Review Copy Submission Guidelines
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.
My reviews are always based on real plays of your game with my friends or family, which limits the sort of games that I will be able to review, as you will see further down this page. Please remember that my reviews are my opinion of your game, which means they may include concerns or things I didn’t like about it, as well as my positive experiences playing it. However, I will always try to be fair and justify why I didn’t like something.
I always review games in written format on this blog, and also publish them in audio format on the podcast, which will automatically appear on all major podcast platforms, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean, Deezer, I Heart Radio and others. All reviews are also converted into an audiogram which is published on my YouTube channel and added to your game’s entry on Board Game Geek, if applicable.
I also submit my reviews to the websites There Will Be Games and The UK Gaming Media Network to make them available to a wider audience. However, articles will appear on those sites some time after they were published on my blog.
I will then promote my reviews via my social media channels, which currently are Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr, but also via my Discord server.
As you can imagine, all of this takes a while, so there are lead times to consider, which you can find further down this page.
If you send me a physical, production-ready or near production-ready copy of your game, I will usually make an unboxing video for it, unless you tell me otherwise. I am always happy to forward review copies to another reviewer, assuming you are happy to reimburse me for postage and packing.
I currently don’t review solo-only games, or solo modes for multiplayer games, even though I always strongly recommend to publishers to include solo modes. There is a large community of solo gamers and there are dedicated solo game reviewers, who I recommend you contact, instead of me, because they will do your game better justice. Here are a handful of reviewers to start you off:
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 at 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 at 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.
I’m happy to review prototypes, as long as the rules are practically finished. I do sometimes still playtest games, so if you have an early prototype, contact me about that, but I won’t review games until the rules are ready and either require no or only minor changes. That also means artwork, design, layout and components don’t have to be final for me to be able to review your game.
Online and Digital Versions
As things are a bit difficult at the moment, I do usually accept online or digital copies but I will make it clear in the review 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.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to print, cut out and otherwise assemble print-and-play versions of games. However, I’m happy to accept ready-made ones, if you want to send me one. Just bear in mind that the same applies as to prototypes: the rules for your game have to be basically finished, with no or only minor tweaks needed.
If you send me a production-ready or near-to-finished physical copy of your game, I will always be happy to make an unboxing video of it. Some people don’t like those video, but I think many of us like to see people unwrap presents, and unboxing videos create that same sort of feeling in my view.
Deadlines and Lead Times
The most important part is deadlines though. I usually need at least four weeks from receiving the review copy (digital or physical) before my review will be ready to be published. That gives me enough time to play your game a few times, write and publish the review and prepare the audio and audiogram versions.
I always release my reviews on a Saturday, so please bear that in mind also.
I generally aim to release a review around 4 weeks after receiving a review copy, but that can sometimes be longer, so please always check with me first.
So if your Kickstarter launches in less than four weeks’ time, I’m still happy to review your game, but it is highly unlikely that I will have it ready in time for launch. However, you may still want to add my review to your Kickstarter page during the campaign or use it to promote your pre-order or late pledge efforts, or if you’re planning to continue to sell the game after your crowdfunding campaign is over. Reviews released later on are always useful to keep the momentum going.
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.
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 though.
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.
Get in Touch
If you want to discuss your game with me, after reading the above guidelines, then please reach out to me via my contact form or DM me on Twitter or Discord.