How To Write A Video Game Review

Writing a video game review is an often tricky and daunting task, with video games these days often being a very complex maze of stories, game play and character buildup.  Where can a writer start?  There hasn’t really been a standard when it comes to writing video game reviews, and often times a review is even missing the main part.  We noticed even at that often time writers reviewing games didn’t follow the same structure, and often missed out major sections that make a game review relevant.   We’ve decided to collaborate within the editorial team and create a template that would allow writers to follow a simple guide to help them write a review with all the proper attributes.

We have laid out some of the major points when reviewing games, but we also understand that there are different types of reviews depending on the type of game it is, platform it’s on etc…  This applies especially when reviewing an iPhone game versus a PC game or a console game.  We have identified some aspect that we think is the proper structure for a video game review.  Of course, we have only written short descriptions without too much more examples. Remember, a writer’s own creativity and storytelling are a big part of a game review.  Fore more writing tips check out the AP Style Guide


# Item Description
1 Introduction A brief introduction to the game, its developer, platforms, release date etc..
2 Brief overview This is the time to tell the reader what the game is about. By the time they have read this paragraph they will know what genre the game is, setting etc.. the who, what, when, where, why of the game.
3 History Is there history to the game? Maybe its like the tenth one in the series, maybe it was delayed for a year, maybe there was some other drama that happened during production.
4 Lead in This part of the review is generally how the game starts, write out in detail how the game starts and leads you into the game play.
5 Game Play General game play, how it plays? Take notice to character movement, quests, character flow, items in the game such as weapons, magic, spells, game mechanics, is it easy to control the character etc..
6 Storyline Does the game have a good storyline? Do scenes transition properly withing the game in an understandable manner? Or is it confusing to know whats happening?
7 Cinematic How are the Cinematic, story and cut scenes?  Often times this is the goal of the gamer to finish a level so they can watch the next cut scene or continue the story (if it’s good)
8 In Game Graphics How are the graphics, rendering, flow, movement, pixelation, do the characters render properly when fast movements are happening?
9 Sound How is the sound track? Are there any notable musicians that created the sound track? Is it just some 8 bit music like back in the original Nintendo days?
10 Characters Characters, character types, Character development. Original, wll thought out, two dimensional?
11 Conclusion Your own personal opinion of the game based.
12 Pros What you thought were the best points and what you want to mention.
13 Cons What you thought the worst things were about the game.
14 Star Rating Generally a 0/10 scale.
15 Game Stats info List in point form cost, platforms, ESRB rating, release date


Other Notables you may mention as part of the above items:

  1. Did the game have something that was politically incorrect?
  2. Was the game well thought out
  3. Was the game to hard or to easy
  4. Were there bugs or glitches in the game
  5. Was the game fun to play?
  6. Is it multi-player,  just single player, or both?
  7. What type of game Genre was it? Was it scary enough? Fantasy enough? Or is it just a copy of some other popular game.
  8. Can you provide some screen shots of game play?


Full Video Game Review – Items to include

Items 1-15 apply

Short Review – Items to include

You can probably shorten all items and possibly remove 3 and 4

iPhone or android game review – Items to include

depending on what kind of iPhone game it is. For example, with Angry Birds I would include: 1,2,5,10,11,12,13,14,15

For an iphone RPG type game I would include more about the actual game play

If anyone else has tips for writing a video game review please let me know in the comments below and I will be glad to consider adding them!

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