Our goal is to develop a site based 90 percent on reviews and 10 percent on previews and interviews. We want to have no less than one new original review per day. We are not a news site. We're not journalists. But, we always need new writers! The benefits? You get to be considered press and get the occasional free game. Sorry, we are an all-volunteer staff. But, dang, we have fun.
Some of us are experienced website and network managers. Some of us are game developers. Some of us are journalists or writers. Some of us are students. Some of us have been game reviewers in the past. But ALL of us are game players. We play games for the love of games and for no other reason.
We're hoping to create something a little different. We don't want to assign a value to a game. "This game is a 2. This game is a B+. This one is a 5.75." Our reasoning is that ratings don't tell you about what is most important — the player playing the game. Two players reviewing the same game can have wildly differing opinions based on likes and dislikes, experience in the genre, and ability to play the game.
For example, I (Ophelea) am terrible at console games. I simply don't have the dexterity. But, I can recognize the difference between my own ineptness and a difficult game, and I also can realize when I'm having fun despite being all thumbs!
We think that's what makes reviews important — the person reviewing them.
We also believe that games aren't often reviewed properly, and as many of us are current/former members of the press, we'd like to work on changing that. To that end, we've set up a set of criteria for our reviews:
We feel our style makes for more useful reviews. If two of our writers review a game and one loves it while the other hates it, then look at their profiles. Find out if the one who hates it plays games just like you. If so, that's the review you want to trust.
Below you'll find a profile for one of our writers, to give you an idea of what they look like. At the time this page was written (August 2004), she was one of only two female writers.
My children both play games so I often play them first, getting to know exactly how something may effect my sensitive and easily stimulated older child vs. my stoic and imperturbable younger.
I like games for games; for the pure enjoyment of them and believe that no game is wholly bad, though some are real stinkers.
I also have the dexterity of a camel in mittens so find playing FPSs difficult (and I also don't like the gore) and RTSs at times can stump me. I just can't seem to move quickly enough to keep up with them. Some of my favorite games are arcade games and I'll spend 3-5 years on the same 5-6 levels because I just never get any better. But, I have fun.
Now, to further clarify our game reviews. We'd like to avoid the ratings systems used by many other sites and have a contextual recommendation at the end. To that end, we've compiled a list of qualities that you'll find in games — well, at least four in every game; I don't see Madden 2004 containing much story/lore.
We try to use this list as a guideline and write about as many as possible while maintaining flow. The list (which is open to revision) is as follows:
We don't follow this list; we just try to hit on all that apply to each game.
The most important part of our reviews is our concluding paragraphs. Since we're not using a ratings system, the conclusion about the game as a whole must be in the context of the reviewer. What we mean by this can be seen in the profile above. You'll note in the profile, she's not great at first-person shooters. Right now, she's working on Transformers. After a week, she's still in the training area — she's just so bad with the controls. But, the fact is, she finds the game incredibly maneuverable, some of the graphics are really impressive and the UI is designed so that even though she doesn't use it well, she understands it just fine. So, once she gets out of the training area and sees more of the world, her summary will include something to the effect of, "If you're like me and have poor dexterity, I'd suggest this game as a rental for a few nights of fun frustration and just the chance to be Optimus Prime. However, if you're good with consoles, this game has much to offer in the way of replayability, graphics, story and fun. For you, it's a must-have."
Now, we're not asking for English majors. We have a style guide and editors to help with that. We want enthusiasm and a love for games.
So, if you're interested in joining us as a "regular" staff member, we'd love to have you.
If you find you want to write ONE review about your favorite game ever, that would be wonderful as well. We ENCOURAGE reader submissions — even one-time only.
Pick your favorite game of all time if you don't see something that catches your eye.
Write something for us, and send it to . We'll read it, talk to you about what you'd like to do and go from there.
And in case you hadn't noticed, we're excited about what we do!