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An Explanation of the Indie Game Atlas Review System

When I review games, I break them down into 5 categories: story, characters, mechanics, inclusivity, and style. Each category is worth 2 points. After I've assigned a score to each category, I add the values from each category to get the overall score (with the highest possible score being 10/10). Here's how I score each category:

0/2 - presentation is absent or abysmal

1/2 - presentation is average

2/2 - presentation is perfect

I do not limit myself to using exclusively whole numbers. In other words, I assign scores like 0.5/2, 1.25/2, etc. Sometimes a game will perform at a level that is above average, but not perfect, in a particular category. In those situations, I may want to assign a score between 1 and 2. Likewise, a game might be below average in a given category, in which case I will award a score between 0 and 1.

Let's break down the overall scores:

0 - I wouldn't recommend this game to any person, for any reason.

1-2 - The game is very bad.

3-4 - The game is below average.

5 - The game is perfectly average.

6-7 - The game is above average.

8-9 - The game is very good.

10 - I will bother you every day for the rest of your life until you play this masterpiece.

Some people may consider my scoring system to be harsh, because not every game receives a good score. However, not every game is above average or very good. Many times I finish games and think, "That was a perfectly fine gaming experience." And there is nothing wrong with average games; they simply indicate the absence of a fantastic gaming experience. I'm judging the finished product - not the developers' effort, not the size of the game's fan base, not the quality of the studio - because consumers should have access to honest insights into which games are worth their money.

I hope you found this explanation helpful and that you enjoy my reviews!

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