How do your review scores work?
I use the industry-standard scoring method of a 1-10 scale. For early access titles, I use a simple method of Buy it, Watch for Updates and Don’t Buy.
The score I reach is determined by several factors, most of them subjective, but I do factor in technical issues and flaws or balance issues within a games design. I also consider the price of the game, certain expectations raise alongside the price and my reviews reflect this. I use the games release date MSRP for this purpose, not it’s current or sale price.
Always keep in mind that the context of a review is more important than the end score and you should never compare scores to each other. One game in one genre scoring higher than another game in another genre does not always mean it is the better game. Simply due to dozens of factors about how those scores were reached. If you absolutely must make comparisons, do so with games that at least fall into the same category.
I wrote an article about review scores here, but I included a small snapshot below for reference. Think of scores like a recommendation scale, 10 being the highest recommendation possible.
- 10: An exemplary game of the genre. My highest recommendation possible.
- 9: Incredible game of the genre, very likely a must-have.
- 8: Great game, and a safe buy if you like the genre.
- 7: Good game, might have some flawed mechanics or other issues. Do some extra research to be sure it jives with you.
- 6: Below average, it may still be good in some ways, but major flaws were present. Probably only for diehards of the theme or genre.
- Under 6: Extremely flawed, be very wary about purchasing.
While it happens occasionally most games will not be scored less than 6. This is true for most critics as they simply aren’t worth the time to be reviewed in the first place. I am one person, and I don’t do outrage bait. I don’t request review copies of games I think I’ll dislike, and I certainly don’t buy games I think I will hate intentionally. Again, I can not stress enough the importance of reading the reviews rather than taking a score at face value.
What platforms do you review games on?
PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
How do you receive games to review?
Does receiving a game for free affect your review of a game?
Not even a little. They want coverage of their games, I want games to cover. Even a negative review still gets eyes on the title.
You aren’t afraid of being blacklisted for a bad review?
Why would I be? If one company refuses to send me future games to review because I gave one a negative verdict, countless other game developers and publishers exist that I can reach out to about covering their titles. There are more games than I could ever attempt to play and review alone. Losing a couple is not going to hurt me in any way. Besides, when I started this website, I was on my own, and had to buy every game I reviewed in the first place.
What if it’s a larger title and you have to publish your review late compared to other reviewers?
Then that’s what I’ll do, and it’s what I do now when I don’t receive a requested key in the first place. If my readers value my opinion enough to read my work. They probably don’t mind waiting a little bit on what I have to say. If they can’t wait, my opinion was unlikely to affect their purchase decision anyway.
But you have more positive scoring reviews than negative ones, are you lying?
No. And I even wrote an article right here addressing that issue. But the short version of it is…. I don’t request review copies of games I think I’ll dislike and like any other sane person, I don’t intentionally buy games I’ll dislike. The context of what is written inside a review is far more important than the end score in any case.
How can we support you and other independent game critics?
Read what we write, share our work with other people on your social media, or even Reddit. The most important thing is that we are seen and heard. Otherwise, we might as well be writing a diary. I also usually leave a Kofi button on my articles, every little bit helps. I have a Nexus Creator Store where you can buy games and support me too!
I’m a game developer, would you cover my game?
I can’t say without looking at the game. But by all means, email me or shoot me a message on Twitter. I will gladly take a look at an overview, store page or video of your game and let you know if it is something I’m interested in covering! Please do not send me game keys without contacting me first! If you do, I’m under no obligation to provide a review!