How to get Reviewed by Big Website

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by Jadchar, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Jadchar

    Jadchar Member

    Jul 25, 2009
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    Iphone Developper
    Hi,
    We ve just publish Ponk,and Ponk HD for ponk. We send promo codes , and review request to almost all the bog websites/blogs/youtube out there. and it has been 2 weeks now, and still no feedback.

    We ve been hopefully featured as New and Noteworthy by apple , but still no big site include TA dare to review us.. i was wondering how do you guys do to get reviewed.

    if you have any trick ..
     
  2. Jadchar

    Jadchar Member

    Jul 25, 2009
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    Iphone Developper
    #3 Jadchar, Sep 6, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
    Thanks Stroffolino,
    but the link you gave is a thread for getting reviewed by TA, we ve already send them email, it has been 2 weeks now, and still no feedback..
    i guess that for getting reviewed in TA , there are some secret requirement that we dont know about ..
     
  3. mehware

    mehware Well-Known Member

    Nov 22, 2008
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    I am in the same boat. I can't even get a review on Viking Funeral from the little sites and its a good game.

    - Matt
     
  4. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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    Mobile Game Developer
    Hollywood, CA
    it's really difficult. You can try to email several different sites with promocodes/screenshots/videos/birthday cake and it's more and more of a crapshoot really. Just do the best you can to cover all the bases, between releasing as tightly presented a game as possible, and then emailing everyone in the world about it, and then posting and maintaining forum presence for as long as possible. You've already made it onto new and noteworthy however, which is something most devs can't seem to (here here!) so consider a huge battle already won :)

    Do what you can to support in the meantime and try to update/release other projects to build your name and brand(s). That seems to be the best way, so long as you can last long enough to afford it! Good luck! (I just DL'd your game today with the .99 sale, eager to try it out shortly)
     
  5. iFanzine

    iFanzine Well-Known Member

    Just thought I'd offer a non-dev perspective on this. I'm sure every app review site out there is inundated with review requests on a daily basis. With that in mind, the following might be worth considering when contacting 'em:

    1) Put together a well written, concise, and informative press release with artwork (screenshots, icon etc), video, and website/App Store link.

    2) Ensure you include promo code(s) with your initial email. This saves everyone involved time and means you don't have to send a ton of emails back and forth. Including extra codes for contests might also be an added incentive for some sites too.

    3) Bear in mind the majority of sites sell ad space to keep themselves afloat; why not enquire as to their rates? While this won't guarantee a review, it'll let people know you're serious about your product.

    4) Try following the site in question on Twitter, Facebook etc. Join their forums, leave a comment on-site etc, etc... anything that might help you build a relationship/rapport with the site, in other words.
     
  6. mehware

    mehware Well-Known Member

    Nov 22, 2008
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    iFanzine,

    I have done pretty much what you said for my latest game Viking Funeral.

    I mean there are 250k+ apps. so its touch for the Big Sites.

    On topic for review sites, is there a list of smaller sites, i guess some exposure is good from those sites?

    - Matt
     
  7. iphoneprogrammer

    iphoneprogrammer Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2009
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    Financial Analyst for Baines and Ernst
    London, UK
    @iFanzine I have to agree with you on everything you have said. In my experience when devs include a well made press release and promos, it makes it soo much easier for us too decide on whether or not to review a game. I was actually contacted by the OP and we have decided to review the game. Its very well polished, and a lot of fun. Typically I do not play match 3's but this is a new and refreshing take on some old classic gameplay.
     
  8. daygodude

    daygodude Active Member

    I'm in the same boat, and it is quite rough and a little demoralizing. My game has gotten great reviews from users and all it needs is a little attention.

    I may just end up biting the bullet and paying for some marketing soon because I believe my game has great potential to do well, it just needs to break through the noise.

    The only thing that I haven't done is a formal press release, which I may have to do after I'm done with the iPhone version.
     
  9. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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    Mobile Game Developer
    Hollywood, CA
    it is really tough. I just went on about it in this thread.

    I've gone to some crazy lengths with my own promotion (see this old thread) t get the word out for my own game, and it's still not really making me any headway. I've met several website editors/writers and demo'd the game in person and they'll usually "yeah yeah yeah" you but then that's it. At this point you just need to spend either a lot of money (like.. thousands of odllars!) on the production value of your game, or on the marketing, or both..
     
  10. Games that get reviews are
    • from big companies,
    • have interesting and unique game play mechanics
    • catch a reviews eye in some other way. Like being IK+, or hitting some fetish the reviewer has

    Daygoddude - Your game looks like the 1000th tower defense game to hit the store. What makes it special, or stand out from the crowd?

    I've got nothing against rehashes of great games, just look at the games I've made. Just don't expect them to excite reviewers.
     
  11. daygodude

    daygodude Active Member

    When I've emailed reviewers I've been keeping things straight to the point and not fluffing up the game too much- I just relied on them checking out the appstore and videos I've made for the game.

