Updated August 12, 2022
After we’ve checked over a Review to make sure it follows our Review Policy, we’ll then move on to scoring it. We do not do paid reviews, it’s unethical and we will outright refuse payment for positive and/or preferential coverage of a product. As a whole, it is our job to review products from a neutral point-of-view and minimize potential conflicts-of-interest along the way. Not only would this create a massive one, but it’d also destroy the integrity of our team members.
It’s important to note that scores of the reviews are solely based on the opinions of the reviewer. You may not agree with them — but everyone has their own opinions, and that does not mean their take on something is inherently wrong.
For games, we have four pillars, each containing multiple things that we look for. They are as follows:
- Are the controls easy to grasp and understand?
- Are the objectives clear and concise?
- Barring certain bugs, how does the game run?
- Is the art style consistent?
- Does the art style fit the overall theme of the game?
- Are the menus easy to navigate?
- How is the quality of the writing? (Good, needs work on clarity, etc.?)
- If this is a game lacking lots of writing, are the tutorials clear?
- If there’s dialogue, does it entertain the player (and also make sense?)
- What’s the target audience for the game, and does it match up?
- Taken all together, is it an enjoyable and/or entertaining experience?
We tally these categories up, scoring them out of 10 points each, and find the average. We don’t do decimal places in our scoring of individual categories because that makes things hard on us, so we’ll just round up or down depending on how we felt about it.
As an example I can walk you through, let’s say a game gets the following score:
- Gameplay: 9/10
- Design: 7/10
- Writing: 10/10
- Entertainment: 8/10
The average score would be 8.5/10.
Because we round up, let’s say we really enjoyed a specific element of the overall game that didn’t fall within our 4 pillars. We’ll round it up to 9/10, in that case. If we felt the opposite, and disliked it, we’d round the score down to an 8/10.
This policy ensures that we can avoid being on the fence about something, reduces editorial hang-ups, and also ensures that the score we give was based on our honest experience with a product.
Here is the list of the average scores and what they mean on our site:
10 – Excellent
An excellent title that we recommend you add to your library!
9 – Great
A great game that may have some minor hiccups, but is otherwise a wonderful experience.
8 – Good
A good game with some hiccups that were noticeable during gameplay. It’s not to be discounted, to be incredibly clear, but definitely something to be aware of.
7 – Somewhat Good
This game is probably a let-down in some ways, and there may be a situation where these let-downs are somewhat obvious or are subtle.
6 – Above Average
The game is just that: okay. There’s more good than bad, but there are parts of this game that are absolutely let-down in one of our four pillars.
5 – Just Your Average Game
This is just your average game! It’s both good and bad, all with its own issues and redeeming qualities. We’d definitely steer away unless you know for sure the game’s for you.
4 – Bad
This game is bad, probably in more ways than one. It’s probably riddled with bugs, or otherwise didn’t stand up to our four pillars. Games in this tier are what we’d describe as “poorly baked” and are not something we usually recommend.
3 – Very Bad
This game is bad: very bad. Whether it was due to crunch time or what have you, anything here and below is, in our opinion, not of good quality. We don’t recommend it.
2 – Horrid
This game was a horrible experience, and we absolutely don’t recommend purchasing it in any way, shape or form.
1 – No. Just no.
If it’s a 1, you know we’re done. Just run away, ignore this, and go play Splatoon or something…