What’s Good Games

What's Good Games Cover Art

This post was delivered via email on October 18, 2019 as dispatch #07. Sign up to learn about a new video game podcast each week.

Last time we dove into the great unknown with Fringe Game Podcast, and this week I took the opposite angle and explored a mainstream “Top 10” show that I’m checking out for the first time. Hope you dig it.

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What’s Good Games

What's Good Games Cover Art

Before we begin… I’ve only shared podcasts that have been in my heavy rotation for a while. While I’ve known of this podcast, I never listened to it until this week. I checked out 3 episodes total. This is a slightly new approach. Consider it a “first play.”

What’s Good Games is a weekly video game podcast that began in May of 2017. There are 126 formal episodes, and a bit more in the feed.

You’ll frequently find What’s Good in the iTunes and Spotify top 20 lists for gaming podcasts. That means it’s gotta be good, right? Let’s find out!

Runtime?

This wasn’t super consistent. The episodes I listened to ranged from 1 hour and 17 minutes to 2 hours. Expect a runtime between 1 and 2 1/2 hours.

Who hosts it?

What’s Good Games is hosted by Andrea Rene, Brittney Brombacher, and Kristine Steimer. They’re industry vets! These women have worked for/with IGN, Playstation, and Yahoo. Brittney has been maintaining the gaming site, blondenerd.com, since 2011.

What’s the format?

Of the episodes I listened to, the format was the same. If you’re a fan of video game podcasts, it’ll feel familiar.

News: The hosts discuss the news. Seems like it skews a bit towards console gaming and the big news. Nothing wrong with that, especially if you want a show that’ll cover the top industry conversations.

What we’ve been playing: The hosts discuss the games they’ve been playing. Because they’re in the know and they have a big show, seems like they get early access to pre-release games. Also, looks like the major AAA titles are covered. I really enjoyed the Gears of War 5 “spoilercast.”

Q&A: I didn’t catch much of this, but there are discussion segments prompted by listener/Patreon patron feedback and questions.

Ads! Not really a segment, but there felt like a decent amount of ads in this podcast. I’m sure you could remove them through a Patreon donation, but I didn’t dig too deep.

What was good (or not so good)?

Here’s my hot take:

🍷 The conversation was loose and funny…This felt like listening to 3 super knowledgeable women who love video games talk about video games, while having a couple glasses of wine.

I popped over to their YouTube stream of the recording to see Andrea actually was drinking a glass of wine. 😂

The result is a loose podcast with a ton of laughs and diverging conversations sandwiched between relevant, timely, and intellectual talk about games, the industry, and gaming culture.

🎮 This wild chip-tune intro/interlude…

This sounds weird, but, sheesh, this was one of my favorite parts of this podcast. It’s a little intro/interlude produced by video game composer, Dale North.

⏲️ Took a while to get into the episode…

I’ll be the first to admit I have a personal bias against “banter” podcasts, so this might not be an issue for you at all! There was a good amount of off-topic conversations and ads in one of the episodes I listened to before any video game discussion began.

Again, that’s me. You might love this style of show.

I will add that there was a “Let’s read our latest 1-star review” bit at the begin that had me rolling.

💰 It feels like a mainstream podcast…

Is that a bad thing? Definitely not. It’s polished, well-produced, it covers the industry news, it introduces great commentary on new and upcoming games, and it represents women gamers (which we need more of in podcasting!)

For all those reasons, I really enjoyed listening to the few shows I dove into. I’m going to stay subscribed.

ButI will say, there were times where it felt a little too overproduced. The ads were a bit heavy-handed. I read a few reviews that claimed the hands-on impressions from pre-release games felt a bit too promotional. I can’t speak to that because I haven’t heard anything to indicate it!This is a top 20 podcast. It’ll feel like one nothing “indie” about it.

What do others say about it?

There’s a 4.6 star rating on Apple Podcasts out of 1.1k !

Here’s the first from “jasonsoldout”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The only way I listen to video game news

The crew is fun and is loaded with personality, so it’s a pretty entertaining podcast to leave on while I’m working. Plus I wanted to especially leave a 5-star review after hearing them read out some ridiculous 1-star reviews. But more importantly, because I really, really enjoy the content. Fun way to listen to video game news and commentary without it being served like boring dishes of dry information like some other podcasts I’ve tried.

I agree with that one. 💯

Here’s one of those 1-star reviews, this one from “RealTyroneJackson

⭐ “Games Podcast ??? More like a Blabbering Podcast”

If you enjoy hearing women rambling on about nonsense like strange noises in their house and husbands opening doors in the room than this podcast is for you!
First 25 min has nothing to do with games out of an hour and twenty minute Podcast!

Yeah, this might be a feature of most video game podcasts, to be honest. Appeaks to your personal preference, for sure.

Is it kid-friendly?

Nope! This a podcast for adults. The looseness of the conversation is part of the charm, though. I think What’s Good Games would lose its character if you tried to make it family-friendly. (Note: You might not care about this… I typically don’t, to be honest, but I’m on an epic quest to find podcasts that I can reliably listen to with my kids in the car!)

Final thoughts?

What’s Good is good. Not mind-blowing, but not awful. It has personality and charm and three hosts with a great, friendly rapport.

They are well-represented across mediums outside of just audio, you can watch streams, VODs, and join their community via Patreon.

There are ads, but, hey, creators gotta get paid!

I’m hesitant to review this podcast, or give it a thumbs up or thumbs down because I only listened to 3 episodes. But that was just enough to warrant subscribing, and I’ll be tuning in next time, for sure.

As I continue to explore video game podcasts, from the top of the charts to the bottom, this’ll be a great example of how to do a “mainstream” podcast effectively. 🎧

Where to listen? What’s a good starting point?

I had a blast just jumping in with the newest episode. Given that they cover the news and recent games, it might be best to do the same.

Check it out: https://whatsgoodgames.com/

👇 Here are your links:

Do you already listen to What’s Good Games? Have you checked it out after reading this? Love it? Hate it? Let me know your feedback!