Star ratings?

What's up with star rating system here?

I'm trying to find some really good finished games I have never heard of to play and having a hard time. First issue is no tag to separate TA and CYOA, fine, I can deal with that.

How is it though an unfinished game with no sensible structure, story, flow, puzzles, themes or anything really that seems to have been made while learning to use the creation engine, looking like they were published right after day one of finishing their first tutorial are getting 5 star ratings constantly?

I'm all for encouraging people to learn to program and make games, but if everyone is getting 4 or 5 stars no matter what they publish the rating system is basically useless.

Either everyone here is way too nice or the rating system needs an overhaul.

Personally, if I post a game that sucks. I want to know. I want to hear that it sucks and be told why. I want to know that it's boring, makes no sense, stupid, waste of time, told that you wish you could give it zero stars ect if that's what it deserves and be told why. Not given an A for effort. How is one suppose to improve if not criticized?

The amount of games posted on this site is awesome. It's great that people are still into text adventures and creating new ones. I just wish the ratings were a little more ruthless to make it easier to figure out which games have hundreds of hours of time spent making them and testing them vs hundreds of minutes.

I have nothing I want to publicly post right now, it will be months+ before I post anything for testing. But when I do, If you remember my username, I request that you not give me congratulations for making a good game but tell me why it's not a great game so I can improve.

Maybe there is just some sort of filter feature I'm too blind to see? (Or maybe I'm just a jerk?)

There are many problems associated with the rating system. One is that there is no guidance offered on how a review should be performed. For example, should reviews be given by those who have played a game to completion (like reviewing a film or book) or is it equally valid to give a review based on the first five minutes of play?

It would be possible to draw up a list of issues and find solutions but I'm not sure that is going to happen.

On the positive side, there are some very good games on the site, and it is not difficult to find them. It is a matter of working through the noise to find what you like. The star rating is one indicator and once you find an author you enjoy you can play more of their games. Also, if you find a reviewer to believe in, you can look at their recommendations. I have ended up mostly giving 5 stars, as I only want to (have time to) play games I really enjoy and therefore complete.

Amen, Svarii. Amen.

...if you are looking for good games, then you can't go far wrong with pretty much anything that has been submitted to the various IF competitions. For example, 77 games have just been released for review on the IFComp 2018 site ( There are 77 games there, 25 of which are parser-based and two of them are written in Quest and available on this site: The Mouse who Woke up for Christmas:; and Basilica de Sangre:

A competition! Sweet.
Now I have something to look forward to next year, and a deadline for my game.

Thanks for the links.

I'm still trying to decide if I should post ruthless reviews or just good ones for good games. There is one game (obviously the 1st game made by that author) which I won't name.
I tired it and want those minutes of my life back.

Detective Land is good. Deeper by The Pixie, and any games by him, are good, XanMag's games are good. The Little Ragamuffin games are good. Zork is a good game. Occasionally the outsourced games hosted on this site are good.

Thanks everyone, good info.

I have made my decision.
If your game sucks and I feel like you wasted my time, I'm going to rate it one star and put every single reason why I hated it.
If I simply don't like it because of my personal opinion(font choice or whatever), I'll use the comments section to say why.

5 stars will be reserved for the best of the best. I will rate games 1-4 stars. No one gets a 5. Mostly.

1-Don't Play this
2-Too short/bad story ect
3-Good game, good programming, good writing.
4-Shut up and download this game.
5-OMGWTF! Svarii gave that game 5 stars. Get out my way(pushes grandma down the stairs)!!! I have a game to play.

Well Svarii, you seem to have a huge gap between two stars and three stars, with five stars reserved for competition winners, and four stars for runners-up?

Here's another perspective: There are a large number of games on this site, so if you set out to rate them all, the results might be expected to have a normal distribution. So, roughly, that could mean: 10% *, 20% **, 40% ***, 20% ****, 10% *****. That is probably how I'm rating games, and mostly only playing the top band through to completion. I have also found a few great games that have technical flaws where I've contacted the author and helped them fix the problems. In these cases, my reviews have been based on what the games should be when the glitches are removed (4.5 rounded up to 5!).

I think that most people who post games here are trying hard and certainly putting in considerable time for no payment. This is effectively 'charity work', so perhaps the reviews should be equally charitable. Competitions are a different matter, as a high standard is expected of all games: great concept, great implementation, great presentation, so expect tough treatment there.

Excellent perspective DavyB.

I really hate the star rating system.

I'll give it more thought.

Thank you for your input. The whole reason I started this thread is to learn the community attitude and figure out a fair way to rate people. I was just bothered to find a few 'throw away' games with similar star ratings to games that people obviously worked really hard on.

I would never rate a game down for glitches, it happens. Like you said just let the author know.

Also, about the no payment. An option to stick an adsense in ones game would be nice. Or somehow put it on steam? Or Google play store.
People who make really good games should have some options for making a couple bucks.

I'm tired of downloading games that sound awesome and finding the author didn't put much effort into them or care to have anyone play test them.

Brutal ratings incoming!

Bring it, Svarii!!

Xan, I'm going to download all your games.
I've been playing Into the Dragons Den for 2 minutes now and I'm laughing my ass off just because of how it's written. That alone makes it hard to critique. I'm too busy laughing.
After I play for a while, I'll give you an honest review. The writing style alone deserves 5 stars. (Honestly, your meter could use some work in some spots.) Thanks for the laughs. Back to the game now. :)

Just give honest reviews. The problem has always been that absolute dross gets rave reviews from friends, and because there’s a lot of terrible games, mediocre ones also get five star ratings. So when something brilliant emerges (a rarity) it’s lost amongst both the dross and mediocre titles. I’m also fairly certain that a lot of down voting happens at good games by people who want to maintain their standings. All very childish stuff.
It’s because people are fundamentally dishonest and seek to be the best at something by manipulating the system, rather than talent and/or concerted effort.

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