Here's a series of questions and some related ideas - from the board game conference (WBC 2008)
How is first player determined
Are there different rules for different number of players?
is there any first player advantage? If not why? what does the game do to cancel it out? do the other players get some advantage/bonus?
What does each player do during their turn?
are there phases during hte turn? are they done in a set order?
does every player do the same thing? in the same order
if they have a choice of what to do, how do they indicate their choice and when?
do they determine how far to move?
are there points?
how are points scored and when (during turn, end of round, end of game?)
are there different kinds of points? do they convert to victory points?
how are the point totals indicated during the game?
is there cash? if not, is something else used instead of money? (race for the galaxy used cards to buy products)
is it money instead of or in addition to cash?
what do they do with cash?
is it a goal to hoard money
how does game end?
are there multiple ways?
if one player can consciously trigger the end, is there a strategic advantage?
can there be more than one winner?
can players see the game is ending - if surprise can tey finish the round or is it immediate
what info is visible to the player and what do they have to remember?
are the rules visible?
what info is on the playing cards the pieces? what info is on the central board? on the player boards
are cards face up/face down/both?
is there a discard pile?
do you know what other players have? can you figure out the other players' plans?
is there a board?
a central board? player boards?
are all areas on the board open at beginning?
can everyone go everywhere on the board all the time or do certain players control parts of the board?
actual pieces or pictures on cards
are they iconic or realistic?
are they distributed to everyone at the beginning of the game? do you earn them from actions? are they distributed at the beginning of the round?
set up time (how long)
do the pieces go with the theme (Cuba game has pesos)
how long to set up
how long is each turn
how long is the game overall (on average)
what problems can make the game end too soon or go too long?
strategy vs random?
all of one and none of the other or mix
is there an ideal strategy?
if random - is it random each turn or does someone with bad luck at the beginning of the game not be able to recover later on?