Excalibur's Zone Gaming

Games are what I love, games are what I do. But family comes first.

Indie Game Let’s Play & Review

Hello, everyone.

This is what my IGLP&R videos are all about. I started doing this when I made friends with Indie Gamer Chick on Twitter and the GamesMatter campaign started. We got to chatting and she sent me a code for Wyv & Keep. Then, I got schooled by her explanation of what a critic is.

  • No bias
  • No “walking on eggshells” (I’m not going to use the terminology presented to me) 🙂
  • Be honest. In other words, if the game is crap, say so.
  • Critics aren’t meant to be nice and sugar coat things.

So, to support her IGC contract (if you play an indie game she’s given you, talk about it on social media, create videos, let’s plays, etc.), I decided on the following format for my videos:

  • Each video will be a Let’s Play running 20-30 minutes in length
  • Each video will be a recording of my first impression of a game.
    That means, I will not have played the game before and I’m trying to capture how I feel about a game the first time I’m playing it.
  • I will use my background in UI (User Interface) and UX (User eXperience) to critique the game as I play it.
    I have a Masters degree in computer science and am all but dissertation (and one paper) from a PhD in computer science. Each has focused on UI design and application construction.
  • I will give positive and negative comments about aspects of the game as I play it should either present themselves.
  • I will offer suggestions and solutions as I play as well (when I remember).
  • Sometimes I will have such a great/awful time playing that I may forget the suggestions part or I may go quiet as I concentrate, but I try not to do so.
  • I try my absolute BEST to not swear in game, but it happens and usually when I’m so irritated I forget. So there may be some parts that are censored.
  • I will rate the game from 1-5 stars (in half-star increments) at the end of the video. This is a reflection of how much fun I had playing it and whether or not I’d play/recommend playing the game again.
  • The resulting video will be uploaded to my YouTube channel in the IGLP&R playlist. I will use #GamesMatter and the Twitter handle of the dev or game (whichever I have) in the tweet that goes out to Twitter.
  • For the time being, I can only give a full IGLP&R to PC and Android (through BlueStacks App Player) games. I cannot do MacOS, iOS, Wii, Wii U, XBox, XBone, PS 3, or PS 4 reviews at this time. I am actually working to get these consoles and the appropriate hardware to record gameplay from them.

Those are my rules. My rating has no bearing on graphics quality, audio quality, gameplay, story, character design, voice acting, script, or anything technical with the game. It has everything to do with FUN, whether I will play the game again, and if I would recommend the game to others.

If the game is updated in the future with more features/customization/graphics or whatnot, I may do another IGLP&R based solely on the new version of the game.

Also, this just recently came to my attention, by doing these, you get to see how a new player reacts to your game, the learning curve, bugs, and other useful information. This, more or less is a usability test for your games.

If I’ve done an IGLP&R for you, DM me on Twitter (@ExcalibursZone) if you want a 1-on-1 Q&A about my experience with your game. I have set up an EZG Skype account that I will only give out to devs for this matter.

Since I have a limited number of platforms I can test on, if you want your game reviewed, let me know. I may know someone who can do that for you. Comment below with your contact information and I’ll pass the request onto others. I can’t guarantee anything, but it’s a start.

16 Comments

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  1. Hi there, faceless internet review page that I’ve just stumbled upon.

    It occurs to me that I would very much like you to review our game – Glyph Quest. At first glance, it may appear to be a simple match-3 on iOS, but it is not! Of course I would say that – anyone would – but it really isn’t. Think Dungeon Raid mechanics with a 10000000 metagame and really cute monsters and you won’t go far wrong.

    It was made by myself and my partner and released in January, shortly before the birth of our first child. For more on that crazy story, check out the ol’ blog – http://alextrowers.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/a-bold-plan.html

    We’re currently about to push the submit button on the sequel too. Which is good, because we’ve totally run out of money and it looks like I might have to try and find a job again. Shame really, as the sequel is soooo much better than the original. Which is why it’s got a ‘Super’ in front of it. Dev diary here – http://alextrowers.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/super-glyph-quest-dev-diary-01.html

    Thanks for your time!

    Alex

    1. Hello, Alex!

      Unfortunately, I do not have an iOS device that I can use to review your game. I am an Android person, actually. But you make a good point, I have to update my page to show that I can only do PC games at the moment.

      Otherwise, I love puzzle games, fantasy-based games, and the like. If it was available for other platforms, PC mainly, I’d be happy to test it out and give it the IGLP&R treatment.

      Best of luck!

  2. Hello helpful game reviewer and critic, I saw your tweet on twitter and I would like you to review my game Untamed: Life of a Cougar(I would like to know if it is crap). it is a mountain lion(cougar) simulation game and currently the beta version is available for download.
    you can download it here – http://www.occastudios.com/download

    it is a PC game and input control is keyboard.
    you can contact me with the email I submitted or at occastudio@gmail.com
    everything you need to know about the game can be found at the website
    http://www.occastudios.com

    Thank you for your time,
    Eugene.

    1. Hello, Eugene.

      I can take a look at your game and give it an IGLPR. Please note that I will tell it like it is. If I find the game good, I’ll say so. If I don’t like the game, I’ll say so. If there are issues with the game, I’ll explain what issues I’m having and offer suggestions to fixing them. I will not hold back.

  3. Hello Excalibur-san~
    I saw your tweet in twitter and we would very much like to hear your opinion about our game, Subterranean Starfield? http://rpgmaker.net/games/4820/

    It’s a PC game and keyboard controlled. We’re very curious to hear what you think *A*)

    For contact, I think the email I sent here can be viewed by you? 😀
    I am hesitant to post a private email publicly ;w;

    1. Hello, Archeia!

      Are you Archeia_Nessiah on Twitter? If so, I’ll send you a DM there. I’ll look at what you have, sure. I’ll add it to my queue. The queue really doesn’t mean much, just my stack of games I am doing an IGLPR for. You’ll be notified via Twitter and YouTube when the IGLPR goes live.

      1. Yes that’s me! Thank you very much! Super excited to see you play it 😀

  4. Hi, please check out Biodrone Battle, a classic top-down action game at http://www.biodronebattle.com
    Download link + code on request.

    1. I will add it to my queue and do an IGLPR for you. 🙂

  5. Hi fellow gamer ,

    We are a small indie studio(well just 4 of us) based out here in India.
    We are about to release our first game One Shot Soccer out there in the wild (appstore, googleplay, browser based gaming sites)

    If you could only play it for us once and let the truth be out!! We would be very grateful.

    I can send you our apk through dropbox link. If you could share your email address with me.

    Thanks,

    Geet

    1. The IGLPR is a review for the dev only, to help them with UI and user experience (UX). This is not for promoting of games or for the player. My IGLPRs are also uploaded to YouTube for public consumption.

      That being said, I am not a huge fan of sports or sports games. I can, of course, do an IGLPR for you, but the game must be available in Google Play before I think about running it on my devices. I do not accept APKs via dropbox, box, or email.

      If those conditions are OK with you, let me know when it’s available in the Play store and I’ll record an IGLPR for you.

  6. Hello Excalibur,

    I was wondering if you could review of my android game, its called super awesome action ship ?

    Google play link : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.BRG.SAAS

    Thanks for your time.

    1. I can take a look. My IGLPR stuff is undergoing a change from what is described. I will let you know when I’ve gotten a chance to play the game and review it.

      1. Alright sounds good, I look forward to hearing from you.

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