I thought I’d take a moment to give a bit of a break down as to how we score games that we review. Of course we’ll give each game a number of plays before we come to our final judgment. Each review also includes our honest appraisal of the gameplay and components and who we feel the game will appeal to. Please note we use a bell curve for the grading as well. As far as the numeric value of a game review overall, the following list should prove to be helpful:
9.5 to 10 (Incredible)
Titles in this range are exceptional indeed. They’re fantastic achievements in design, gameplay, and concept or “all of the above,” with only extremely minor flaws or imperfections. Without a doubt, these are must-own titles that stand at the top of their field.
9.0 to 9.4 (Outstanding)
If a game scores a 9.0 or better, you know it’s a worthwhile experience with just a few imperfections. Games of this caliber are also must-haves, even if you’re not particularly fond of the genre.
8.5 to 8.9 (Great)
An excellent gaming experience that misses the boat in just a few key areas, titles that score in this range are still highly recommended. More often than not, these games also earn mention in Game of the Year lists, although it’s not a guarantee.
8.0 to 8.4 (Impressive)
On the cusp of greatness, “Impressive” games may not always have the award-winning qualities of their higher-rated brethren, but they’re still a heck of a lot of fun and should appeal to most gaming enthusiasts.
7.5 to 7.9 (Very Good)
A good game has some obvious flaws, but these blemishes are overshadowed by one or several first-rate elements. While these games may not be for everyone, they’re still entertaining enough to provide genuine entertainment after multiple plays.
7.0 to 7.4 (Good)
Though titles in this range have shortcomings that keep them from achieving “classic” status, they still boast enough credible ingredients to make them fun in smaller doses.
6.0 to 6.9 (Passable)
Games in this range have more faults than strengths, but still might be worth a serious look if you’re into genres of its type. We definitely playing someone else’s copy first before spending your hard-earned money on it.
5.5 to 5.9 (Mediocre)
Sure, it’s a cliché, but we have to say it: only diehard fans of the particular genre will get any enjoyment out of middling games like these. You might squeeze some fun out of them, but you probably wouldn’t want to own too many games which scores in the 50s.
5.0 to 5.4 (Blah)
A 50% game is the epitome of “middle of the road.” A product with this score leaves us so indifferent that there’s really nothing else to do other than shrug our shoulders and move on.
4.0 to 4.9 (Pretty Poor)
Any game that scores in or below this range isn’t worth your attention, and if you happen to end up with one, you’ll probably find yourself returning to the store for a refund. These are the games your grandmother buys for you because she thinks they’re cute. Trust us, they aren’t.
3.0 to 3.9 (Bad)
When you get to the threes you know you have some major problems going on. These are games that run into numerous gameplay problems and suffer from meager design efforts. If your parents give you a 3 game for your birthday, you might suggest they start getting socks instead.
2.0 to 2.9 (Terrible)
Games of this caliber aren’t even good enough to recycle. It’s more fun to play catch with the box than it is to play the game. Titles in this category have gameplay and mechanic problems that are so severe, they border on being completely “broken.” Maybe the cat could find some use for the box if you fill it with litter.
1.0 to 1.9 (Abysmal)
The absolute worst of the worst; put them in a paper bag, set them aflame on your neighbor’s porch, ring the doorbell, and run. Just as it’s rare to see a 10 on TGG, it’s just as unusual to see a game score in the 1.0 to 1.9 range. Expect unforgivable boredom and/or absolutely horrendous gameplay and design.
.1 to .9 (Worthless)
Okay, we lied. 1.0 to 1.9 isn’t “the absolute worst of the worst.” However, we don’t even consider titles that score below 1.0 “games;” We think of them as sewage in a box. This range is saved for titles that are just so incredibly bad that we question the sanity of the designer and publisher…
As you can imagine most games we run across fall somewhere in the region of 5.0-8.0.