I have a tendency to dislike really light games, especially if they require more component manipulation and maintenance than thought and decision-making.
Many reviewers consistently use the words quick and short to denote something positive in a game. Most of my favorite games, however, are not particularly short.
I’m drawn to geeky genres like fantasy, horror and science fiction, but I also enjoy drier things on occasion.
A majority of my favorite games have elements of conflict in them, both thematically and mechanically.
Whether in the American or European tradition of game design, I prefer a game to be thematic rather than abstract, with a strong sense of place and mechanisms that are tied to the in-game world and the narrative.
My favorite solo games tend to be cooperative rather than having an abstracted simulation of a human opponent.
I’m not particularly picky about component quality. Usually I only mention this in passing in my reviews (unless something stands out).
And finally, there are always exceptions! These are tendencies – not principles.