Reviews are one of the things we want to be known for at Level Down Games, and is one of the main reasons Bryan got into the industry. Below is a detailed look at our review policy that we will be adhering to going forward. This was last updated on March 23, 2019, and will continue to be updated and revised as needed.
When Will Reviews Be Available
Level Down Games is committed to providing reviews for new releases as soon as humanly possible. A majority of the time when a code is provided to us from the publisher or developer, we will have the review up as soon as the embargo is lifted or the game is officially released. There may be circumstances which prevent us from sticking to that, like for example if we do not receive a review copy until a few hours before the embargo is up or until the game is released. When that happens, or when we have to purchase a game in order to supply a review, we will aim to have the review posted within the first week to two weeks after release. We want to give our reviewers time to actually play and experience the games, so that the reviews are a full reflection of how the game actually is. If you do wish to send us a code for review consideration, please keep that in mind so we have time to actually invest in it before the embargo is up or the game is released. Level Down Games will also always adhere to any review embargo, and will never jeopardize relationships by breaking them early.
Will Every Game Released Get a Review?
Unfortunately, no. There are so many games being released now across all platforms, that we couldn’t even begin to devote enough time to accurately review everything. We will do our best in order to provide reviews for as many titles as possible, but there will be things we miss. If a specific game does not get a review and you’d like to see us cover it, drop us an email and we will do our best to accommodate it. As Level Down Games grows and we are able to bring on more reviewers and contributors, we’ll be able to cover more and more releases.
What’s This About Video Reviews I Heard?
Level Down Games also produces video reviews as well as written text reviews! Not every single review we do will get an accompanying video review with it, but we will do our absolute best to create as many video reviews as we possibly can! Text reviews are our number one priority, and always will be.
At the top of every review, right after our opening paragraph, we will always include details about the game. Within these details, the last line will state how Level Down Games acquired the code or game in order to do the review. If the game was provided by a publisher or developer, it will clearly state that. If we purchased the game with our own money in order to supply coverage and a review, it will clearly state that too. We want to be fully transparent with our readers and audience and let them know how we received each game we are offering a review on. Our opinions, thoughts, and review scores are in no way affected by how we received the game.
So Then Which Games Will Get Reviewed?
We will make every effort to review major releases across current platforms. Right now that includes PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, 3DS, and Vita.
What About Consoles, Mice, Keyboards, Headsets, Monitors, Hardware, Televisions, Routers, Mobile Devices, etc?
Level Down Games will be reviewing products that fall within those categories when we are able. We would love to start being able to review every single mouse, keyboard, headset, console, etc. that gets released, but that is just not possible at the present time. When we are able to review them, we will score them a bit differently than we do a game review. Instead of offering a numerical value to the hardware, we instead will offer up our thoughts and opinions on the product, and then say if we Highly Recommend, Recommend, Slightly Recommend, or Do Not Recommend each piece of hardware.
How We Structure Reviews
We want our reviews to be an accurate representation of how we felt about the game while playing through it, and after it’s finished. We do not want to just list off paragraphs for Story, Soundtrack, Graphics, Characters, etc. We will of course cover these things when needed, but we want our reviews to be mostly a discussion piece on each individual game. Our reviews can and will jump around from time to time, as if the reviewer was having a personal, one on one conversation with you. We will always touch on the major things we feel the reader needs to know in order to make an informed decision on whether to play the game or not.
How We Score Reviews
Here at Level Down Games, we use a 10 point system. The lowest a game can score is 1, and the highest a 10. We will utilize the full spectrum of the scale, and will not just be sticking to the higher end. We reserve the right to score a game freely, based on our individual experience with the game and how we felt about it at the end, regardless of if we received the game from the publisher or if we had to purchase it ourselves. This is no way should affect future relationships with any publisher or developer. We also will rate games on a number of different scenarios. If two games receive the same score, that in no way means they are equal to one another, or that they should be viewed as such. We do not place a lot of emphasis on the score, and instead feel that readers should read the full text of the review in order to get a better understanding of what we thought of the game.
While the scores exist for a reason, please remember that these are just a number. We do a fantastic job accurately describing a game’s strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between in the paragraphs found in our reviews. Please read them carefully, and do not just scroll down to the bottom looking for a score, as the score does not tell the entire picture for a game.
For a more detailed look at our scoring system, here’s what we will be using:
10 – Fantastic. The highest honor we can give. While not perfect (nothing ever is), a game with those score attached to it excels in the industry and is nothing short of outstanding. Make sure games with this score are in your library.
9.0 / 9.5 – Excellent. Practically a must own title. Any game that falls within these scores is exceptional and deserves to be experienced by all.
8.0 / 8.5 – Great. A great experience from beginning to end. Anything within this area is highly recommended by us.
7.0 / 7.5 – Good. There’s nothing wrong with a good game, and any game with this score is generally recommended. Fans of the franchises or genres will likely find enjoyment a lot more than the average gamer.
6.0 / 6.5 – Average. A game with a solid experience from start to finish, but has things holding it back from scoring even higher. Fans of the franchises or genres will likely find something to enjoy, if not the full game. Everyone else, probably not.
5.0 / 5.5 – Decent. A game earning this score is considered decent. A full experience that isn’t broken or considered terrible, but is severely lacking something which prohibits it from scoring higher. Technical issues and bugs may or may not be present.
4.0 / 4.5 – Below Average. Anything with this score has some qualities that fans of the individual franchises or genres may enjoy. For everyone else, it’s best to look elsewhere. The game falls short when it comes to execution on various aspects. Technical issues and bugs are still present and have an impact on the overall enjoyment factor.
3.0 / 3.5 – Poor. Featuring more negative aspects than positive ones and a concept that just doesn’t work from beginning to end, we do not recommend jumping in to a game with this score. Technical issues and bugs are hard to ignore and severely impact the experience.
2.0 / 2.5 – Bad. Something went wrong with a game if it falls into this area. While it still functions and you can get from start to finish, there’s still way too many issues and bugs to warrant your time.
1.0 / 1.5 – Avoid. If we’re dipping all the way down here, the game barely functions, if at all, oftentimes making it impossible to reach the end. Not worth the time and energy to play due to the overabundance of bugs and technical issues. Avoid at all costs. We’re surprised this even made it out of QA.