Those who review games - what do you do when you greatly dislike a game?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Lounge' started by GatorDeb, Apr 18, 2009.

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What should I do with a review game I didn't like?

  1. Post the negative review.

    11 vote(s)
    78.6%
  2. E-mail the dev and give them the option of having a negative review posted or no review at all.

    3 vote(s)
    21.4%
  1. GatorDeb

    GatorDeb Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2009
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    I'm doing my own review site. No ads, no sponsors, just reviews. Don't make any money off of it. If I find a game interesting I use the Support link through iTunes and tell the dev/publisher I'd like to review the game in exchange for a promo code.

    So I've gotten a few codes this way. Reviews take 20-30 minutes to write up, probably longer, and most games I'm interested in are $1-$3, so I'm doing this out of love... one hour of OT at work would cover 10 games or so, instead of 5 hours.

    So I found the first game I really dislike. I wouldn't recommend that game to anyone (I haven't written the review yet, so there's no point to go and look :p). I'm deleting it as soon as I finish the review. And it's not a $1 game.

    How do you do reviews for games you dislike? I of course can't say I liked it just because I got a promo code because the site will lose all credibility and what good is a review site without credibility. I thought of writing the review and emailing it to the dev and asking him/her whether they wanted me to publish it (I feel I should do a review because I promised one). I don't know if that's underhanded, though.

    What do you all other reviewers do?
     
  2. pablo19

    pablo19 Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2008
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    I feel like what I higlighted is the way to go, by the way nice review site ;)
     
  3. DaveMc99

    DaveMc99 Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2009
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  4. yourofl10

    yourofl10 Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2008
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    For me, I would publish the review but say why you dont like the game but still have in like the graphics, gameplay,sound etc.... and express your opinions on those.

    My 2 cents hope it helps
     
  5. GatorDeb

    GatorDeb Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2009
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    How's this for an email?

    Hello! I spent some time with " " and I found it definitely wasn't my type of game. I didn't like it :( Liking games is very subjective, though, so I'm sure you'll find people who really enjoy it. When it comes to the review I was wondering what you wanted me to do:

    1. Write the review and publish it.
    2. Write the review and send it to you.
    3. Don't write the review.

    I can't say I liked this game in the review.

    Thanks!
    Debbie
     
  6. s0mah

    s0mah Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2008
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    failing PHY tests
    little town of bethlehem
    #6 s0mah, Apr 18, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
    Most TA people do this. ^^^^

    That or they candyland their review so much, that no one gives a shit about the what they just read anyways.

    ex.

    CONS:

    Game was too dark. I had to adjust gamma settings.
    The menu was in blue, and I like red.
    The game suggested that I reboot after the initial install.

    CONCLUSION:

    As of now, the game suffers from a few bugs (the dev promises to fix the one that deletes the contents of ur device asap!), and some would say that it is mostly unplayable. I would disagree however. Putting aside the fact that the game is malicious spyware, laggy, and unstable, there is definitely a good connect-three-time management theme here.

    All in all I give it a 7.5/10, and a 11/10 when the dev gets the update out.

    Would you write that email if you had actually spent your own money on the app?
     
  7. GatorDeb

    GatorDeb Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2009
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    #7 GatorDeb, Apr 18, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
    Well, I do have on the site that if they want their game reviewed send me a promo code, that a good review is not promised, just an honest one.

    I'm thinking of adding that disclaimer to my promo code request emails.
     
  8. organerito

    organerito Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2008
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    You can talk what should be improved. Instead of saying that you don't like it, you can say that is a game that is going to appeal to those who like racing games or whatever. Find the shortcomings and make a warning. As a critique of anything you have to be and present yourself as a very objective person. If you are aggressive or too bias, it is a bad thing for your credibility and yo can alienate people. You have to be polite and diplomatic. There many ways to say things in a politically correct way.
     
  9. DaveMc99

    DaveMc99 Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2009
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  10. coconutbowling

    coconutbowling Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2008
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    I usually don't review games that I disliked. However, if the developer wants honest feedback, I tell it like it is. I do talk of ways of improving a game too.
     
  11. sam the lion

    sam the lion Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2009
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    #11 sam the lion, Apr 18, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
    I think you should do one of these:

    1)Publish the review and say that the games sucks, and why. The fact that you had it for free makes no difference... you're just being honest with your audience that will eventually have to pay for it.

    2)If you prefer to run a suggestions site, when you only talk about games you like, don't write a review, but decide it yourself. Maybe you promised the dev a review, but they'll likely prefer your silence if you don't like the game. If you decide to go this way, you may contact the dev to explain your reasons, but only after you made up your mind. Don't let 'em interfere with your independence.
     
