At BeefJack, we don’t score games with numbers. Instead, we assign each game a particular ‘badge’. Here’s what they mean.
What it means: The cream of the crop. These games exceed all expectations, either perfecting their craft or innovating superbly. Games awarded this badge are ‘must-buy’ titles – the ones people are likely to be enthusing about for a long time to come.
What it means: If only they fixed those problems! These games come tantalisingly close to greatness, but they’re held back by some unfortunately significant flaws. They’re bursting at the seams with wonderful ideas, and will probably be some people’s games of the year, but others will struggle to forgive their crimes.
What it means: You should very much consider picking these games up. They won’t be the very best on the market, but they’re substantially enjoyable titles that should keep most people engaged throughout, with enough stand-out features to raise them above their peers.
What it means: Keep your eyes peeled for a price-drop. These games are your everyday, middling-to-decent releases: unlikely to set anyone’s world alight, but doing just about enough to entertain, even if they never manage to truly impress. Save them for a rainy Sunday afternoon when there’s nothing else to do.
What it means: You won’t want to bother with these games, which range from below average to downright terrible. Even if you see them cheap, you should probably keep scanning those shelves, because there’ll plenty of better options available.
What it means: These are those rare games that, for whatever reason, defy any ordinary rating system. Perhaps they stretch the definition of the word ‘game’, or maybe they’re just so new and novel that there’s not yet a point of comparison. Good? Bad? We’re not sure – but they’re probably worth a look for their weirdness alone.
A note on older reviews
As you can imagine, going through and changing scores across our entire database, into which we publish literally hundreds of reviews every year, would be a ridiculously mammoth task. It wouldn’t simply be a matter of swapping an image around; we’d have to consult each reviewer about each game and get them to work out where on this new scale that title would fit – if they could even remember at all.
As such, we’ve left most of our existing reviews as they were. We have, however, put these new badges into reviews published in the last few weeks – just to make sure you’ve got a good idea of how we’re applying them.
Because that’s the most important thing about a ratings system, right? That everyone understands how it works. We hope you find this delightfully clear.