A review score guidelines page. Always fun, right?
Stevivor.com follows a simple review score scale that we work hard at to be balanced and fair. We never assign a review score until after writing our reviews up; that overall sentiment is then taken and matched to the scale you’ll find below.
We make full use of the scale, as you’ll see – so an 8 doesn’t mean average. Far from it, in fact.
Stevivor’s staff of writers have agreed upon the following guidelines in regards to overall review scores:
1/10 - This is the sort of product we wouldn’t recommend to our worst enemy. Buggy, uninspired and not worth the plastic the cartridge, CD, DVD or Blu-ray it was printed on. Yeah, we know digital games are a thing. The analogy still works.
2/10 – Not much better than a 1/10 score, but perhaps with less bugs. Still, a slightly more polished game doesn’t mean you’re really going to want to play it.
3/10 – Closer, but still no cigar. Fans of a particular franchise might want to play this game, but most others will want to steer clear. If you can hit up a bargain bin for a game at this level, you might consider a purchase.
4/10 – Any game scored in this realm is just shy of average quality; still, it’s just a tad off. Again, probably one for the bargain bin, but fans of a particular genre might find some great moments in a title at this range.
5/10 – Based on the numbers alone, this game is average. In all ways. Which means we almost feel indifferent about it. Meh.
6/10 – Above average — quite literally. Any game in this bracket is solid and enjoyable, but is lacking some element that puts it up in the higher end of the scale. Games from 6/10 and up are definitely worth buying if you’re a fan of the genre they’re in.
7/10 – Even more above average. At this range, we’re starting to get into the cream of the crop – highly polished, well designed, with an excellent narrative and all the other bells and whistles that should be expected. Perhaps one of those key components are lacking, but the rest of the title will make up for that.
8/10 – Even better. See 7/10, but now we’d start throwing in “genre-defining” into the mix. Games at this level are absolutely for fans of the genre, but would suit any gamer, in our opinion.
9/10 – At this level, pretty much everyone will be wanting to play this game. Not cause it’s hyped, but because it’s damn good. It transcends genre, race, sexuality – EVERYTHING. You need games at this level as part of your collection.
10/10 – Perfect. Or, at perfect as a video game can be. A game at this level won’t be without flaws, but they’re so minute that you’ll never care about them. Infrequently dished out, a perfect score means that you should drop everything you’re currently doing to buy this title.
This scale isn’t perfect. It’s a work in progress. We will revisit it from time to time and see what works and what does not. We thank you for your patience in the matter and actively encourage your feedback on the review process.
Update [15 September 2015]: We’ve dropped our former subscores — Gameplay, Innovation and Replay factor — from reviews. Some readers thought out subscores were averaged out to form the overall review score. They were not. As they caused unnecessary confusion, we’ve simplified the process; they’re out. We’ll still be discussing those elements alongside a host of others in the text of our reviews.