Howdy gamers! To start this year, I wanted to put together a little bit of a more detailed breakdown of what my ratings mean to me, so you can have a better idea on my opinions when I review or rate games.

Keep in mind, again, these are only my opinions so a 3 for me may look very different from a 3 for you. All in good fun 🙂

Also, for reference, I’ve rated about 3,150 games, with an average rating of a 5.76. Let’s take a look!

1 – Not a game. It doesn’t make sense, is broken in some way, or the rules are so bad that I can’t even understand how to properly play it in the first place.
Stats – I’ve only rated 13 games a ‘1’, which is just 0.41% of all the games I’ve rated. So it’s not often I give something such a low score.
Example – Pirateology: The Game.

2 – Playable. But, a downright bad experience. Likely repetitive, too long for what it offers, or otherwise annoying. May also lack player agency or remotely interesting choices / gameplay.
Stats – I’ve given 88 games a ‘2’ rating, which is about 2.79%, so still not very much for the amount of games I’ve played/rated.
Example – Apples to Apples

3 – Bad and/or Boring. I would likely never play it again unless coerced because it just isn’t interesting or fun to me. I often describe these as “beige” games – not the color, but the concept – bland.
Stats – I’ve rated 183 games a ‘3,’ or 5.81%, a bit more, but still not a ton.
Example – Concordia

4. Below Average. Could play on occasion, but would be reluctant as it doesn’t captivate me. Could be I dislike the mechanic(s) or just not big on the theme.
Stats – 274 games I’ve rated have a ‘4,’ or, about 8.70%.
Example – Awkward Guests

5. Average / Mediocre. Doesn’t pain me to play, but I also wouldn’t personally pick it to play. May be a little dry, or just have some functionality issues that prevents me from liking it more (like small text or confusing iconography).
Stats – Quite a few of my ratings live here, which kind of makes sense since I’ve played a lot of games, it seems reasonable that a lot are just “okay.” Anyway, I’ve given out 716 ‘5s’ which is 22.7%.
Example – Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge

6. Purely Decent. Enjoyable / fun. Some challenge or interesting choices. May have a theme I appreciate. Will be play every so often, but probably won’t be the one to suggest it.
Stats – The majority of my ratings lie in the ‘6’ designation. There are 797 games with this rating, or about 25.3%
Example – Carcassonne

7. Good. Usually willing to play, even if I’m not the one to suggest it. I enjoy the mechanics and possibly the theme and think the game just works really well. A lot of games I consider “welcoming” or good for beginner gamers fall into this rating.
Stats – Like I said, it was really close, but ‘7’ is my 2nd-most used rating with 756 games, or 24%.
Example – Santa Monica

8. Great. I enjoy playing and will definitely suggest it. I think the mechanics / gameplay are top notch.
Stats – Working our way back down the bell curve, 263 games I’ve rated have gotten an ‘8’ which is about 8.35%
Example – The Search for Planet X

9. Excellent. I always have a good time playing, will often suggest it, and can probably teach it because I’m fairly familiar with it. Tend to do something I find unique.
States – I’ve given out a mere 42 ratings of ‘9’ which is approximately 1.33%
Example Kitchen Rush

10. Nearly Perfect. I love this game, will almost always suggest it, will never turn down a game, and definitely know how to teach it. Would be difficult for me to get sick of.
Stats – Finally, very close to my ‘1’ ratings, it’s hard for me to describe a game as “perfect,” but I have found 19 games that fit the bill, or 0.6%!
Example – Sagrada


Fun Fact – For expansions / promos for games (which I tend to only acquire for games I already rate 7+) I start them at a base of 5 just for adding something to a game I like. If they don’t do anything amazing, they stay there.

They go lower if they make the game more complicated or confusing, or take away elements I enjoy from the game. For example, I give the 5-6 player expansion for Sagrada a 4 because it doesn’t feel like a game that needs room for more players, and the personal dice pools take away so much from the original drafting.

They go up if they do something unique, add new twists to the game that work well, and if I can’t see playing the game without them. For example, the dice in Stockpile: Continuing Corruption add so much to the feel of the game and never knowing what stocks are going to be worthless or worth a ton.