  12. GatorDeb

    GatorDeb Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2009
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    I really hope the following doesn't give it away and, if it does, that you don't publicly post it because I'm really trying to keep the game outside of the thread :)

    Does it matter if the dev is well-known in the games industry and does it matter if it's a port of a well-loved game?
     
  13. DaveMc99

    DaveMc99 Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2009
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    Did you like the well-loved game? Is it a good port of that game? If the game is a good port of the original then it is not a 1 star crap game.. just not for you.
     
  14. Coldar

    Coldar Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2008
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    Review them honestly. Your credibility is always and should be at the forefront whenever writing a review. Many people rely on reviews to save them money (from purchasing bad games) and guide them to quality games. You've stated on your site of no guarantee so the devs asking you to review their game(s) are forewarned. I would back this up within an e-mail when corresponding too.
    I would e-mail dev of a bad app/game before writing the review and he will more likely tell you to hold off posting it until an updated version is made and then to review it a second time (as in my experience). If he plans to release the game (or has) before updates then I will post my review as an obligation to fellow gamers and this is also stated within the e-mail to the dev. There is a fine line of being sensitive to the devs and their games (if bad) yet wanting to make your point across to the consumers who value your opinion as a reviewer. And then there devs that will simply get angry and never call on you again. (those are the ones you don't want anyways).
    Just mentioning a couple things above and from this I believe devs and gamers will respect your site and use it for stable/honest information and keep coming back.
     
  15. GatorDeb

    GatorDeb Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2009
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    Never played it :)
     
  16. As a developer, I've had some pretty bad reviews for a few of my games, and it really hurts.

    I've also seen a lot of people in the forums will come into a thread just to say that they don't like this or that aspect of a game. Often they haven't even played the game, but just had a 2 second look at the screen shots.

    Additionally, as other people have pointed out, it is possible for 1 person to love a game, and another person to hate it. And both people can have perfectly valid viewpoints.

    I personally think that there is enough negative press for iPhone games around already, and people in general aren't going to buy a non top 20 game anyway, so a bad review probably won't save many people money.

    I think it would be a better use of your 30 minutes to find an under appreciated game you do like, and let people know about it instead.

    As a personal preference, I also enjoy reading positive and honest reviews more than negative ones.

    That said, giving negative feedback privately can also be a good thing.

    Whew, long post!

    Shen
     
  17. Eli

    Eli ᕕ┌◕ᗜ◕┐ᕗ
    Staff Member Patreon Silver Patreon Gold

    Momma always said if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all.
     
  18. sam the lion

    sam the lion Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2009
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    by applying this line of reasoning, there shouldn't be any positive review, either. I might like the game, but someone else may dislike it.

    As someone pointed out, positive reviews are by far the majority. And about the top 20 argument, then am I allowed to publish a negative review if I don't like a game in the top 20? In this case, I might actually save some money. And then, what should the line be? top 20? top 50? top 100?

    I'm sure you know that a negative review can be hones all the same, so I don't understand why applying the adjective only to the positive ones. Honesty is always the better policy, in both cases.
     
  19. Sam:

    I enjoy reading reviews that are positive and honest. I don't enjoy reading reviews that are negative, irrespective of their honesty. I also don't enjoy reviews that are positive and full of cr*p.

    You have a good point about negative reviews of top 20 apps, although to be honest I get tired of seeing reviews for the top 20 apps everywhere, and tend not to read them at all.

    For less known games, if someone writes a positive review, it can help me choose a game. If they write a negative review I am still left with 6000+ other games to choose from, so it doesn't help me much.

    As I said, that is my personal opinion, and it is no doubt biased by the fact that my games on the other end of the reviews from time to time.

    You are of course welcome to read / write whatever type of reviews you like.

    PS. GatorDeb - After looking at your site, your reviews are very comprehensive, and full of actual info about the games - keep up the good work!
     
  20. GatorDeb

    GatorDeb Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2009
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    Thanks :D My aim is to give the next best thing as playing the game itself. Gameplay, graphics, sounds, replayability, suggestions for devs, etc. So it's not so much recommending the game or not, it's just giving as much information about the game as possible so that people can decide before buying them whether it'll be enjoyable for them.

    I decided to review the game, I just won't gush about it. It'll be very straightforward but thorough. Something that really threw me for a loop is that it took one of my most favorite things/genres in the world and added one of my least favorite to it :(
     

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