Flaming Dice Reviews scores a game based on 8 categories. The categories are assigned a number from 1 to 100 with both the baseline score (85) and the game’s price point being factored in. The eight categories are then averaged together to give the game a final score.
The eight categories which are scored are as follows;
- Theme – How well the game fits into the universe its trying to transport the player to. A great example of a board game with great theme is Firefly: The Game. The game is dripping with references to the show and it it beautifully captures that “everything always goes wrong” feel that the show has.
- Artwork – The quality of the art featured on a game’s cards, boards, etc. Abyss, Dixit, Village and Tokaido are all games that feature outstanding artwork.
- Component Quality – This category judges how well a game’s components are constructed. A card can have wonderful artwork but its all for naught if the cards fall apart or show wear easily. Splendor is a wonderful example of a game with great component quality with its heavy gemstone tokens.
- Setup and Portability – How easily a game can be transported and set up. Huge, sprawling wargames are usually rich in theme and very engaging, but they can be a real pain to carry and set up.
- Accessibility – How easily a player can “get into” a game or become competitive at it. For board games this category can also cover learning curve and appeal to new players. Miniatures games and collectible card games are enticing and a lot of fun, but it can be very expensive to build a collection with these types of games.
- Engagement – The level of interactivity that a game provides between players. The Resistance, Concept, Diplomacy and Werewolf are great examples of games that make players interact with one another.
- Replay Value – How many options a game gives in terms of outcomes and customization. Betrayal at House on The Hill and Dead of Winter provide a large selection of characters, missions and scenarios which combine to give them a high replay value.
- Fun – Theme and beautiful artwork are both important qualities of a game, but they mean nothing if a game isn’t fun!