About Reviews

Reviews are without a doubt the predominant form of writing published on Kritiqal. With these reviews, my purpose is not so much to provide buying advice and product analysis, as it is to discuss a given game in a critical and holistic fashion. The reason for this is that I view games as an art form, one deserving of the same sort of criticism and transmedia consideration as books, movies, music, and most every other art form has received for years.

Because of this, I do not believe it possible to separate a game into different elements to be judged individually. It seems silly to apply weighted values to the likes of graphics, sounds, replayability and the like, as it is only in the combination of a game’s various parts that it becomes something worth playing. That isn’t to say some games will have pieces more worthy of consideration than others, but I have no interest in critiquing games as anything but complete creations.

This includes criticizing and praising games when their pieces do or do not fit properly together, as I feel as a medium, games can do better than lackadaisically forming themselves from poorly chosen and divergent parts. I understand that to some this may come across as sometimes odd or even unfair to a game, but I would urge those people to leave a comment so I can discuss a game with them, and perhaps see us both come away with a better understanding of it. If all else fails, there are an abundance of other sites that can better provide the sort of reviews you may be looking for, though I hope it doesn’t have to come to that. We can still be friends.

On Review Scores

Up until recently, Kritiqal hasn’t used review scores, but in an effort to improve reviews for readers I am now experimenting with a 10-point system which you will find at the bottom of reviews going forward.

For this system, I have opted not to break down each number into its own category and weight, but instead am simply presenting it as how much I recommend a given game. A 1 would then be a game I under no circumstances would ever advise anyone to play, and a 10 inversely is a game I believe to be essential to everyone’s playlist, with individual points between these two extremes acting as a fluid scale of recommendation. I hope by using this system I will avoid the tendency to only utilize half the scale, and also that in the absence of personal qualifiers these scores will be seen less as blunt evaluations of a game’s worth, but rather merely how much I believe they are worth your time.

The Editor’s Choice award will remain and will be awarded on the basis that I believe a game is especially significant, though without a standard score barrier attached. There may very well be 9s and 10s without EC awards, but this is because I view the Editor’s Choice award as a separate higher recommendation bestowed upon games which represent innovative, culturally progress, or otherwise exemplary games that are pushing the medium forward. There will likely be a lot of parity between EC awards and high review scores, but the two are not entirely one in the same.

I am unsure as of now how the inclusion of review scores will affect my reviews going forward, but I hope it will create a positive change in reader’s perceptions of them, as well as provide clarity which words sometimes fail to convey. If you have any thoughts of your own as to how these scores work or recommendations for how I apply them going forward, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know.

On Ethics

Occasionally, Kritiqal receives review codes for games from publishers and developers, in exchange for coverage of their game. In these situations, the tone of the coverage (be it positive or negative) is never part of the arrangement and all reviews and previews that result from obtaining a press copy of a game remain uninfluenced. In all cases where review code was provided, this information will be disclosed at the bottom of a review/preview, as well as prominently in any videos that may be produced. This includes games received via press services like that provided by itch.io, as well as any other form of obtainment by way of the developer or publisher. If you have any questions about these disclosures, please email me at contact (at) kritiqal (dot) com, and I will be happy to discuss them.

for the love of games