TechRaptor uses a 10 point scoring system with 5 as the average for a score. At its discretion, TechRaptor may import older scores to this system, but some may still be on those older ones which we are willing to explain. If you have any questions, please ask us!
The 10 point system gives an overall rating between 0 and 10, with half points between to allow some leeway and better examination of the game in particular.
Considered into the grade are all the criteria you would expect for a game – though the weight varies by reviewer and game. Every person is going to weigh things a bit differently and each game is designed with different focuses making the creation of the score different. This includes Gameplay, Writing, Visuals, Audio, and Multiplayer (if appropriate). For tabletop you may look more for mechanics, theme, play time, learning curve, among other things.
As with all things in life though, context matters. In the case of video games, one has to take into account platform, genre, and goals. In pen and paper roleplaying games, one has to look at what type of book it is (expansion, setting, core rules) and judge based on that platform. For other tabletop games, one has to look at it and judge it fairly based on what it is trying to be and the context that surrounds it.
What this means in practice is that we don’t expect a 3DS game to have comparable graphics to an AAA computer-only game from 2015. Instead, we look at the expectations for that device in visuals, graphics, audio and other technical areas and work from there. In the case of a pen and paper roleplaying game, we’re not expecting a setting book to be as heavy on crunch, a core book to be as heavy on fluff, and so forth.
For expansions and supplemental material (whether in tabletop or video games) they will be judged on what they have and how they work with the base game. What it brings to and how well it modifies and fits in the base game is part of judging an expansion.
What this doesn’t mean, however, is that bad performance or gameplay is acceptable. In any case, you have your comparables on the device or medium to look at, and you can use that as a benchmark to see how much is the system and how much is the game. On gameplay limitations due it being on mobile, handheld or having an arcane set of rules, we look at the area and again try to see how well its using what is available to it in those areas. Budget limitations may get mentioned in the review and price point may be considered for value, but it is not what the score should attempting evaluate.
Seems simple, but we want to be clear on how we are going about getting these scores.
TechRaptor’s reviews are based on giving a snapshot of the game when it was reviewed. This means that once a score is given, that score is final, and our judgment is based on the game when the review is done. However, updates may be linked to, or put at the bottom to comment on changes such as patches that fix or correct major issues. This is at TechRaptor’s discretion and not all reviews will be updated. While the score may not change, the verdict may be updated there in that region.
Additionally, TechRaptor may do a second look at the game several months later after patches, expansions, and downloadable content have been released. The original score won’t be revised in this, but it may provide a view in where we think it is now and the pricing.
Two Ways of Reviewing Online Games
The increase in online gameplay and modes has required the industry to adapt the best practices to recognize that what is playtested may not stand up to stress tests or have proper connectivity. Please note, this policy doesn’t apply to games with a smaller online component – whether it qualifies here, and to which degree it is will be on TechRaptor’s judgment.
We evaluate these games largely in two related, but separate areas.
A) Games with a significant online component
Games that derive a significant amount of their value from online play – such as shooters with a single player and multiplayer component – are considered under this. In this case, we publish what is considered a Provisional Review without the final score but our opinion, and after checking and adding in any appropriate content about the online experience, we assign a final score.
B) Games with only or mostly only online mode
These are games such as Massively Multiplayer Online games, or multiplayer only shooters that require an online mode to properly function. In this case, we may publish a more in depth preview before but we will not publish a review – Provisional or Otherwise until we have a chance to experiment with it in live fire. This is because for these games the value is almost completely dependent on the online mode.
You can read more on our policies on reviews and review copies elsewhere in our Ethics and Standards Policy.
0 – Atrocious - This game is absolutely atrocious and does a disservice to games by existing. In many cases it is infamous for how bad it is. This score is very rarely given out and always with extra editorial review.
1-1.5 – Awful - While not benchmark hall of fame, running-away-with-it-bad like 0’s, 1s are games that will help create reputation for horribleness and possibly ruin a franchise. This game is awful for various reasons and is known for being awful. For Tabletop Games, to be playable they typically take house rules… and it’s not worth the time.
2-2.5 – Terrible - Terrible games mix bad mechanics, poor rules, broken systems, broken visuals, and bugs in some combination. They aren’t recommended for anyone, other than for ‘so bad, it’s good’ value. While mods or house rules might make it playable, it’s rarely worth the effort.
3-3.5 – Bad - A Bad game manages to avoid the depths of Awful and Terrible but makes a lot of bad choices in design, implementation, or severe, but non-game destroying bugs. Fans of the genre will have issues finding things to like about the game, as the bad parts far outweigh the good ruining the fun it might have had.
4-4.5 – Mediocre - Mediocre games are uninspired with a lack of vision and poor execution. It fails to come together to make a solid game, instead leaving poor parts to work alone. It results in a largely forgettable experience. If you enjoy the genre and need a fix you might have fun, but it’s generally not worth checking out.
5-5.5 – Average - These games fail to stand out meaningfully from the rest. They may have some issues, but are playable and have decent mechanics. They are standard genre fodder in many ways, and there is often a better alternative.
6-6.5 – Good - A Good game is a solid, above average game. Utilizing a mixture of solid mechanics, design, graphics, and audio, it manages to stand out slightly as something fans of the genre or style should pick up. These tend to be, but aren’t always, less innovative but well-executed titles. If you don’t like the genre, however, it is likely that this game won’t do enough to elevate it for you.
7-7.5 – Very Good - These are very good games that stand out of the field and are must-plays for those who are fans of the genre or theme. Typically it features stand out qualities in at least one region and is passable enough elsewhere, possibly with some innovative mechanics. Generally these games have several shortcomings that keep them from being considered great.
8-8.5 – Great - Great games are known for being some of the best to come out in their year, and may influence future game design. They mesh design, mechanics, visuals, writing and theme in fun and interesting ways. They may not win a ton of awards, but they will almost always be in the running.
9-9.5 – Amazing - Amazing games are ones you’d recommend to almost anyone – even people who are not typically fans of the genre. These games mix outstanding qualities in several areas along with innovation and solid implementation. Many games in this region get long shelf lives due to their quality and will often be given house rules or modded by fans.
10 – Classic - There is no such thing as a perfect game, but Classics are some of the best of all time. These are games that do nearly everything right. Even with minor flaws these games manage to become benchmarks for others to aspire to. 10s are rarely given and only with extra editorial review.