Understanding our Review Scale
This grade does not represent perfection, but rather the flawless execution of a particular idea or genuine innovation.
9.0 – 9.5: Outstanding
This grade represents a game we recommend without question, especially to fans of the genre. There is little to fault.
8.0 – 8.5: Great
A score awarded to a great game identified with imperfections, but only if they do not damage the overall experience.
7.0 – 7.5: Good
A commendable grade which represents a good game that has noticeable faults, but can still be recommended.
6.0 – 6.5: Above Average
In recognition of a game with enough positive qualities to be above average, but should be approached with caution.
5.0 – 5.5: Mediocre
This represents a game which is hard to recommend as its positive aspects are primarily outweighed by the negative.
4.0 – 4.5: Poor
This is primarily a negative score, representing underdeveloped games that usually lack the quality to bring enjoyment.
Less Than 4.0: Unplayable
If any grade falls below this threshold, it likely indicates a game that is broken, offensive, or not deserving of your time.
The Philosophy behind our Review Structure
At GameCloud, we believe in reviewing our games with categories. Not only does this give us the ability to target individual components specific to our readers interests, it also allows us to deliver critical information more efficiently. We also appreciate there is no exact science to a review score, that it is both subjective and based on our opinions. This means it comes down to the integrity of our staff, and ensuring all reviews are assigned to the best suited writers.
Not all games employ traditional storytelling methods and we understand that at GameCloud. The term ‘narrative’ is implied so that we are free to analyse methods of storytelling outside of what would be considered conventional. This includes, but is not limited to: narrative through play, environmental narrative, narrative through sound, as well as many other methods of expressing information to the player. We are dedicated to acknowledging all forms of storytelling.
Design is intended to represent all of the great ideas that make a game what it is. Essentially, without typing a single line of code, this is the theory side of game development, which includes, but is not limited to: level design, game mechanics, upgrade systems, dialogue options, and weapon design. A great foundation is required for a game to function as a unified collection of ideas. This makes design one of the most fundamental parts of game production.
Gameplay is the most tangible component of any game, and often the direct execution of game design. Arguably, gameplay is the most crucial component of the medium as it is the interactive bridge between the game and player. If it does not function correctly, it makes it impossible for the player to engage. Examples of gameplay include, but are not limited to: accessibility, manoeuvrability, aiming, platforming, camera work, environment interaction—how it plays.
In the past, games have been judged primarily by their graphics, which is a reasonable component to consider. However, if the independent development industry has taught us anything in recent times, it’s that hyper realistic graphics are not a pre-requisite for incredible interactive experiences. We are advocates for games being an expression of art, and as such, we consider art style, voice acting, sound design, and music to be just as important.