Review Rubric


Reviews by I Will Never Grow Up Gaming include a brief explanation of a game as well as a review of the game itself using the rubric below

This rubric will be the baseline of how a game is rated for every review we publish. The rating of a game review consists three categories and an overall average of those three scores. The Rulebook, overall Gameplay, and Replayability are the three pillars of a great game experience. An overall score is determined using the average of these categories scores. Games also earn bonus points after the initial average is calculated. These points are awarded when a game has met very specific criteria that place them a notch above usual games, giving a perfect score of 14.

If you are considering sending a game for review, please read the following criteria and rubric carefully first before contacting us.

The Rubric


(0 to 5 points) How to Play : Does this rulebook teach players how to play adequately? Organization, spelling and grammar, clear and concise language, missing rule exceptions and diagrams for complex ideas are all taken into consideration for this score. A low score here is a red flag to backers that the game has not seen enough blind playtests and might even be fundamentally broken. Or that we can’t read. You decide!

(0 to 5 points) Aesthetics : Some rulebooks are graphic design masterpieces while others are word documents. Presenting a professional product, prototype or not, matters when you’re sending reviewers copies of your game. Your rulebook development should follow the same track as your prototype. As the prototype becomes more professional, so should the rulebook.


(0 to 5 points) Roleplaying Experience : The best games don’t just allow you to have fun but also help you lose yourself in the story within the game. Even the most abstract of games allow the opportunity to embody the characters within the story you are attempting to place yourself in.

(o to 5 points) Is it Fun? : This is the crux. Your game needs to be fun or why make a game? While this is largely a subjective experience, balance, downtime, and raised stakes are all considered in this section.


(0 to 5 points) Game Night : This is the short-term replayability marker that measures how many times our review team would play a game within one night of gaming. Shorter games are by nature going to do better here, but not always. When you bring a game to game night, do your friends ask you to replay a game immediately or do they politely ask you to never bring it again? Short-term replayability ensures that games are a sound investment for a backer’s game bag.

(0 to 5 points) Shelf Life : How many times in the month, or even the year after purchase do we think this game will see time on the table? The answer to this provides the game its Shelf Life score. Shelf Life helps to decide whether a game will become a treasured piece of a game collection or will be going out with the next batch of donations. It is important to understand in a relatively short time following purchase that the game will see time at the table.

Bonus Points

Extra consideration in these reviews goes a long way in taking an average review score and bumping it up a few points when necessary. Bonus points can help a game earn more than 10 points for a total of 14 points as a perfect score.

(1 point) Prototype Copy : If the game we are reviewing is a prototype soon to be launched on Kickstarter, a game will earn an extra point. We believe the reviewer’s most important responsibility is to consumers. The more we can help them make decisions BEFORE they buy, the better.

(1 point) Great Artwork : If we consider the art to be great, it gets a bonus point. Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we have played enough games to understand what kind of art is generally considered appealing and what is trash. Usually, but not always, the more original the theme and art, the more likely we will award this point.

(2 point) Quality Components : If the game has quality components, this will be awarded an extra point. Cards should not be see-through, for instance. Physical components should be the standard quality we expect in any game we play. Prototypes do not traditionally do well here, although we think they should try.

Fine Print Criteria

  • Projects that are clearly re-skins of well-known games will not be considered for a game review.
  • If a game is either a pen-and-paper role-playing game, a trading card game, a miniatures wargame or an expansion that cannot be played as a standalone game, it will not generally be considered for a game review unless we are completely wowed right from the start.
  • In order to have the game returned after a review or shipped on to another reviewer, you must include in the shipment another container with shipping paid ahead of time.
    • We do not deal with shipping payments.
    • Shipping every game that comes in would quickly become an overly expensive endeavor.
  • Send at your own peril! We reserve the right not to review any game for any reason, but, in general, this is the rare circumstance we receive a lewd or crude game.
    • If we do review your game, the publishing date will largely depend on volume of incoming games.
    • We strongly suggest that you contact us FIRST so you can be certain your game will get in before you waste anyone’s time or money.