Circus Rules And Methods

This Is How We Dooooo It

Someone referred to “my ratings” a few days ago, and it kind of hit a note with me that I haven’t explained very well how this whole “Circus” thing works.It’s not just me. Not remotely.

I’m just the guy who writes the bad jokes and foul language. The Circus is actually a group of people, and there are guidelines on how I review the games that appear here. With little exception, the rules are adhered to strictly, and the games we review are reviewed in a manner that allows us to have little room for error. Well, at least that’s how we see it.


  1. Each game reviewed must be played a minimum of three times.
  2. Each game must be, if possible and appropriate, played by at least 3 unique people.
  3. No game can be rated solely based upon the minimum number of players advertised.
  4. Scores are based on a 1-5 “star” scale, with fractional accountability to 0.25
  5. Scores are an average of all games played and all scores received
  6. The game’s rating is based on actual plays, and if we get the rules wrong, write better rules next time.
  7. Reviews are representative of my views, but will likely contain feelings from all the Circus Players who played the game.
  8. If we receive a sample copy of a game, we’re reviewing it without exception.You may not like the outcome, so beware.
  9. The Superfly Circus’ mission is to be, first and foremost, a CHAMPION OF THE CONSUMER. If it is reviewed on this site, it was likely purchased with the fruits of my labor, traded for, or otherwise acquired through means that do not involve someone from a publisher sending a copy. Occasionally we will get unsolicited games, and the fact that this was a free game is NEVER disclosed to the participants in testing until after the review has been written. Short version: No “payola” here.
  10. I will not be requesting review copies in almost all cases unless my readers, specifically, request me to review a game that I don’t know anything about, do not have a compelling desire to buy, or otherwise have little interest in. The exception will be if the company is a small-run company that I feel should get recognition in the market. If a company sends me a product unannounced (as Wizards of the Coast does regularly) I will review it, obviously.

These bylaws allow our ratings to be given based not on one guy (who is arguably a complete douchebag), but on a vast array of ratings, which minimizes the “one guy manipulates the market” or one guy’s opinion alone. The entire purpose of this site is to inform, delight, and most importantly, entertain you, not fuel the hype machine that the board game industry has become.

THE GOLDEN RULE: Thou Shalt Not Be Bribed
At least 75% of all review copies received must be given away, donated to charity, or otherwise disposed of  for free, and the site is forbidden, forever, from advertising or being profitable in any way, shape or form. There is literally be no way for any vendor or publisher to have any way of influencing the opinions of the writer or members of the Circus.

What all of this does is allow the Superfly Circus to give well-rounded scores based upon one thing alone: FUN and QUALITY.  As we make no money, get no benefit, and get no “compensation”, we are completely unbiased, and we do our thing as a wholly philanthropic venture. It takes a lot of time and energy to do this, and we do this for one purpose alone, which is to be an honest assessor of games so that our readers can be informed and entertained while knowing that no “infomercialism” goes on.

So, now you know how it works. It ain’t just me, it’s many people. I’m just the one who does the typing and pissing off of the masses. I play the games, but my votes are essentially just that – votes based on plays among a swarm of votes.

Live long, and prosper.

The Circus Cast (regulars):
“Danger” Dave

The Circus Roadies (not so regulars):
David “Professor Black” H.
Jason “Sam Adams” V.
Eric “Big Country” W.
Jason “The Teach” W.
Mark “The King Of Heroscape” P
Mike “Lonewolf” J.
Rob “What the hell is up with that hyena laugh” L.
Jessica “Bigfoot” G.
Chris “ConaChris” M.
Tim “GreyElephant” N.
Carmen “Attacktix Queen” N.
Sandy “Sandini” P.


Cross-Linking, Posting, etc.:

I post my reviews at several sites such as Fortress: Ameritrash and GMS Magazine, but there are many I do not post at for various reasons, mostly due to time. If you wish to post one of my reviews or a link to one of my reviews at your favorite forum, board game site, or whatever, I HEREBY GRANT FULL PERMISSION TO DO SO, provided you do the following:

Provide either a link to, with attribution to our site, or simply note that it is a “Superfly Circus” review.

If it gets you some kudos, or “likes” or whatever, I’m totally happy to help you do that. If you try to sell it, plagiarize it, or profit financially from it, that’s a different story. If you DO intend to profit from it, don’t link it or copy it, because not only is it immoral, it’s copyright infringement. I’ve never made a dime from this site, and in fact have spent thousands of hours and hundreds of dollars to provide you with free entertainment and enlightenment, so you should respect that ethic and do so not out of greed, but out of love for the hobby.


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