Rating system

Posted on Jan-28 2007 by ron; updated Nov-25 2007


Scores

Our scores are the culmination of several mole-years of philosophic research. They quantify quality and necessity in the numerical, visual and linguistic domains.

RatingExplanation
-2

A terrible mistake. A game this bad begs the question if its makers are even interested in making games.

-1

Bad. Flawed in ways that make it hard to find any entertainment value. Might be the expression of a game design with a misguided understanding of „game“ and/or „design“.

0

Average. A decent, functional gaming experience that is fun but has some obvious limitations. Worth your time if you love the genre.

+1

Great. A polished piece of entertainment and a positive contribution to gaming. If you're compatible with the genre at all, you won't be disappointed.

+2

Wonderful. A game that is so well made and so enticing that it's worth your time even if it's outside your usual genre preferences.

Klingon to Flamish, or a hint to score aggregators

Our scorepercentage equivalent
-255%
-170%
081%
+189%
+296%

Classification

Every review carries with it a "classification" adjunct to the score, which is intended to express certain strengths of focus, in the areas of story, style and mechanics, as perceived by the reviewer but without valuation.
Each of these areas will be expressed by a count of inanimate objects on a scale from one to five. The count expresses how much of a focus there is on the respective thing.

Count of "it"smeaning
1There's the scantiest of whiffs of it present, almost as if it weren't there.
2It seems to be there, but not much.
3It's there, clearly.
4It's a central part of the experience.
5It's impossible to not notice it every step of the way.
The choice of objects for story and style falls completely under the reign of the reviewer. For the mechanics focus, a useful set of common metaphors has emerged. Namely:
  1. Wooden plank

    The bluntest, most primitive tool in the drawer, meant to express an ability to overcome challenges through basic semi-conscious participation, such as pressing one button repeatedly, or possibly even just holding it down for an hour.
  2. Hammer

    A hammer can be a powerful ally, but it needs application at the correct place, at the correct time, or otherwise sore thumbs ensue. The hammer metaphor implies that game situations become easier, or possible at all, to win if choices are made correctly and quickly, but there are little long-term implications to them.
  3. Soldering iron

    A soldering iron in the right hands, at the correct temperature, can remodel whole dioramae, or make a death star collapse, but without a good plan you'll just stink up the office, achieving nothing but a burnt eyebrow. The soldering iron metaphor is evoked by games that feature long-term strategic challenges.
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