    It's true that it may look like one of the other hundreds of other tower defense games, but from the reviews I've gotten from people, a lot of said it's in their top list of TD games. It has a few unique features that set it a part and make it a different experience. Translating that to a reviewer in a short email is a skill I don't have I guess. My skill lies in making good games... =P

    I should probably point out differences in my game when following up with these sites.
     
  12. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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    Mobile Game Developer
    Hollywood, CA
    I hear you, I have a similar problem.
    For several (political and technical) reasons, my game "180" isn't helped out much by it's screenshots. I am happy with how the game looks, when people actually play it and get to the point of reviewing it they put a lot of praise on the presentation, but out of context it looks like "just another puzzle game" (this is the burden of most puzzle games these days, of course).

    We were extremely excited to create a game with very unique & deep gameplay, but of course one can't see that from merely a screen grab, maybe not even an intro video. Some games you have to actually TRY for yourself to "get it," and the honest truth these days is that there are just way too many games out there clamoring for people to even just try for free!

    Bottom line, for you (and for me) - don't expect an editor/reviewer/potential customer to pick apart your work, at the end of the day they need to get grabbed by the app's name, the icon, and then the screenshot, if they are still with you through all of that then they will start to investigate what is going on..
     
  13. robotmechanic

    robotmechanic Active Member

    Oct 1, 2010
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    Character Rigger
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi guys,

    I am relatively new to these forums but I released a game back in May and now I am working on my second game but this this time around, in addition to working on a unique look and fun gameplay is putting some money down for marketing.

    I read an article somewhere how even a game had a high metacritic score could have poor sales. Actually, here's the article (you can thank google)

    Metacritic: High Score Alone Doesn't Equal High Sales

    The point being, if no one knows about your game, it won't matter how good it is. I am sure there are a lot of games out there that have decent graphics and gameplay and still don't get any attention so it leaves us developers to a few choices imho.

    1. spend money on marketing.
    2. get a publisher
    3. get really lucky (stuff beyond your control, viral marketing, word of mouth, apple showcases your game, etc)

    I think a lot of the popular games out there that we know about mainly used 1 and 2.

    just my two cents,
     
  14. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    1,869
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    Mobile Game Developer
    Hollywood, CA


    you are right on the money. I dig your blog by the way!
     
  15. robotmechanic

    robotmechanic Active Member

    Oct 1, 2010
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    Character Rigger
    Tokyo, Japan
    Thanks. It's still new, but I'm going to try to document my game dev and cover my thoughts on game design/business. :)
     
  16. 99c_gamer

    99c_gamer Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2009
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    is there some sites for just indie games?

    It's hard to say what's an indie game these days maybe a better word would be amateur games? I was thinking of creating a site like that.
     
  17. TinyTechnician

    TinyTechnician Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2010
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    Developer
    Los Angeles
    I think there are sites out there that review indie games/apps but the problem with those sites are usually...

    1) Those sites don't get a lot of visitors so having a review on that site won't really get you any exposure.
    2) Those sites try and review everything and since they review everything (the good, the bad) it's like a turn-key process and hard for a visitor to figure out what's actually good. So again, if 20 new reviews pop-up and your app is one of them then the exposure is minimal.

    I'll be honest though, I suck at marketing/promoting...I'm trying to get better but it really is a lot of hard work.

    Let us all know if you get a review site going...I'm sure we'd all like to jump on the review band wagon.
     
  18. enuhski

    enuhski Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
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    #19 enuhski, Oct 9, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
    hi devs,

    i'm an indie apps reviewer/EIC and i must confess that even with such a tiny site, i am deluged with review requests. i am very flattered actually, but work keeps me busy so much so that i don't even have time to reply and say thank you.

    I'd like to echo what @iFanZine already said, just send over a concise PR (both as inline text and attachment) with screenshots and a promo code if you want. (personally, i prefer checking out the game first and then asking for a promo code - that way you can still have extra codes to give out)

    Much as I want to feature each and every review request I get, it's not physically possible especially since I do my best to write good reviews (at least 300 words). Speaking as a reviewer, if you do send over your press materials, at the very least I can put out a press release for your app and promote it via twitter and Facebook.

    I can't say if this is a practice among other app reviewers, but it's still a good way of getting noticed. Ad space is also a good option.

    You can also try other member review sites on http://gotoats.org.

    More importantly, go out on Twitter and network with other developers and reviewers. Some devs I worked with would give away codes or iTunes GCs via contests on Twitter and Facebook to up the exposure a bit - just find ways to get your game out there. :)
     
  19. suksmo

    suksmo Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2010
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    I've just released a game and it really does seem hard to get a review. I know my app is innovative and unique (and is doing something no other app out there is) without the big A behind me or a lot of review sites I may not stand a chance.

    If you see a reviewer or Arn - point them in this direction (they have a code) -

    Scrambleface

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scrambleface/id394830799?mt=8#

    heres part of the blurb -

    Introducing Scrambleface - one of the most innovative game for iPhone and iPod touch (with camera) this year.

    Scrambleface takes a live video feed from the front facing or back camera and makes it a live action sliding puzzle. Watch in amazement as your lips are on top of your head. Laugh at the crazy combinations. Don't stop for too long as everything is moving in real time!
     

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