Our Review Scoring System Explained
We spent a lot of time discussing the way that we should score our games. Initially, we talked about having no review scores at all - we like the idea of our readers forming their own opinions based on what we've written. However, the industry that we operate in focuses heavily on reviews score, and let's face it, there's a large proportion of people out there who would like the low down. Not everyone has time to read an entire review and we appreciate that. We then briefly discussed using the standard 'marks out of 10' system but we simply couldn't decide what make a six a six, rather than say, a seven. We agreed that a five would be bang average but while that's perfectly logical - there seems to be an overarching view that a five represents a bad game.
This never really sat well with us so we worked to come up with something that's easily understood, that removes the guesswork around scores. So, instead of working with numbers, instead of struggling to decide why an eight is an eight, why a nine is a nine, we came up with a system based on words. And, actually this effectively breaks down into a four-star (or hearts, in our case) system - there's a special fifth but we expect to use this almost never., it's a zero. So here's our super simple system that we use to rate our games:
We reserve this for extreme cases and in reality we know that we may never use it - that's why we say our rating system is four hearts, not five. The magical zero would represent an unfinished or completely broken game. We hope to never see this in the wild.
One heart. One lonely heart that represents a bad game. A game that we simply didn't enjoy playing, there may be some good ideas - maybe not - but the execution caused us unhappiness. And we're all about the happiness. This might be down to bugs that sapped the fun out of the game, it may just be that it's badly paced, has poor gameplay, doesn't understand what it is. There are many things that can make a game bad, and for this, we award one heart.
Quite simply just an average game. Does what it's meant to with little to no fanfare - enjoyable enough but nothing to write home about.
Just as 'Average' marks and average game, 'Good' marks a good game. We told you it was a simple system, but then we're simple people and we like it that way. 'Good' means we enjoyed playing the game, we had fun, it made us happy. Just like many things can make for a bad game, many things can make for a good game. Maybe we enjoyed the story, maybe the gameplay is just bloody good fun, maybe it does something new that we've never seen before, maybe it has brilliant co-op. There's more, 'Good' means just that.
We've got to the magic 'Must Play' rating. We'd love to spend all of our time here, the 'Must Play' is reserved for the very best games - the ones which push new ground, or that push old ground but do it better than any other game ever has. These are the games that we all want to play, nay, the games that we all must play.
We said it was simple, we said it just makes sense. Now we're wondering why we even wrote these words.