Just like any piece of writing, a video game review should be concise, logical, easy to understand, and above all, interesting. No one wants to wade through paragraphs of dull text. Game reviews are essentially a conversation about a game put into writing. They have an identifiable beginning, middle and end, and they convey information about a title that screenshots or videos can’t communicate. Here are a few quick tips to help give your game reviews a little boost.
* Start with the most basic aspects of the game and build up from there. Reviewing Excelsior Phase One: Lysandia? In the first paragraph you’d better tell me the game is a 20 year old RPG. Once I have that knowledge, add another layer of detail. Assume no one reading your review has heard of the game, but at the same time, don’t hit them over the head with boring details.
* Only hit the high and low points of the game. There’s no need to force a discussion of the graphics if they aren’t anything to speak of. Tell me what the games does right and why you enjoyed it. Also tell me what’s wrong with the game and how that affected your experience.
* Get to the point. Telling anectodes is fine, but that’s not why people are reading. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use humor in your work, but keep it short, and if you use it, make it integral to the piece. Rambling is a sign of poor writing/editing.
* The intro and closing paragraphs are of monumental importance. Each one should summarize everything the reader needs to know about the game, including your overall impression.
* Edit. Edit. EDIT! Your first draft will be terrible. Your second and third drafts will also stink. Keep hacking away at your article, trimming excess wordage, moving paragraphs to more sensible locations, and refining the review until it’s gold. Both readers and your editors will love you to pieces.
* Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Almost all editors will be happy to coach you on your work. We hate correcting the same mistakes time and time again, and usually they’re small things you can fix without a second thought.
* Watch your grammar and punctuation. Avoid common mistakes such as the use of its vs. it’s, fewer vs. less, and so on.
Each review is a miniature story. You’re taking the reader on the same journey you embarked upon when you first played the game through to the end. Communicate your experience as clearly and simply as possible, writing interesting reviews that have the potential to get noticed.