Welcome to Arcadelife!

A short explanation of the review format – because it probably needs one. 

First of all, there is going to be some kind of tag-line at the top, either a song lyric or a movie quote. Don’t read too much into it, it’s just there because I wanted something written at the top rather than starting with the first screenshot or just repeating the title of the game. 07/Dece/2012 – Update – I’ve dropped this after 12 months because it was starting to take longer to find a decent, applicable quote than to write the review and I just don’t have the time to spend on it. Sorry, but that’s life.

10 word description – You can read a description of every i-device game on iTunes. This is usually a compressed version of the official description, or just something I made up if the official description is a load of bollocks or some unfathomable Engrish all-your-base gibberish. The main point of the 10 word description is that it won’t include any opinion.

10 word review – The original intention was to give these fairly disposable i-device games a review that was as short as their life expectancy. In reality, many of the games I play and review are worthy of far more than this. However, I like the idea so I’m sticking with it and it looks good immediately underneath the 10 word description. And, yes, writing a review in exactly 10 words is often quite challenging.    

You will like this if you enjoy – This is where I attempt to find similar games to compare with the review item. Often, this will end up as some kind of weak joke, where I put something like “smacking yourself in the face with a mallet” if the game under review is particularly abysmal. You get the idea.

The good news – I’ll try to highlight a cool, unique or entertaining aspect of the game. 

The bad news – If there is something that lets the game down, such as poor controls or it’s a bit buggy, this will go here.

Arcadelife verdict – Some kind of summary, often defeating the object of the original 10 word review as it turns out to be, well, a review.

Arcadelife rating – Originally a percentage score. This has been modified from 1st January 2013 as follows:

Visuals – n/10 … How good the game looks and how those looks suit the game. In-game graphics only, not the menus, etc.
Presentation – n/10 … How good the game sounds, slickness and general look of the menus, usefulness of tutorial (if there is one), overall polish, etc.
Controls – n/10 … As most reviews are iOS games, how good are the touch/tilt controls?
Content – n/10 … Even the best platform game in the world needs more than 7 levels.
Fun – n/10 … How much I enjoyed playing the game.
Final Rating – XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX – n/10 (derived mathematically from the above scores)

The final rating (number) will appear but will be directly derived from the word I use to rate the game.

The final ratings and their numbers are as follows:

  • Best Game Ever – 10
  • Excellent – 9
  • Very Good – 8
  • Good – 7
  • Quite Good – 6
  • Mediocre – 5
  • Disappointing – 4
  • Poor – 3
  • Pathetic – 2
  • Atrocious – 1

This is a throwback to how games used to be rated in magazines when I was (a lot) younger. It will probably result in lower overall scores but at least you can see where I thought a game succeeded or failed and the final rating will be more meaningful.

Why am I doing this?

Arcade games started to fight with me for control of my life in 1980. I was still just a bit too young to legally drink alcohol in the local pub, but not too young to buy a glass of orange juice and use the change to play the new Space Invaders machine. By the time the landlord decided to get it swapped for Lunar Rescue (same cabinet, different board) I was able to play it indefinitely, or at least until the pub closed at 2:30pm on a Sunday afternoon. As far as I can remember, my highest score was about 72,000, clearing 35 screens and clocking the score past 9990 to 0 seven times before getting chucked out of the pub because it was closing.

After Lunar rescue came a completely new machine and a unique gaming experience – Asteroids. That was probably the point where my real life officially ended and videogames properly took over.

What’s this blog for? Not so much reminiscing about past virtual glory but to point and laugh at my ongoing obsession with videogames. These days it’s more likely to be 5 minutes here and there on the latest iPad game but I still occasionally play PC games when something I’m really interested in comes along. I’m NO LONGER still waiting for Diablo III…!

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