Review Guidelines

Most of the staff are gamers who like to have fun, but we take our editorial responsibilities seriously — especially when it comes to reviewing games.

First, our over-arching theme when reviewing video games is editorial integrity. We know that our readers make purchase decisions with their hard-earned money based on our reviews, and we take that responsibility seriously. We don’t let anything, including advertisers, cloud our objectivity when reviewing a game.

Second, we consider our audience when writing reviews, which tends toward hard-core gamers. However, we also understand that parents, casual gamers, and others will also read our reviews, so we strive to ensure our reviews can be understood and appreciated by a wide audience.

Finally, we let each game stand on its own, without considering any previous versions of the game, other press coverage (whether positive or negative), other titles from the same developers or publishers. Every game gets a fair shake with us, and we do our best to look at each title with a fresh set of eyes.

We give each game a Primary Score on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

1.0-1.5: This game just plain sucks. Save your money, don’t pay to rent or buy it, and if you meet the developers, punch them in the kidneys. They should be ashamed for trying to sell this crap.

2.0-2.5: This game is terrible and has no redeeming qualities worth mentioning.

3.0-3.5: Stay away from this game. There may be one thing about it was OK, but it was greatly outweighed by the negatives.

4.0-4.5: This is a low quality game. Certain elements may not function properly or weren’t finished, and it’s certainly not any fun.

5.0-5.5: This is an average game – which is why it gets a score right in the middle of our scale. But average isn’t a good thing. Nothing about this game stands out to us, and although it may have some decent elements or features, there aren’t enough of them to make us like it, or they’re outweighed by the crappy stuff.

6.0-6.5: This game is just “OK.” There are certainly worse games than this one, but there are plenty of better ones. There may be a handful ofredeemingqualities that make this game worth playing, but it’s not anything we’d truly recommend.

7.0-7.5: This game is pretty good. Gamers who enjoy other games in this genre will probably like this one, too. And although this game will have some flaws, they’re outweighed by things we liked.

8.0-8.5: This game is really good. We like this game, and think you probably will, too. It may have one or two minor problems, but nothing that should take away from the overall quality of the title.

9.0-9.5: This is a great game. You should absolutely rent it, and probably buy it. Even if you haven’t enjoyed games in this genre, there’s a good chance you’ll like this one. It’s that good.

9.5-10:We don’t hand many of these score out, but when we do, it’s because it’s an exceptionally great game. We can’t think of any way it could have been better, and have full confidence that it’s worth your time and money. Get it and play it – we know you’ll love it.

In addition to a game’s Primary Score, we also assign Secondary Scores to certain notable aspects of the game. These Secondary Scores are not mathematically averaged to arrive at the Primary Score, but are chosen and included at the sole discretion of the reviewer to give general feedback for items such as overall gameplay, graphic, audio, story line, or other notable elements of the game.

When appropriate, our reviewers also include comments relating to 2-3 positive game elements (thumbs up) and 2-3 negative or improvable elements (thumbs down) to give readers a quick overall impression of the game. These brief comments are included at the top of our reviews near the Primary and Secondary Scores.

All of our reviewers are expert gamers with experience playing, evaluating, and writing about video games. Many of them have writing or journalism degrees, and are respected for their opinions. They are expected to be completely fair and honest in their reviews.

We allow (and even encourage) reviewers to write about games for which they have an interest, but if a specific reviewer has strong opinions about a specific game series or publisher (whether positive or negative), we’ll assign that review to someone else. Bios for our reviewers and links to their reviews are available on our Editorial Staff Page.

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