I am currently working on an iPhone game and am having trouble playtesting to find out which parts of the game are fun and which need to be reworked. As I sit down to play the various iterations, my feeling towards the gameplay and mechanics shift as I work through the same parts of the game over and over... and over. Some parts that I think are super fun might be tedious to someone new to the game and vice versa. My goal would be to create a game that maintains good pacing, advancement and skill progression for someone who just picked up the game, but I'm not sure how to test for that.
I try to keep an objective mindset and I do have one quality assurance technician (my wife), but she is playing the game almost as much as me and thus loses that "newbie" mindset. I don't have the resources to find and use third party testers (yet) and I would like to have my game be in a more completed state before I have even a closed beta test.
Does anybody have any tips or ideas on how to find out if my game really is fun or if it's just my mind playing tricks on me after the 1000th round?