We here at GamingINTEL are, first and foremost, gamers. Many of us have turned our hobby into a career and strive to help those with guides, keep you updated on news, and more. Recently, we made the decision to introduce reviews into our coverage, to help players see our thoughts on a game before its release.
Games are art. So, while we aim to provide critical analysis and explain our decisions in detail, some of our opinions that form the final verdict are an emotional connection to a game. In its simplest of terms, that means that sometimes our review may score differ to the masses simply because of a reviewer’s connection, or lack thereof, to an experience.
That being said, we use a 20-point scale to provide our final verdict. We believe that a 10-point scale doesn’t offer enough variety, whereas a 100-point scale can become too complex. Although, this may change with time to fit with our reviewing standards as we grow and adapt our reviewing strategies, as well as our expanding team.
Review Score Explanations
Here, we’ll define what each score means to us, as well as what we expect from a game to award that score.
10 – To award a game the highest score, we don’t expect perfection. However, these are games that we’ll define as essential. These are experiences that we believe provide the highest quality of entertainment, narrative, or simply, fun. Usually, these games affect the industry in a noticeable way, almost providing a blueprint for future games to draw from.
9 – Games that earn a nine score are simply incredible experiences. While they may not affect the industry, they’re highlights of amazing development. They usually offer quality time, with very few faults or issues.
8 – While games that are awarded an eight score may have a couple of issues, they more than makeup for it with solid gameplay, a solid narrative, or something else which still keeps us hooked throughout its runtime.
7 – Scores of a seven shows a good time, which certainly provides a valuable experience, but these games are likely missing a few things to bump it up. Maybe it is fun, but plays it too safe? Possibly a great experience which has some bumpy performance issues, or is too repetitive. They’re still fun, and probably worth your time if you like the genre.
6 – The last score before we hit the mediocre, average or bad, games that are awarded a six from us typically have some good highlights, but often provide drawbacks. They may try something interesting but fail at it. They’re still good experiences, but they simply don’t hit the right notes to gain a higher score.
5 – Plain and average. These are games that provide an experience, which is likely forgettable if not safe. These are usually okay for fans of the genre or franchise but aren’t enough for newcomers to try. Games with a five are likely filled with “what if” moments, where we hoped for more.
4 – Poorly made with some decent ideas, games with a four offer some value but generally don’t provide enough good to outweigh or even balance out the bad. They’re slightly below average, offering possibly a decent time for any die-hard fans of the franchise or genre.
3 – This is the score for games that are the equivalent to The Room. Only enjoyable for those who like bad experiences or who want to have a laugh with their friends. Either that, or plenty of performance issues, technical faults, and bugs bring down a decent game to its knees. They’re poorly optimized and generally an avoidable time.
2 – Absolutely not worth your time. If we score a game a two, that means it should be avoided at all costs. It shows no signs of any good, bar maybe one gameplay mechanic or possibly decent graphics. But overall, we wouldn’t recommend these games to even those who live and breathe that franchise or genre.
1 – Abysmally, painfully, and undoubtedly awful. It’s almost impressive that a game could receive one score, making you wonder if they aimed to make an experience this bad. In fact, we almost recommend experiencing it as a “what not to do”, so that’s something at least! Generally, these are games that show nothing BUT faults, offering very little value, if any.
A score of 0 exists within our system, however, it’s very unlikely to ever be given.
We will sometimes have a .5 in our final score, which means it’s between any two scoring definitions.
Previews, Closed Beta Reviews & Early Impressions
Sometimes, we here at GamingINTEL will gain access from developers or publishers to preview a game. This means that, while we can’t provide a review for the full experience, we will provide a condensed review of what we like about the current state of the game, as well as what we hope it can do before launch. In other cases, we may get copies of a game right on launch, making for a review-in-progress where it’s the full experience, but we need to play some more before giving it a verdict.
In either case, we will make you aware that we aren’t providing the final score at the time.
Reviews & Scoring FAQs
I saw a disclaimer that you were provided a copy of the game for reviewing, does that affect your score?
Absolutely not. Developers and Publishers provide these codes to us in return for an honest, and critical, review. Codes affecting our reviews help no one, as it means that developers or publishers don’t get honest feedback that they can’t work on, and readers become untrustworthy of our content and scores.
How do you choose which games to review?
While we wish we could review every indie game that releases, it’s simply not possible. We use a range of tools to check whether a game will be worth our time reviewing or not.
I have an indie game that I want you to review! Where can I send a code?
Firstly, please don’t send unsolicited codes. Sending over codes doesn’t mean we will cover your game, and if anything, it’s annoying. If you want us to check out your game, or your client’s game, then send us over some information along with trailers, assets, or anything else we should be aware of!
With a team of writers, how do you choose who will review each game?
That depends on many factors. Usually, a reviewer is interested in the game and is willing to provide a written review. It also depends on whether writers are busy with other reviews and content.
Do you change review scores after a final verdict is given?
Very, very rarely may we do this. If a game is given to us pre-launch and the core experience is changed drastically, either in terms of a major update or whether they enable some heinous microtransactions, we may change the score to reflect the change of experience.
However, this will be clearly explained in the review.