Ratings on BoardGameGeek have long been viewed as one of the most authoritative ways to judge the quality of a board game by hobbyists. But what does the rating really tell us? Certainly the rating measures how people decide to rate the game, but what can we conclude from that?

This article is based on a dataset available on Kaggle that has the 4999 rated games on BoardGameGeek as of June 2018. Our primary task will be to examine how objective features like mechanics, genre, year of release, and game time impact the average rating, and how much “magic sauce” games have in surpassing their predicted rating. We’ll also look at some of the most important variables and explore the relationship between them and the average rating. …

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