To elevate the quality, culture and perception of videogames as contemporary arts and entertainment through criticism and thoughtful examination of the medium.
We will accomplish this mission by presenting a diverse range of perspectives from authors and gamers of different backgrounds in order to provide readers with insightful, useful, and entertaining content on videogames and their growing presence in society.
Our Game Review Philosophy
- Game criticism is about elevating the appreciation and understanding of videogames.
- All reviews are by nature subjective, and based on a critic’s personal experience. Therefore, any review and/or rating is only a summation of the critic’s own opinion.
- Games are not judged purely on fun, entertainment value, or technical craftsmanship. Personal, cultural, historical, and creative contexts are also considered.
- Our numerical ratings are based on a game’s own merits. They are not relative to every game in existence, nor are they meant to assign an absolute or universal value of the game to the reader.
Consumer Guide to Ratings
For readers who use our reviews to guide their purchasing decisions, please refer to the following definitions:
9 to 10*: Excellent / Highly Recommended
7 to 8: Above Average / Recommended
5 to 6: Average / Cautiously Recommended
3 to 4: Below Average / Not Recommended
1 to 2: Poor / Don’t Bother
* A rating of 10 does not denote ‘perfection’ in any sense, it is simply the highest possible recommendation we can bestow upon a game.
Are you a developer, publisher or PR representative that would like your game to be covered at GameCritics? Please contact editor Brad Gallaway at BradGallaway@gmail.com and get in touch.
Comments Moderation Policy
We welcome comments and feedback on our work from readers, but ask that messages left be respectful and not of an insulting or harassing nature. We reserve the right to not publish any comments we feel do meet these criteria.
The So Videogames Podcast
GameCritics.com is the home and host site for the So Videogames Podcast. However, these are two distinct outlets. SVG was formed as a separate, standalone endeavor, and should still be seen as such. While SVG brings news, opinions and general coverage, it also offers officially scored and Metacritic-ranked reviews. However, a GameCritics review is not a SVG review, and a SVG review is not a GameCritics review. While both GC and SVG are housed at the same site, one outlet’s review has no bearing on the other.
In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.
Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.
Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers GameCritics.com his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that GameCritics.com will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Latest posts by Chi Kong Lui (see all)
Senior Editor of GameCritics.com and co-host of the So Videogames Podcast.
Transformers fan. MOTU stan. Black Lives Matter, pro-LGBTQIA. Anti-fascist.
Latest posts by Brad Gallaway (see all)
What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died?
Nothing relevant to this conversation, that's for sure! Because we're here to talk about (sorry, write and read about, respectively) GC_Danny!!
Since the last time he updated this bio he's had a bunch of movies that he wrote come out, so that's neat. He's also managed to build up a small YouTube channel
where he talks about Girls Und Panzer, The Dark Pictures, and Hidden Object Games.
In addition to general game reviewing, he's also dabbled in more long-form work, writing some of the longest
and most comprehensive game reviews
of all time
. Then there's his non-GameCritics blogging, where he's famous as the world's foremost expert on the TV show Criminal Minds
, as well as the co-host of a weekly podcast
Latest posts by Daniel Weissenberger (see all)
Latest posts by Richard Naik (see all)
Sparky Clarkson grew up in the hot lands of Alabama, where he was regularly mooned by a cast iron statue. He played his first games on a Texas Instruments 99/4A computer, although he was not an early adopter. He eventually left Alpiner behind, cultivating a love of games that grew along with the processing power of the home computer. Eventually, however, the PC upgrade cycle exhausted him, and by the time he received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina he had retreated almost entirely to console gaming.
Currently Sparky works as a scientist in Rhode Island, and works gaming in between experiments and literature reviews. As a writer, he hopes to develop a critical voice that contributes to a more sophisticated and interesting culture of discourse about games. He is still waiting for a console port of Betrayal at Krondor.
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Spawned in the wilds of Scotland like some random MMORPG enemy whose sole purpose is to be hunted down and slaughtered for loot, young Darren spent the first fifty years of life eating bark and bears alike in a desperate bid to survive the elements.
The chance discovery of a muddy, burnt out copy of '50 Shades of Grey' in a hunting pit gave him an appreciation for complex plots, characters and overarching narrative, and the unexpected gift of a Spectrum 48k allowed him to indulge in these newfound sensibilities with intelligent, highbrow games such as 'flee from the badly animated spinning turquoise dolphins' or 'avoid the deadly glowing bricks of doom'.
The fusion of both these interests finally culminated with Darren teaching himself how to write by basically guessing at what words might look like when jotted down on paper as opposed to being howled inarticulately at the skies.
Now others occasionally get to read his scribblings. Lucky them.
Latest posts by Darren Forman (see all)
Mike's first exposure to video games was when his parents bought him a Game Boy and a copy of Kirby's Dream Land. Completing it gave him the boost of confidence that launched a lifelong enthusiasm for the medium. Later in his life, he went back and discovered that Kirby's Dream Land is actually a laughably easy game that can be finished in about 20 minutes, but no matter.
