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Board game recommendation engine


Hi, I haven’t been following the forums much, so I hope you don’t mind a bit of advertising. I’ve been working on a project that might interest folks around here, so I thought I’d share.

I created a board game recommendation engine base on the BoardGameGeek user ratings. Head over to https://recommend.games/ and try it out - just type your BGG user name into the field on the top and you’ll see personal recommendations based on your BGG ratings!

This is still a very early version, so any comments are appreciated…


Shameless self promotion - blogs, bands and creative projects

Nice! As someone who has a degree in machine learning, can I ask what algorithm you used to predict user ratings?

Aside: consider adding a toggle so the recommendation engine doesn’t recommend games in the user’s owned collection.


Hmmm … for me, the second and third recommendations are two versions of Agricola, which (for me) is very, very wrong. ; )


I just loaded this on my Mac (Safari and Chrome) and it only loaded the top menu bar and a blank page, no input box at all :confused:


Very slick! Much more slick than anything I’ve been able to come up with. It would def be more useful if it excluded games I’ve already rated. Otherwise, it seems pretty deece - it even recommends games that I’ve played and liked but not rated, so that’s a good sign!


@jgf1123: Thanks! There’s a few line about how it works on the site along with a link to the source code: https://recommend.games/#/about

The TL;DR is that I essentially just fed all the BGG ratings in Turi Create’s RankingFactorizationRecommender and let it do the heavy lifting.

And I agree, filtering out games in a user’s collection is a top priority to implement. :sunglasses:

@LuciusNexx: Do you have an Adblocker? I’ve heard from others that disabling it helped…

@big_large: All games you rated should be automatically filtered out, but of course it can happen that different editions / implementations of the same game still show up. I’ll try to fix that soon. :slight_smile:


Yup, adblocker was the cause.

Will see how I go, thanks!


Great! In the meantime, I narrowed down the culprit and removed that code, so you should be able to use the site with Adblocker as well. :sunglasses:


It was pretty accurate for me (bgg user: Plum). Most of the top suggestions are games that I already own and haven’t logged, or have played and enjoyed :slight_smile: it did recommend a couple of new ones though, so I’ll be taking a look at Ginkopolis and Hansa Teutonica :smiley:


Chess? Weird. I hate chess.

However, three of the next five are actually on my wishlist, so there’s that.


I have to say, it’s really good!.. Now get out of my head!! :slight_smile:

It generated recommendations that were mostly on my radar, including some that people I game with had recommended as being right down my alley (mostly mid-weight euros).

The number one was Archipelago, and that’s not one that I had anywhere near my list… I’ve no idea why, I must have skipped past it. So I’ll do some follow up research and see if it might be for me!

Also, it doubles as a great ‘gaming gift’ search engine for the gamers in your life. Good work :+1:


@Markus You may find more of an audience in our Shameless Self Promotion thread.

That’s why it exists, after all, and I know from personal experience, it’s helped others (although you have seemed to have gotten some pretty good feedback right here, as well, it couldn’t hurt).

FWIW, I think what you have is on the right track, and the above commenters have already given better opinions than what I would have come up with.


I was unimpressed, sorry.

The recommendations included 3 variations on BattleCON, a game I have listed as owned and don’t like much, 2 variations on Puzzle Strike, which I don’t like, Glory to Rome, which is another game I own (but like), about a dozen games I’m not interested in, Yomi, which is another game I own (PnP) and think is OK, and Impulse, which is the only game on the list I don’t own but have on occasion considered buying (played and tentatively like).

I wasn’t expecting much from an algorithm, but all the duplicates and suggestions of games I own suggests something going quite wrong.


Adblocker active?


To be honest, it was (oops), but I just tried again with a clean Chrome browser and got the same results.


Maybe you already know too many games!? :wink:


Hah, no, I have only rated about 100 games, I don’t get to play that many! Certainly the shortage of useful suggestions can be attributed to my very specific preferences, and the fact that I don’t rate games I have played very little and decided to not play again, so there’s no way an algorithm could account for that, but really I just wanted to highlight the strange duplicate suggestions of games I have listed as owned and almost identical editions of the same game. Those are things that presumably could be weeded out with a bit of tinkering.


Yeah, those shouldn’t happen.


@Benkyo: Yes, a lot of games you own and implementations of rated games decrease the usefulness in the recommendations, so I’ll try to get that sorted out soon.

@MinuteWalt: Cheers, I’ll check it out!


Neat. I always had a suspicion I would like Whitechapel