2020 Tabletop Writers Diversity Initiative: Challenge Three

Welcome back to the Tabletop Writers Diversity Initiative! This week it’s time for my introduction! I’m Jonathan Liu, Senior Editor at GeekDad, where I’ve been writing about board games (among other topics) since 2009. And the bulk of that content has been reviews in some shape or form.

I’ve discovered over the years that I love learning and teaching games, so my reviews include a rules explanation, and I use a template as a starting skeleton to help me organize my thoughts. My hope is that my review doesn’t simply convey whether I enjoyed a game, but helps the reader gauge whether they will. But that’s my approach. Let’s talk about yours.


Challenge Three:

You Too Can Game Review


This week’s challenge is a game review, which is admittedly a pretty broad term. There are a lot of different approaches to reviewing a game, from a deep dive into a game’s mechanics, to descriptions of the components, to analyses of various tactics players could employ. There are many perspectives a review can take, and we’re not going to restrict where you may take yours – which for many may be your first attempts at doing so. For this challenge, the primary essential is that your piece focus on a specific title.

It’s up to you to decide which aspects of a game you’d like to cover. For instance, some might feel it’s necessary to give an overview of the game’s rules to help understand their critique, while others can describe the experience of playing the game without an entire “How to Play” section. If you consider a game’s components to be particularly spectacular (or especially flimsy), that may be worth a mention. The same goes for its artwork, themes, play time, and so on.

The important part for this challenge is that whatever you choose to cover, your review should go beyond saying a game is “good” or “bad” and instead demonstrate how it succeeds or fails. What did the game do well? How did it surprise you? Was there anything that you didn’t enjoy?


Additional Challenge Info
  • Steer clear of the traditional childhood classic titles (i.e. Monopoly, Life, Sorry!, etc.). Beyond that there is no limitation on the game you can choose to review in terms of its size or age. However, we highly recommend you pick a title that you are going to have access to and be able to play during the time frame provided.
  • You do actually have to fully play the game before you review it.
  • For this Challenge, aim for 1200-2000 words.
  • Because of its length and the logistical requirements of a game review, we’re giving you four weeks to work on it, not just one.
  • Once completed, post it to your site on or before Monday, October 19th at 9AM EDT. We’ll start sharing them out ourselves the next day, but if you want to circulate it yourself too with the #TWDI2020 tag, by all means.
  • Also, when finished, be sure to claim your Week 3 Merit Badge below!


That’s it for now. Happy writing!