He was born and raised in Amish country and has yet to escape, despite a brief stint in Philadelphia, where he attended Temple University. He took a one-credit course there called "Career Opportunities for English Majors," which painted a bleak picture for prospective writers. Mike remains steadfast in his ongoing role as a video game critic, however, and has recently written for GamesRadar. Most of his work can be found on HonestGamers, where he has contributed over 200 reviews to date.
When not playing games or writing about them, Mike is a rabid indie music fan and ardent concertgoer. He doesn't read as much as he probably should, but his current favorite author is Alastair Reynolds.
Latest posts by Mike Suskie (see all)
Growing up in the Philippines, Josh's video game habit and growing love for the medium were enabled by rampant piracy lowering the price of otherwise prohibitively expensive titles. He grew to treasure dense, RPGs he never had time to play and the anime antics of Japan's gaming industry,spending time with his friends in fetid internet cafes playing custom matches of Counterstrike. He would later discover and grow to love more persistent online games, and wrote his college thesis on the players of MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Ragnarok Online.
Today he continues to write for a living while trying to turn his fledgling knowledge of Japanese into a marketable skill. He is Managing Editor of Japanese culture site Japanator and is a Contributing Editor for Destructoid. He has written for The Escapist, The California Literary Review, Esquire Magazine, and proudly holds the badge as the premier apologist for Star Trek Online.
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Corey Motley (like the Crue) has been gaming since the NES era. The first game he remembers playing is Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest. Horror and stealthy, tactical action games are his jam. Some of his favorites are Silent Hill 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mirror’s Edge, Resident Evil (most of them), Metal Gear Solid 4, Fallout 3 and Hitman: Blood Money.
He has a Bachelor’s in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri. He also has a personal blog (who doesn’t?) that he updates sporadically. He’s been writing for GameCritics.com since 2012 and has appeared on the podcast a handful of times.
If you want to dive deep, type his name into a Google Image search and you’ll most likely be treated to a scandalous picture of his Deus Ex tattoo. He also has a music background from 7 years on high school and college drumlines, and last but not least he’s dabbled in parkour. Don’t let those activities fool you about his ambition – he’s in his late 20s and still has no idea what he wants to do with his life.
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AJ Small is a games industry veteran starting in QA back in 2004. He started his gaming on the BBC Microcomputer and switched to being a devout SEGA fan from then on. He currently walks the earth in search of the tastiest/seediest drinking holes as part of his attempt to tell every single person on the planet that Speedball 2 and The Chaos Engine are the greatest games ever made.
He can be found on twitter, where he welcomes screenshots of Dreamcast games and talk about Mindjack, just don’t mention that one time he was in Canada.
David's early days of playing games consisted of figuring out a way past the age verification at the start of Leisure Suit Larry on his dad's PC, and he soon got his first console -- a Game Boy Advance. After mostly playing MOBAs and triple-A games in his teens, David developed thoughts about videogames as art, which led him to writing for GameCritics.
David has had a passion for writing since childhood, but rather than writing stories, he started reading them and figured that the only way a Harry Potter universe would truly come to life would be in a videogame. His favorite genre in literature, dystopian fiction, seemed to have especially unlimited potential in this new medium. Despite appreciating and regularly engaging with many different art forms, David's dedicated himself mostly to the playable one.
Born and raised a Dutchman, David can tell you everything about 'stroopwafels' and what it's like to live in the liberal capital of the world. That is, if he isn't holed up in his room and enjoying the American entertainment industry.
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Alex’s love for video games started as a kid when his parents finally succumbed to his frequent pestering to get him a Nintendo 64 with Super Mario 64 and has been gaming ever since. Alex loves story-driven games, mostly RPGs and Action-Adventure games, and cries at most things. His favorites include Kingdom Hearts, Zelda, Pokémon, Smash, Fire Emblem, and Persona. When not playing games, Alex is also an actor, fitness coach, and wishes he could get a cat even though he is highly allergic.
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Born and raised in the port city of Bandar Anzali in Iran, Ali is a guy from the Atari 2600 era. He’s player who loves gaming on every platform, but never stops talking about PC! He claims that he’s not a fan of any franchise and that he only respects quality and logic, but he can never explain why he completed Prince of Persia: Warrior Within more than 27 times or why he can recall the entire Matrix screenplay by heart! While he’s got a master of sciences in Paleontology and a deep love for dinosaurs, he started as a videogame journalist with Iranian gaming media, and GameCritics is where he started to reach a more international audience. Although it seems that the man really needs to get a life, Ali’s been married since 2014. His wife is not a gamer, but plays co-op with him in a special video series called “Me & Wifey” – oh, the sacrifices she has to make for love! Ali says the world of videogames has always been a land of wonderful magic for him and he dreams of becoming a gaming YouTuber one day, no matter how long it takes! Find more from Ali on Rotten Tomatoes, at his YT channel ArkaniGaming, and his Instagram page i_love_gaming2.
