I’d say I agree with them in general, but occasionally I’m not on board. Some games just don’t appeal to me, but I’d say that Sentinels of the Multiverse is one I disagree with, even though I think their criticisms are generally valid.
As for Kickstarter, I don’t think it was SUSD’s intention to suggest that Kickstarter is bad…tons of games are funded through KS these days But there were elements that I think were being highlighted by Paul’s review.
- Hyped Kickstarters with tons of upgraded components for ‘bespoke’ games - Rising Sun, for example: does it have to have giant monster minis that are so much larger than the regular minis? Flashy components attract funding for some projects, regardless of the quality of the game. Some people at one of our recent meetups had a copy of Anachrony (and at least two others had it) and The Others. Both are all about having tons of plastic and lots of components. Many KS games seems to focus on that (and then targets a high price tag that they could only pull of if they get big KS support and which appear to be designed to engender that support). That isn’t necessarily a negative, but it IS a factor. The recently cancelled ‘Heroes of Land, Sea and Air’ KS from Gamelyn highlighted the complexity of that approach. This can also lead to fairly low print runs outside of the intial KS backers…and due to the cost/difficulty of the game, it can mean that retail customers might have to wait 6 months-1 year later for a chance at the game.
- SUSD has a reluctance to review greatly-hyped KS games because both Quinns and Paul have discussed (both on the podcast and in videos) that often the folks who dropped $100+ on these kind of Kickstarters aren’t looking for a review, they’re looking for confirmation that the game that so appealed to them was a great game. They have an emotional investment and more importantly a review for them is pointless, since they already got the game. They don’t need a review as they already purchased it. There are certainly people who legitimately wanted a review to hear what the fuss is about, but given the cost and lack of availability, I think SUSD didn’t feel like it was as big a priority as some games.
And I didn’t view Paul’s review of ‘Scythe’ as negative, more along the lines of ‘this a decent game, if you like this sort of thing…and here’s what this sort of thing actually is’. His description of plodding was important to me, because I had assumed it was a much different game than it actually is (like Paul, I had visions of mechs traipsing across the continent, locked in desperate battle…not Epic Windmill Construction). I don’t think it’s unfair to point that out. He didn’t put me off of Scythe, but he didn’t energize me to run out and grab it, either. Feast for Odin, on the other hand, I picked up entirely because of his review. Make of that what you will.