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*hushed voices* So... what OTHER gaming series do we watch?


#1

I realise this is highly uncouth, but there’s only so much SUSD to go around meaning I have to go looking elsewhere for more boardgamey goodness. They’ve definitely brought the problem on themselves though by having high pr- actually, just by having production values.

See, my problem is that I just can’t stand ‘shows’ that are nothing more than single take, talk to camera, make it up as you go along filled with ums and ahs. There’s also a distinctive lack of… charisma, for want of a better word. Some do better than others, but even the ever-present Tom Vassel fails on the first test at the least.

So are there any other sites / shows / YT channels out there that are making great content around the hobby? As the only other one I can think of apart from SUSD that is producing ‘quality’ content is Tabletop with Wil Wheaton (and whatever you’re feelings about it / him, you can’t deny it’s well made).

It’s kinda sad when ‘production values’ refers not to having big sets and special effects, but just ‘someone that understands editing software and the concept of a retake’…


#2

Oh god, yes. Tabletop’s pretty much the only other thing I watch with any regularity and it’s for exactly the reasons you’ve given.

With SU&SD, I’ll happily watch (or often read) reviews of games I have absolutely no interest in, just because the video will always be entertaining. With anyone else, I’ll pull up the best video I can find if I’m really interested in a game. I’ll usually lose interest about halfway through.

My personal pet peeve is their inability to summarise. To tell you about a game, they’ll go through every rule and give you multiple examples of cards, etc. So you get 11 minutes of a (somehow still incomplete) rules explanation, followed by 30 seconds of “I liked this game but it has problems. Buy it if you have no limit to your budget.”


#3

Might I put in a good word for the SU&SD written reviews? Which, in the age of YouTube and podcasting, seem about as rare as decently produced videos? My hands-down favorite. Whether or not I’m interested in a game, I’ll happily read any critical review that has a genuine written voice. At no point in the foreseeable future do I plan to get into miniatures wargaming, for example. But I’ll read the next review. A unique, personal take on the subject will get my interest anytime.

And, at some point, it’ll pique my interest in something I’d otherwise never have thought I’d want to play. If I only ever read and watched reviews on games I expected I’d already like… ugh, that seems so depressing.


#4

For the “sitting in front of a shelf of board games talking at the camera” genre of videos, I really like the Starlit Citadel videos. They are really insightful and especially when they do their lists, they’re fun to watch. Plus it has the bonus of being done by two women in a field dominated by men.


#5

I had quite some discussions on the sorry state of board game media recently. Not only for the atrocious production values and the almost ubiquitous “rule explanation and one-liner opinion” format, but also for a diffuse inability of articulating an opinion and backing it with some reasoning (this being in videos, podcasts or a written reviews).

Anyway, as for videos, I occasionally watch reviews from No Pun Included. They are not always perfect, but I like the effort they put in actually discussing the game, scripting their shows and editing their videos. I liked the One Tar, but she seems to have stopped with video reviews.


#6

Nothing, really. SU&SD’s videos are the only regular videos I watch. I did enjoy Starlit Citadel’s reviews as I felt they gave a good balance of both game walkthrough and their opinions, but as far as I know they don’t do a regular video any more.

When I’m interested in a game however I do watch whatever review or gameplay videos I can get my hands on. Watch it Played is quite good, simple delivery and good production. I’ve tried watching Rahdo a few times but just can’t do it, I find it him too confusing to listen to and watch.


#7

I’m also a big fan of No Pun Included, and they seem to be improving over time.

I also enjoy watching Rahdo’s run-throughs as I find his enthusiasm infectious without being forced. And the game play videos on Watch It Played I find particularly charming, in a Joy of Painting with Bob Ross kind of way.

I also seem to find myself watching the Dice Tower’s stuff for lack of other things to watch and their enthusiasm for games, but I’m getting a little fed up of the “here’s me in front of my game shelves! Here’s my table and my disembodied hand going through all the rules! And now here’s me in front of my shelves again!” format that seems to dominate YouTube board game content at the moment.

Ooh, one more, Actualol’s quite entertaining as well though I’m not sure I agree with his verdicts a lot of the time.

