Reviews of your game are important in a Kickstarter campaign and page. This is especially true if you are a first-time creator. People like confidence in the product they want to back and help fund. They will not put money into something that does not look good, and will be cautious about things that they have no knowledge about. While you can make your Kickstarter page look great, people know it is a biased showcase of your page and product. It should be made to look good for promotion. But people will also want to know what other people think. What industry known individuals think about the game. This is where reviewers come in.
Reviewers are a great way to promote your product. They will give an unbiased opinion of your game that are appreciated by their viewers, subscribers or readers. People have confidence in reviewers to give their opinions and may feel more inclined to back a product based on what they say.
Reviewers and Research
All reviewers have their own unique way of exhibiting their content. You can’t change what or how they showcase the product. Research is important in deciding which reviewers to ask. You want to get reviewers that like similar games to yours. There is no point getting a review of a family game from a reviewer that loves war games.
Watch their videos, read their blogs and connect with them on forums prior to asking. People will be more willing to review your game if they know or have interacted with you previously.
Reviews on a Kickstarter Page
Reviews can come in a few different ways on a page. The most important type would be a video review. Reviewers that do video reviews will usually showcase and talk about the game. This is a great way to firstly get an official opinion of the game, but will also usually give a snapshot of the game and potentially rules. It will give confidence to potential backers if they can see it played, learn the rules or hear good feedback about it.
You can also get written reviews from bloggers. These can be combined with images to create a great way to show the game and it’s mechanics, mixed in with the reviewers thoughts.
In both examples, you can take a quote from the reviewer and display it on the Kickstarter campaign page.
Location on the Kickstarter page is dependant per campaign page, but are usually seen somewhere in the middle. Make sure you give all the important information about the game first (for example, game play snap shot, potential gameplay video, what’s in the box, etc). You always want to showcase the most important information first, so judge by yourself where they should be put. If you have good reviews and videos, put them higher up in the campaign.
How many Reviewers should I use?
Reviewers are advertising your game and therefore I would try and look at getting as many as you can within reason. You definitely want a few good video reviews, and can potentially get a few written reviews as well. It all depends on the cost. You will have to pay for the manufacturing (usually through a print and play service) and shipping to them. Do your research and connect with them first to make sure that the review will benefit both parties.
Reviewers and Timing
It is important to get copies of your game to reviewers before the Kickstarter campaign launches. I would start sending the products out at least a month in advance. This way it will give them plenty of time to play the game and make the video, giving the best quality production and showcase. You can ask them to post the review the day of your Kickstarter campaign launching. This way, you will get more views and potential backers on the very important first day of the campaign.
Obviously, everyone wants to hear good reviews about their product, however this is not always the case. Many people have different tastes and will therefore review it differently. As noted above, you should research your potential reviewers first to maximise the potential for a good review. But if worst comes to worst, and a reviewer does not like your game, or elements of your game, it still may be ok; as long as they give constructive criticism and reasons why. It is always good to take all criticism and reviews on board and learn why they are saying it. There may be a element of the game that can easily be changed that makes the game a lot better. Learn from the reviewers as they have played a lot of games.
Do you post the bad reviews. This is up to debate and would be based on their comments with it. If they give no reasoning why then probably not. However if they give good feedback and say it is just not for them, it may be still worth posting it up.