Games are scored out of 10.
Below 5: Fails as a game. When scores get this low, the degree of failure becomes quite subjective and hard to measure. My aim is generally not to review games like this.
5 to 5.99: Passes as a game but is not particularly good or fun.
6.0 to 6.4: Alright, but not something I would return to quickly - there are better out there. Perhaps more plays are needed.
6.5 to 6.99: A decent solid game, but not something that you would necessarily want to play time and time again because the game lacks that 'cutting edge' or replayability. Occasionally you will find in this range games that had a good idea going but failed to execute that concept; or games that failed to live up to an expectation set by a genre. Sometimes a game is here because the genre itself isn't necessarily considered attractive or replayable to the masses (eg. Abstract games - arguably).
If you are a fan of a particular genre of game, it is likely that your score of those games in this range will be higher.
The general rule is that any score above or equal to 6.5 means that, in all fairness, the game is a relatively decent game or slightly better than average.
7.0 to 7.49: Good. Substantially better than average.
- 7.0 to 7.249: A game that is better than merely "decent" but falls slightly short of the 7.25 mark. It may still have something "different" but falls short in some other respect.
- 7.25 to 7.49 and above: Has something that makes it "different". Discernibly stands out from the others
7.5 to 8.49: Great game. Highly recommended but whether you like it might depend on your taste.
- 8.0 and above: Great game mechanics and replay value. Game must also be widely accessible to all, or if not, must have some other special reason for receiving this score.
8.5 to 8.99: Excellent game. Probably, but not always, the best that a genre has to offer.
9+ (Arguably) The best that Board, Card and Party Games have to offer.
~ means the score is borderline and giving me difficulty.
+ when attached to a score (eg. 7.2+), this means that the game could receive a better (and perhaps, significantly better!!) score if it is played with the right people and the right conditions.
The above system closely follows my experience of the classic university grading system where students are awarded standardised marks ranging from "Pass" to "High Distinction".
The reason I do this is because:
a) I am used to such a system;
b) I am rather unimaginative and do not wish to "reinvent the wheel"; and
c) Such a system allows for a broad range of scores to be awarded.