Mind you, anyone who can do these videos and actually puts their faces and opinions out in the public sphere like that in any sort of watchable form, I have an enormous amount of respect for, and I don’t want to diss anyone who does it because it’s hard. I had a go at doing a rules explanation for Waggle Dance and found it very tough going indeed! https://youtu.be/v_VvuJ_kGUc


#8

Oh yeah, the written reviews are fantastic too. I will happily read / watch everything SUSD put out because you know the content will be good whether or not you’re interested in the topic itself. It’s not quite so hard to find in written form, I did stumble across islaythedragon shortly before finding this place which had some nice written reviews and features.

giant_kumquat has summed it up best I think, in that there seems to be an ‘inability of articulating an opinion and backing it with some reasoning’, which is so much what SUSD do - not just what something is, but why it is good and how it makes you feel.

I’ll check out some of the ones mentioned - No Pun Included first, as it’s had 2 mentions. I’ll also extend my request to podcasts


#9

Game Grumps Table Flip was pretty entertaining. They aren’t making new ones, but their One Night Ultimate Werewolf play throughs did help me learn the game. :slight_smile:

I really like the format of Board Game Replay. Each episode is a post-game discussion and if they talk about exciting or interesting parts of the game, they cut to the relevant footage of that part. There is a rules explanation at the beginning, but it’s shorter than most and there’s link to skip it (time stamp is also in the description).

I thought the Beeroshima Hex series (play throughs of Neuroshima Hex with different factions) was pretty good and his other content was decent.

I think the lack of board game content other than the “single take ramble to the camera in front of a shelf of games” stuff is because it takes a lot more effort and time to do anything even slightly beyond that. Reviewers are too busy playing games. :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

I do regularly watch most of what The Dice Tower puts out, well, anything involving the main members of the network. Always look forward to a Top Ten or an episode Miami Dice, especially when Zee Garcia is on. The podcast is also something that I’ll definitely make time for.

Other than that, I am a big fan and watch a lot of marcowargamer’s channel and frequently watch Rahdo, even if his taste in games isn’t always in sync with my own. Watch It Played and Drive Thru Review get quite a few watches here and there. The Board Game Point of View podcast has recently made a couple of listens and I may continue to do so if it continues to provide some in-depth discussion.

Calandale provides some lengthy and discursive opinions which tend to circle around games as much as they do provide a direct opinion - which is surprisingly interesting and engaging.

I miss Starlit Citadel, and the time when I found myself able to watch Tabletop - which now seems more a little more awkward, and perhaps my own tastes have moved on.

I find myself watching, but not sure if I like The Discriminating Gamer and No Pun Included, both of whom suffer from some editing issues (Music levels especially for TDG) and some very hit and miss attempts at comedy which I feel distract a little from actually trying to comment on the games.


#11

Tabletop was really what got me back into board gaming, really expanding my horizons when I was only aware of a few newer games like Carcassonne, Catan, and Munchkin. Despite rules gaffes and such, the show is well produced and almost always entertaining. I found SUSD soon after, and really clicked with their quirky yet insightful reviews and they expanded my gaming knowledge even further.

I haven’t really clicked with any other show or series. I have watched some Dice Tower reviews but find a lot of their material runs too long for a casual viewing. Rahdo is SO enthusiastic about the games he plays, which is infectious, but makes so many rules mistakes and rambles so much that he can be a bit hard to follow.

Any other things I’ve seen so far tend to be too dry or mechanical, like the above mentioned person in front of a shelf of games droning on about the rules and maybe an opinion on whether they liked the game or not. I saw one where a guy was just holding the box and talking the whole time when he so easily could have opened the box and showed the viewer the components he was describing, showed the board, showed ANYTHING!


#12

I like episodes of Board With Life. I learned about them through the SUSD comments actually :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Although their decision to use a Cosby Show type intro for the second season made me feel a little awkward… I still really liked some of the episodes once I got through that part…


#13

This is a very interesting thread; I thought I had seen many board games videos but I don’t know half of the stuff you’re talking about!

