Gloomhaven: Buttons & Bugs, a recently announced Gloomhaven board game, is the latest victim of a rankings war on tabletop forum BoardGameGeek. Tabletop gaming fans have started submitting extreme review scores – usually ones or tens – for the unreleased solo board game.
It’s not clear exactly why this is happening, but we can certainly speculate. Since Buttons & Bugs was announced on July 5, it has been top of BGG’s ‘the hotness’ list. Users may be using rankings to share their opinion of the game trending or their opinion of the game itself based on the announcement alone.
Several users have also specified they’re ranking Buttons & Bugs to counteract the other extreme review scores. “How is this #1 on the game list if no one has played it yet?” writes user Qwaserity (who gave the game 1/10). “Will change rating once I’ve actually played it.”
Meanwhile, user Game_Legend gave the game a perfect ten. “Looks great and can’t wait to play it! Sucks to be you if you think it only deserves 1 star”, they comment.
Other comments on Buttons & Bugs point something else out – BoardGameGeek has seen rating wars like this before. “So the 1-10 war started again, huh? This thing is ridiculous”, says user Dr_Bewd, who abstained from ranking the title.
BGG has never revealed how its hotness list is calculated (perhaps deliberately, because of situations exactly like this one). This means there’s no guarantee the hotness list is affected by reviews at all; it might rely on another metric like the number of page clicks. Regardless, users are gradually adding reviews for a game they haven’t tried yet.
While widely considered one of the best board games ever made, the core Gloomhaven board game has also seen some turbulence on BoardGameGeek. First, it was toppled from its top-rated spot by Brass Birmingham’s rankings in March, and then it dropped even further, ranking third by June.
Buttons & Bugs is currently available as part of a huge Gloomhaven Backerkit campaign. Here publisher Cephalofair is crowdfunding for the Gloomhaven RPG, a range of Gloomhaven and Frosthaven minis, Gloomhaven second edition, and a Frosthaven reprint. If these sound tempting, be sure to check out our Gloomhaven review and Frosthaven review before you back.