Because reviews fail to mention any of the stuff I think is important in a game. I don’t really care if there’s enough player interaction or backstabbing, if there’s too little or too much intellectual challenge/complication. But there’s a few other factors that tend to determine if a game makes it to my list of favorites.
* Games that encourage quarterbacks who try to play your turn for you
* Games that aren’t fun if your friends are better at it or if you have bad luck
* Games that leave you with thirty minutes to kill between turns
“I played Agricola, folded the laundry, and knitted you this sweater!”
* Games with skipped-turn mechanics (because I’m really bad at knitting)
I play to have fun and have it all the time, not just on a good run.
Big bonus points
* Flavorful immersive games with a roleplay slant (but the theme had better be internally consistent, or it becomes a source of annoyance).
* Games that offer two-player fun (simply because we can play them so much more)
* Games you can play on family visits (because they make those visits so much more enjoyable.
* Pretty games (If I’m going to stare at it for the next three hours, it may as well look nice)
Then there’s more relaxed/easy/co-op vs. more tense/difficult/competitive games. I enjoy both but after a long day of work or busy weekend, I’m more likely to pick something from the first group, so I suppose they get a little bias bump.