SUSD is where I check first when I’m looking for a review, basically because they are well written. I don’t understand why so many channels try to put some comedy on every video, but I admit SUSD does it pretty well. I laughed a LOT with the beginning of the Arboretum or 1812 reviews. SUSD has “sold” me many of my current favorite games, and also they have produced that video about explaining rules, which I found immensely useful as half of my friends had never played any modern board game. That video is the best thing ever. I don’t understand why there’s so much food in SUSD but hey, if you really want to watch British people cooking, I’m not going to judge you.

I don’t watch a lot of Dice Tower, but I really like the last part of Tom Vassel’s reviews, as he goes right to the point. I always get bored half through the video if I try to watch the full thing.

I never watch any runthroughs or rules explanations because I find them only slightly less boring than unboxing videos, but I like Rahdo’s “top 10” lists a lot. They’re really helpful if you are a beginner. Sometimes I’ll listen to his final review of some games, as he seems to have played pretty much every existing game and sometimes gives his opinion on little known games. However, he seems to like pretty much every game (but Descent), so I never rely on his opinion too much.

You wouldn’t believe how many Spanish Youtube channels focus on board games. A couple of them have the right kind of production values that TheLAD talked about, but the only one I always watch, and my favorite gaming series so far, is Éxito Crítico. In fact, I discovered SUSD after reading it had been their main inspiration. They only have monthly episodes and you have to watch some embarrassing comedy bits, but their reviews are thorough and very well scripted.

And of course there’s “Game board”, Moss’ show from “The IT crowd” :joy:


#14

I second that, but sadly they finished doing it in the last series. Though occasionally you do see Paul Dean in some of their videos, so the quality humour of SUSD pops in.


#15

No Pun Included are OK at humour and not too bad at reviews, but nothing like the quality of SUSD. Starlit Citadels were the best non-comedic site, with Dice Tower’s Tom Vasel reviews (or the last few minutes, at any rate) being his most useful. Dice Tower’s end of year list reviews are often worth watching.

Watch it Played is where I go to if I want to learn the minutae of the games I buy, he really cannot be beaten for learning games in detail.

Tabletop is fun, but Series 4 just seems to have been put on hold by the new owners of Geek & Sundry, which has kind of put me off going there too often.

SUSD always do it best, as far as I am concerned. They are the only Forum I have joined, partially because the site is what gaming is meant to be, inclusive and non-judgmental.


#16

Chaz Marler of the Dice Tower is definitely a cut above in terms of video production and genuinely engaging content. As mentioned Starlit Citadel reviews are worth a watch although they’ve stopped (boo hoo!)

They’re not for everyone but I really like Gamenight! play-throughs on the BGG YouTube channel. They do a full rules explanation and playthrough of all sorts of games (including recent SDJ lists) with multiple cameras and good lighting - like Tabletop but for “gamers.”


#17

Had never seen Board with Life, just watched the first episode. Thank you. I think I am going to enjoy these.

Although when I subscribed to their You Tube, I did tip the subscribers total over to 14,666, so here’s hoping there is nothing sinister going to happen to me now. Those three six’s are not the most comforting consecutive three figure numbers you can have :frowning:


#18

michaelg makes a very good point. I could never diss anyone willing to put the time and effort into starting a board gaming You Tube series, mainly because it must take a lot of effort.

Though I suppose the huge number of, ‘me holding my game box’ and ‘my mates with a fixed camera that never moves’ videos just make us all realise how lucky we are that SUSD take the time to script, re-write, edit, do multiple takes, try new cameras and angles, go to various sites, etc. etc.

They also do comedy that makes me laugh out loud, which many supposedly professional comedians have often failed to do.


#19

This One Video.


#20

Just saw Board with Life as a result of the No thanks review posted in the game news comments. That looks cool.

I know WW gets a bit of stick and probably takes himself a little to seriously but I do love tabletop. I find it’s so relate-able, I mean when I get together with three of my ridiculously attractive Hollywood buds for a night of sitting around three sides of a table and board gaming, we often get the rules wrong too. Seriously though I do like it. It has an infectious enthusiasm similar to SUSD.

I watch dice tower for the top tens, it is talk to the camera but they know loads.