to a blacklist and will be barred from having any of your games reviewed in the future.
Get in Touch
If you want to discuss your game with me, after reading the above guidelines, then please send me a brief description of the game and some of the basic stats, like player count and game length, as well as a copy of the rulebook, which can be in PDF format, of course. You can contact me via my contact form or DM me on Twitter or Discord.