Latest posts by Ali Arkani (see all)
An avid gamer since Yar sought revenge and Donkey Kong attempted to teach math, Brad Bortone is a 7+ year veteran of the Gamecritics staff. Though he largely serves as the site's "sports review guy," Gamecritics has encouraged him to try new genres over the years. Granted, he's not good at these games, but at least he's trying.
When not writing for Gamecritics, Brad spends his days as a managing editor, handling content that is far less complicated than the RPGs haunting his dreams each and every night.
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For his tenth birthday, Brian was given the option of receiving a GameBoy or a Game Gear. He chose the GameBoy. No longer were videogames confined to the home PC, he could now squeeze in a quick game on the trip to the store or right before bed. Over twenty-five years later and with two young kids, Brian still needs to squeeze in time for videogames, but now gets to do so on slightly better hardware.
When he does find time to play, Brian’s preferred games of choice are platformers, beat-‘em-ups, or a good adventure game.He still enjoys the retro gaming scene, could talk about the Nintendo 64 more than he might like to admit, and misses playing in actual arcades. Brian also gets to pass on his love of gaming, as his oldest son is just now starting to join the fun.
As for that GameBoy - it’s sitting in Brian’s nightstand, waiting patiently for four AA batteries.
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CJ has loved video games ever since he watched the opening cinematic to Sonic Heroes (with that killer Crush 40 song) back when he was six years old. Over 17 years later, he’s found himself at GameCritics writing about the things he loves.
He has a knack for talking about movies and games he‘s passionate about. If anyone ever needs an expert on Jim Jarmusch, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Donkey Kong Country, or Kanye West, he’s your guy. Don’t say we didn't warn you, though.
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Damiano Gerli was born with a faithful Commodore 64 by his side. It taught him how to program basic adventure games and introduced him to new genres. Then, he fell in love with Sega -- while the Master System wasn't as powerful as the Genesis, it was where he played Sonic and Outrun.
Years later, he got the idea that he was the most Sega-knowledgeable person in the world, so he opened a website in 1997, The Genesis Temple.
He's a sucker for great stories in gaming, he loves adventure and indie titles, but he never shies away from action and triple-A RPGs.
Damiano's been writing about videogames for 20 years, with no plans to stop. Say hi to him on Twitter at @damgentemp, or on his blog https://genesistemple.com
(now dedicated to the history of video game design).
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Gareth is a recently graduated mature student. It was during his academic studies that he discovered a love of writing. He decided to take a chance and combine his love for gaming with his newfound love for writing, which is how he ended up at GameCritics.
Gareth has been a gamer most of his life, starting all the way back with Pong. It was cemented as a lifelong love in the PSone era, with the likes of Final Fantasy 7, Doom, Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid showing him what games can be.
He has an eclectic taste in games and likes to try new experiences. For him, Bloodborne and Silent Hill 2 remain at the top of his list of favorites, and considers Silent Hill 2 to be a work of art.
Alongside his love for videogames, Gareth views himself as a film geek and has a large collection of vinyl records. He is also a keen ranter and considers himself to have a sense of humor (mistakenly.) Examples of this can be found on his twitter page - when he isn’t being too lazy to go on.
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Jarrod has been lucky enough to be a contributor to GameCritics since 2016. In his earlier years, he flamed out of games writing after the freelance checks for $80 weren't cutting the mustard, and he appreciates being able to do his thing at a place like this in its purest form.
He is currently attending graduate school at Pacific University seeking a Master's In Teaching with a focus on secondary social studies. From 2015-2020, Jarrod worked as a school teacher in various countries throughout Asia, and is now seeking certification to teach in his home country so a global pandemic doesn't leave him stranded again.
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Jeff Ortloff has been around since the birth of the console era.He’s played everything from Pong to Marvel’s Spider-Man with a near-inhuman lack of skill.He’s been writing about games since about 2007, and is thrilled to be part of the GameCritics.com team.
He juggles this passion for gaming with his most important job, being a husband and dad.Fortunately, his boys are growing up as gamers (with decidedly more skill, much to his annoyance) and he has a very understanding spouse.
He hangs out on Twitter sometimes as @JPSJeffOrt, Facebook FAR less frequently, and while he misses performing all the interviews from his former online life, he’s much more relaxed now!
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Writer, amateur artist, data scientist, and jack-of-all-trades, Nikki has many passions, but video games and storytelling are chief among them. An avid gamer since her first original Game Boy, her favorite titles tend to lean into creative and innovative ways to tell stories.
In her free time she loves to write and travel, having lived in or been to most of the continents, there are still more adventures to be had. Favorite games include the The Last of Us 2, The Witcher 3, KOTOR, and Persona 4&5. LGBT issues and social rights activism is near and dear to her heart. Dabbling in creative writing while teaching herself digital art, she currently pays the bills through freelance consulting. You can follow her random ravings on Twitter at @nikkiwaln, Instagram @newnikki88 & her website newdimensions.io
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