CGMagazine reviews all media on a 10 point scale. All games and comics reviewed by CGM staff and contributors are either provided by the publisher for review purposes, or purchased by CGM personnel. At no time has CGM received gifts or money in exchange for a requested review score, nor has a review copy been provided with any condition from the publisher that the exchange required a certain minimum score. All CGM reviewers assign a score to the game, movie, product, or comic based on their own personal assessment, with no outside interference from developers or publishers to determine a final score.
This is what the scores represent:
1 – Unworkable: This goes beyond being a bad experience to one that simply doesn’t work. These are movies that weren’t actually finished before being sent out to theaters, comics that fall apart in your hands because they weren’t properly bound, and games that don’t even start when the “Start” button is pushed.
2 – Barely functional: This is a work so riddled with bugs and design flaws that it becomes a herculean task to finish. Not only is it not fun in any conceivable way, the odds of successfully watching, reading or playing the product to completion is actually in question. In addition to poor storytelling or design, actual defects are still present like missing pages, bugs that interfere or simply stop gameplay, or cinematic scenes with obvious technical gaffes like production staff in the shot in addition to bad acting. Sheer pride in finishing what you start is the only reason a person would see this through to the end.
3 – Broken: There are serious design and programming problems that are actively impeding successful completion of the experience. Fundamental errors in a given medium’s rules of good conduct are not just present, but persistent, and common sense ground rules for telling a good story, having a playable game, or even simply shooting a scene in a coherent way is unreliable at best. This is a work either created by people who don’t know what they’re doing, or don’t care.
4 – A failed experience: Numerous design or mechanical problems prevent this work from being fun or functional the majority of the time. It is not merely badly designed, it is badly coded and prone to actual programming or mechanical failures that impede playability as much as the lack of fun does.
5 – Barely acceptable: Design or editing problems are significant enough that it actively interferes with enjoyment—and even functionality—but not enough to make the game or story totally pointless. As the score implies, this is a game, comic or other product that may work half of the time, but for the other half, actually doesn’t due to bugs, poor construction, poor editing, writing or other factors.
6 – Mediocre: This is a work or product that does nothing new or, in attempting to innovate, fails significantly. Some design or mechanical elements are significantly flawed/broken, though not enough to render the experience entirely unplayable. An item scoring a 6 is probably best suited only to fans of the genre looking for more comics or games out of sheer desperation, rather than a desire for quality experience.
7 – Good: People unfamiliar with the genre may find this work to be too generic, but fans of a particular genre will still find something worthwhile here despite some mechanical or design flaws. These are “safe” products that usually don’t add anything to a genre, but don’t fail significantly at anything either.
8 – Very good: Works that score an 8 aren’t perfect, but show a technical proficiency and skill in design that make them one of the better examples in their genre or product range. Most consumers will find something worthwhile, but genre fans in particular will find real value in this particular game, comic or product.
9 – Classic: A work that scores a 9 is either a sterling example of classic design elements that define a genre, or else evolve the genre in some dramatic way. Games, comics or other products garnering a 9 are the ones that other works in the genre or product category are compared to, establishing a new bar of quality and entering the annals as an essential experience.
10 – A master class in design: Works that garner a 10 are timeless classics, the sort that are invoked again and again as examples, not just of a game/comics in its particular genre, but for games/comics in general. Flaws—if any—are so small as to be negligible.
How do you choose which products to review?
CGMagazine selects review material based on what we believe is relevant to the general public or achieves something that pushes the medium forward.
Does 10/10 represent a perfect product?
No; a 10 represents what we believe achieved all the goals it set out to, along with pushing the medium forward. A 10 may not appeal to all taste or interests, yet we do believe it should be experienced if you have an interest in the medium.
Will scores change after publication?
No. CGMagazine will not change scores of a review after it has been published. We reserve the right to look at a review if things change, although this will not change the original score.
Can a review be less than 1/10?
We built the review system we have to ensure that there is room for the reviewer to have flexibility to give the item the best fitting score possible. That being said, no review will ever be given less than a 1/10.
I’m a games developer/publisher, how can I get my game reviewed?