Steam Reviews


I automatically neg “reviews” that look like this -

They’re lazy and unhelpful.


I don’t think that’s what he means though, lol, since he speaks about writing a review


Yeah, I am glad I am not the only one to think so. It’s something that looks like a lot of content, without any real substance. There’s no way to look at that and figure out if a game is for you. I am glad there’s a comment on the second review there that asks: “Did you even play the game?” And of course, the only answer is silence.

@Pylinaer and @MattnessLP, and anyone else who may be interested, I have started one in the Discussions in the group, feel free to share anything you wish. :slight_smile:

I can’t imagine all of the processes you must be going through. I would imagine it be rather difficult. Are you writing code from scratch or are you using some form of game-making software?

When I consider dialogue word counts in some games that are 200k words long, I automatically think, “Wow, I would have to spend a year writing just the dialogue, and then worry about piecing together other parts.” But of course not everything is that length.

Though if game-creation is something you are passionate about, I think it’s absolutely a great hobby to pursue. Just remember to keep having fun. :slight_smile:

You are welcome to copy my more or less my template if it suits you.

Though I think the best part about writing reviews for me has been the process to become a better writer. I realized that after doing years of technical writing for work and nothing creatively, I have progressively lost my own voice and style, I have also transitioned into way too much passive voice to give any strength behind my words.

Writing had always been a fun thing for me to do, creative writing fundamentally brings me joy. It may be difficult to conceive and to flesh out an idea into a well-composed story or narrative, but I always enjoy the creative process. That is one of the biggest reasons I started to write more reviews and getting into all of this.

My biggest advice is to remember to have fun. If playing games and not reviewing is your style, then stick to it. If you have something to share and have fun sharing it with everyone else, then you will not mind writing about it. Trust your instincts and be honest, have fun in the process. If there are issues you are having with a game, even when it is 99% positive on Steam, you can be sure to know there are others who share your opinions as well. If you really enjoy a game, even with its flaws, you can still make an argument for a positive review if you explain your thoughts.

Especially when it comes to indie games, I do believe that the developers look forward to reading thoughtful reviews, even negative ones, because they know what they make is not perfect and not to everyone’s tastes. I think if someone’s hubris is too large to accept a negative review, then they really shouldn’t be in game-creation for the public. They should just do their thing and sit in their bubble and gloat to themselves. Often these negative reviews will highlight areas for improvement to help them become better game developers in the future.

I did mention above that I started to explain my thoughts and emotions with a game as I play it, and that is how I have personalized my reviews to put a little bit of myself out there. But there are many ways to expand on your review if you chose to do so. Yet again, if two lines is enough to convey all of your thoughts, whether in praise or in disgust, then that is okay too.


That’s not a template. It’s a plague.


Using Unity currently. But the thing is making all of the assets. it’s super tedious and time consuming. A lot of the events, and the things that decide where your character is, and what triggers what is made written by us in whatever language the game engine uses. The engine is just a place to put your pieces together.

The networking code is written by us as well.

There’s many things that aren’t really at the forefront of your mind when you start. Like… damage modeling.

For instance: How much damage do you do on a standard melee attack? What counts?

(weapon damage + .5(strength)) - armor = damage. How will that scale in the late game?

Ranged attacks? (Weapon damage + .5(Dexterity)) - armor = Damage.

Considering elemental damage is a little more complicated.

(Fire Base spell damage + intelligence) - magic resistance = damage
if enemy element = ice then 2((Fire Base spell damage + intelligence)) - .75(magic resistance) = damage
if enemy element = earth then .75((Fire Base spell damage + intelligence)) - 1.25(magic resistance) = damage

I don’t know if this will absolutely break the game later… it might. It’s working OK for now.


Does the player get more weapons boosts or twice as many more strength/Dex boosts?

Similarly how much does the magic resistance get buffed by equipment/levels?

The better question for strength, dex & Int is always: What else are these scores giving you, do they need to be added to damage. Dex isn’t added to ranged attack damage in D&D 3.5 because dex gives you tons of stuff that str doesn’t give you.



I had considered picking that up once because it was simplistic but never did. Not sure why. I agree with what you say though. It doesn’t really explain why it’s good or the person liked it.

In this particular instance @M00 is correct, was meaning something more along the lines of actually writing out something but having a loose template to organize thoughts. Kinda like YQMaoski does.

I may post some stuff into that discussion thread. After I either write or clean up a couple of the reviews I currently have written.

Thanks for allowing me to pira…err…borrow, your “template”. I’ll see how it works and may modify it a bit. Thing is, all through school, the idea was to hit word counts or make things concise. So I’m really good at paraphrasing a document (did this just yesterday in fact), but don’t do so hot on fleshing out the “Why?” part. Something I think that will be worthwhile working on.

I’ve found my most elaborate reviews are my negative reviews… as seen here:


The problem I have with the “template” thing is that for me personally it seems like the easy option, and when I write a review I’d much rather just try and hit some salient points in a body of text (as your examples do…kudos!) instead of work to a set of dividers. This applies to the content I watch too…I enjoy ACG’s youtube reviews but I always just skip to the gameplay and overall sections, whereas Mac’s Worthabuy channel is a much more entertaining whole product because it gives a generalised impression (ditto Angry Joe). It’s more of a challenge not taking the easy “headers” option, but I feel like you’ll develop more by doing so.


I have the power curve built, I just gotta play the whole thing when the time comes to see what happens.

