How game scores work

This site combines ratings from many different enthusiasts as well as from other blog sites, as well as some ratings from our own game reviews.

Different people rate games in different ways. However, for the most part the ratings you see here are harsher than those you’ll see on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook or Google. That is intentional and encouraged – a long list of 5* ratings isn’t so useful. Generally, anything with a score from 3* and up is an enjoyable game that’s worth playing.

There’s a huge difference between a room that most people think is average, and one that some love and some hate. Therefore the site displays a range of ratings. For example, rating_25_40 shows a range between 2.5 / 5 and 4 / 5.

How overall scores are calculated

Overall scores are calculated from individual ratings in a complex way that takes many factors into account. It is not a simple average of the game’s ratings! It’s based on a weighted average where ratings from more experienced players count for more, but with many additional adjustments. For example, some of the review blogs whose ratings are incorporated use entirely different review scales, and vary hugely in granularity, generosity, and so on. The algorithm attempts to normalise scores to make them more comparable.

As a result, in rare cases you may notice games where the overall score is slightly higher or lower than any of the constituent ratings. That’s not an error, that’s due to the way ratings from different sources are combined.

Estimated scores

Some games show grey ratings, such as Rated between 35 and 45 out of 5. This indicates that the score is inferred not based on direct ratings. Sometimes the same game is operated in multiple different locations, or the same game can be played in different formats (‘normal’ versus a play-from-home version, or where the venue offers a choice of game modes).

Where we don’t have many ratings for a game, the score incorporates ratings from other versions, and may also take into account ratings for other games of the same type at the venue. In this case the rating is shown as grey. Once the site has enough direct ratings for the game, it changes to a normal gold star rating.

(The rating algorithm underwent a major upgrade in January 2021 – for details of that, see here.)