Testing Board Games vs. Reviewing them

December 1, 2015 - 10:49pm
bruno_faiduti_tesfup Well known game designer (or game author as he likes to call himself) Bruno Faidutti recently wrote a blog post about how reviews for board games in France are often called 'tests' instead of 'critiques'.  He goes into detail about how he views board games more like movies and books in that it is a cultural creation, unlike things like cars and phones which are inventions.  Yet, when it comes to reviewing them you will see 'critiques' on movies and books, but you will more often than not find 'tests' about board games, looking at and rating them more like you would a car than a book.  While in the US, when we refer to test it is almost universally understood as a step in the design process to work out bugs in the mechanics, (playtesting) and reviews as opinion pieces about the final product, just like movies and books.  But in France there seems to be no difference in the language and that has raised the ire of both Bruno and some other designers who are pushing for a change in terminology.  To read more on Bruno's thoughts and his experiences in trying to change things you can head over to his blog.  (be sure to scroll down for the English version)