I want it to play out so that the player always feels like their right on the edge, I don’t want them to do down a floor, so-to-speak, and not feel more pressure, but I don’t want it to feel impossible.


I went with a template so that it would look more organized and I know I am commenting a little about those things no matter what.

Most of the thoughts part I would write in before those particular breakdowns and they just serve as add-on to complete the review.

@Pylinaer, your reviews are really good, and very informative, I don’t think you need to do anything to change the way you put forth your thoughts and provide information to the audience. Those who want to read informative reviews will find yours to be very useful.

That balance, it’s so tough to decide what is just right. And then of course to tack on an easier option for more casual players and a harder option for hardcore players… I always like it when there are choices for difficulty in a game.

I can think that I can imagine what it’s like, but I really can’t, because of having never been involved in such a process.

It’s scary, I read it as if you are stepping around egg shells.


I hope that you don’t feel that I was criticising because that wasn’t my intention. I’ve always liked the sense of honestly and personal impressions that shines forth in your commentary.


No, not at all. I do know what you mean with templates though, it removes a lot of personal interaction that a writer has with the reader just by the nature of having the templates and needing to fill out the blanks.

This I will take as a compliment though, :blush:. Thank you for reading. :slight_smile:
I am okay with criticism of any kind, after all, that’s how I will learn about my own flaws and improve. Yeah, I might sulk a bit (but I will get over it quickly), but as long as criticism is constructive in a way to benefit me and my future writing, I will definitely take it to heart.


Thanks. But have you looked through my other reviews? A lot of my recommended reviews I think are kinda bare.

Here’s the last one I wrote:


Reading that review in isolation without looking at the name or the store page…well, I have no idea what sort of game it is at all, what you do or…well anything other than it has some nice music and that it gets progressively harder. It’s not really a review in the normal sense of what we’re accustomed to.

Try to imagine how you’d describe the game to someone who knew nothing about it at all, and work up from there. The aim would be for the reader to know whether the game would suit their tastes, or whether they should give it a miss.


Well you wouldn’t though, that’s a mistake I find way too many people writing steam recommendations make in my opinion. Do not spend 3 paragraphs regurgitating the stuff that’s already on the steam page, you really do not need to do that.

The review still isn’t very good though and I’ll try to point out why I think so.

Almost entirely pointless opening, the blue icon says as much already. Skip directly to telling me why.

This is the meat of your recommendation and it tells me almost nothing, what makes the levels engaging? How are the levels complex and how is it expanded upon? Rewarding feel is highly subjective and again I want to know why you feel this way, because just knowing that you do so means nothing to me.

Really quite pointless information to be honest. If you want to talk about the music then rather tell me what kind of music is featured, whether you like it or not is of no importance to the reader.

Again you’re talking about you liking a thing. Tell me instead simply that this feature exists, what it does and possibly why you think it’s a good thing.

Yeah well, clearly, you did after all. : )

All in all I would find your review entirely pointless and of no value for me to judge whether I would like the game or not, as @xist touched upon. I hope you found my criticism constructive even if it might be harsh.

One point of advice I’d like to give is be aware of how much of your review is going to be immediately visible on the steam page and try to get as much useful information into that space as possible. Go into the more subjective or personal thoughts after the jump as anyone who’ve chosen to expand your review is more likely to actually want to know what you personally thought about the game and if you can inspire that interest with the first two paragraphs visible then you’ve written a good recommendation.


Hey, I review too, capisc’?..

Generally speaking, I like Steam reviews, mainly because vale tudo. And some are even useful :smiley:

@YQMaoski reviews are really good and informative, I think he’s doing a great service to the platform, but I personally don’t like bullet points, pros and cons, etc. I prefer a more organic script, more personal. But that’s my personal preference, his reviews are well put together nonetheless.


I just completed one moments ago, my organic script is the first half of the review, and I usually leave the positives and negatives toward the end. :slight_smile:

Game is a new puzzle platformer:

Review link:


That’s the part I like :slight_smile:
But again, I know some prefer a more immediate presentation, and it’s cool that you offer that too.


Yup. I know @YQMaoski said my negative ones were pretty good. Just wanted to let him know that while I appreciate his kindness, I had only picked specific good negative reviews to show they were generally better written. Guess I shoulda included a bad positive one for comparison.

So yeah, definitely with you on that. Many are just plain…well…bad.

Only argument I have here is that some people will recommend even though they might not have enjoyed it, etc. It’s more of a flaw in the steam recommendation system than anything.

Not necessarily. Some people like their games to have good soundtracks. I know I tend to turn the music off and play my own if I don’t like it. In this particular case, I’d say it’s EDM. Problem is, EDM has a massive amount of subgenres. So I guess it would come down to is “EDM” close enough?

I appreciate it, even if I meant the particular review to be an example of a bad review.


Sometimes you just need someone to point it out to you.

While I get where you are coming from, I think it’s more important to learn to write out thoughts in reviews better before worrying about placement. I tend to look for the longer reviews as they generally will include more thoughts, whether or not they have an abstract up front or not. I would bet there are people that would skip it completely based on the fact is it longer than 5 lines.


Hey sorry to cut in after some time. Feel free to reply whenever:

@YQMaoski I’m wondering if you reviewed “Don’t Feed the Monkeys”. Unsure if you did and I missed it or what…

Asking because the game got quite some IGF love recently and the obviously 90’s-inspired graphics have my undivided attention.

Cheers and keep doing you! Your reviews rock. You’re not just informative, but also an inspiration. :blush: