Find a New Game App

Find a New Game is a website application designed to help you find new board games that might suit your tastes. By telling it what games you love and hate, Find a New Game suggests a short list of games that may be to your liking, based on ratings pulled from Boardgamegeek.com‘s user population. This is an iterative process; the more likes and dislikes you feed into the app, the more useful its suggestions should be.

There are three ways to rate a particular game: love, ignore and hate. It’s not an application with the ability to distinguish fine shades of sentiment. After a couple dozen clicks, I generated this list:

Others who love Puerto Rico, Ticket to Ride, Dominion, Pandemic, Dominion: Seaside, Dominion: Intrigue, Small World, Pandemic: On the Brink, Arkham Horror, Dominion: Envoy Promo Card, Dominion: Prosperity, Dominion: Stash Promo Card, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Carcassonne: Traders & Builders, Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion and hate Agricola, The Settlers of Catan, Power Grid, Memoir ’44, Caylus, El Grande, Chess, Bohnanza, Dominion: Alchemy, Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm, Last Night On Earth: Growing Hunger, Space Alert, Bang! The Bullet!, Le Havre, BattleLore, War of the Ring Collector’s Edition, Chaos in the Old World, RoboRally, Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization are passionate about the following (ignoring Galaxy Trucker, Ticket to Ride: USA 1910, Lord of the Rings, Tigris & Euphrates, Small World: Cursed!, Small World: Grand Dames of Small World, The Settlers of Catan – 5-6 Player Extension, Battle Cry):

  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Steam
  • Warhammer: Invasion
  • Thebes
  • Talisman

[Portions bolded above to improve readability. In the original, text color is used to pick out titles from the sentence structure.]

You can click and click as long as you want, trying to build up a better picture of what games you might like, based on the ratings of other game players. I could click like on Talisman, ignore on Steam — since I’m not a huge rail fan and have heard it’s a heavy game — to get a further refined offering and so on.

It’s a neat little app, but it reminds me of the fact that the suggestions are only as good as the data used. The ratings come from users on Boardgamegeek.com. So it’s a small portion of the game-playing population, not only because it’s people who made an account on Boardgamegeek, but it’s people who made an account on Boardgamegeek.com and bothered to fill out ratings. Of those people who bothered to rate games, most of them probably haven’t done so comprehensively or consistently. I know I certainly haven’t.

There’s also the question of whether Find a New Game pulls individual user ratings or overall ratings, as Boardgamegeek reportedly uses weighting mechanisms to keep users from unfairly skewing the aggregated rating of a game — this, apparently, has happened with a few titles; a selection of the population decides something deserves to be at the top, so they deliberately underrate other games to drive it up the ranks.

But anyway, it’s an interesting way to see what games are out there that are probably worth me trying. Unfortunately, everything Find a New Game has suggested so far, I’ve at least heard of. I’m looking forward to the time it throws up a brand new title.

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2 thoughts on “Find a New Game App

  1. That’s interesting. But I assume that there is no way to specify similarities in theme and similarities in mechanics? Because both play a pretty big role when I’m trying to decide a new game to pick up.

    • Pretty much. It’s not doing any analysis of the game itself, just how highly or not people think of it, reasoning that people tend to like games that are similar in some way or another.

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