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Would you rent a board game? We check out Rent Shuffle & Roll

Summary

We discovered Rent Shuffle & Roll at UK Games Expo 2022 and were intrigued by the concept of a board game rental service, since it wasn't like any service we'd ever heard of before (outside the walls of a board game café). So we found ourselves asking the question:

Would you rent a board game, or would you rather just buy a game?

We are going to discuss the pros and cons of this idea and review the service as a whole, starting with ordering on the Rent Shuffle & Roll website.


Firstly, I must point out that we were given a trial membership for the purpose of this review, although we weren't paid for using the service. You might also have noticed we have a board game review exchange with Rent Shuffle & Roll - we arranged this after we discovered them at UKGE, since the games in their catalogue had no reviews!


Service overview

With any service like this, you start to analyse the cost effectiveness of renting vs buying. With board games, it could be seen as counterproductive, since the amount you may spend if you rent regularly may end up being more that what you would have spent to buy a few games outright.


If you are sure you want that copy of Ruins of Arnak, and you know you're going to want to replay it OVER and OVER again, then of course you should buy it.


However, if you are on the fence about a game and you may have seen counter arguments in reviews to make you doubt whether you really want it, a rental service like Rent Shuffle & Roll really does help out. Not only does renting free up space on your Kallax shelving, but it opens you up to new game opportunities. The catalogue on the website is massive; it has games I have never heard of like Awesome Kingdom, or Yukon Airways.

I am all for rental services, but I have a young child and lots of expenses so I personally can't justify renting - but I do see the benefits. Board game rental is a new concept to most gamers, so I opened this discussion up on our Discord channel and had some interesting comments / opinions:

"Without the sense of ownership, you’re likely to get back games more dinged up than usual"
"Owning something is more likely to have you take care of it. Renting it, though of course some people are neat and respectful, always runs you the risk of getting a game back in bad shape, with pieces missing, etc... and renting a game like that would make me quit a rental service"

Nocturnaliss


So I asked Rent Shuffle & Roll the question: what would happen if a game was to be trashed? They commented: "We do have a strict checklist upon receiving board games back. Any damage, components etcetera are all checked."


Others on the Discord pointed out the advantage of being able to try out a game without spending lots of coin:

"Game rental gives you the ability to try a new game, especially a more expensive one, that you *think* you want without laying out your hard-earned cash only to find that it wasn't as shiny as you thought"

George E Ohh (one of the DOALG team)

"There are games I'd love to buy, but at £70 - £100, it's a lot to ask for when I may only play it once or twice. But if I could rent it for say £7 - £10, that means I could experience it at least once"

Pete (one of the DOALG team)


This is very true and is a great advantage for a rental service like this! While these larger games use more of your monthly credits, depending on the subscription level you choose, the most expensive game I saw was still only four credits.


Conclusion

​So, let's break it down for you in some key areas:

Complexity

​The rental process is very easy, and your credits are added to your account each month seamlessly, and renting them is just like online shopping. Just keep an eye on your credits, and the amounts required to rent them. You can cancel your membership any time, providing you have returned all the games.

Value for money

​The value depends on you, to be honest. Decide whatever membership scheme fits your budget. The four credit scheme for £16.99 isn't much more than a trip to the cinema for 2 people, and with four credits you can rent two, maybe three games, so from that perspective it's good value.

Uniqueness

Other board game rental services do exist, you may even find that your Friendly Local Board Game Café has one. However, we think Rent Shuffle & Roll is fantastic. It has a wide selection of games (23 pages of them!), so there will be something to suit everyone, from your more seasoned gamers who have no more room left on their shelves, or indeed house, for games but want to try a new one, to those starting out wanting to test the water as to what type of games they will grow to like. The founders Glenn and Jen clearly have a big passion for board games, so it's great to support them.

Overall, the service Rent Shuffle & Roll provide is excellent. The despatch of the game in my experience was really quick, with the games landing just a couple of days after I ordered. I can't really fault the service as a whole, as you get what you order with minimal effort required by the customer.


The only reason I am NOT scoring this a 6/6 is because I found that the credits don't quite leave you enough in a month. For example, I used three credits to rent Stuffed Fables, leaving me with one credit for the rest of the month, but I didn't want to rent any of the one-credit games. It would be good to be able to boost your credits (if needed) to allow you to rent a game that requires two credits.


Definitely worth checking out Rent Shuffle & Roll - visit rentshuffleandroll.co.uk to find out more, or to sign up for a subscription. If you sign up, we'd love to know what you rented from them in the comments!


Your friendly founder

Mr Chris


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