Getting reviews

Started by daranp, April 27, 2011, 05:40:32 AM

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Hi all,

I've been a lurker around here for quite some time now and, firstly, just want to say thanks to everybody that takes the time to write up all their experiences and advice. I'm pretty sure I've gone about most things backwards but without the help I've found on these pages, I'm sure I would have made a lot more "costly" mistakes.

On to my question: After a long haul, I have finally published the ParaSpace Role Playing System (shameless plug - sorry). It's in print and I have a spare room full of boxes. I've also just submitted a pdf to DriveThru. But the real issue is that know one knows me (let alone my game) so, I am under no illusions...

What I need are some independent reviews. At present, I'm doing the obvious, slow, internet trawl to try and drum up some interest but it would really help if people could post/pm contact details of reviewers or, if you are a reviewer, contact me if you're interested in taking a look.

Thanks in advance


I'm interested!

Nanolite6: An RPG for Movie Length Gaming.

Jacob Bouvier

Since I can't seem to find contact info on your site, I'd love to take a look and review your game for the website I write for and help run. ( If you'd like, just shoot me an email at Jake(at)


Jacob interviewed me and it was awesome!

Nanolite6: An RPG for Movie Length Gaming.


Im not a pubisher (yet) but I have over 20 years of gaming experience, and would love to give you a full review if you would like. Send me a PM.


Apparently it's ask and you shall receive which is swell, (not to guess at what Daran's intentions were) but I think it would be a great for us noobs and would-bes if some of the more experienced publishers were to sound off on their methods and tactics regarding getting reviews.
Be Seeing You,



Hi all and apologies, I forgot to click "notify" on this topic *doh*

Anyway, thanks for the replies, I've PM'd those that are interested.

@Ben. So far, I've been trawling around the web and randomly posting to try and get some interest. Holding down a real life, full time job and family commitments means that I don't do as much as I should but, so far, everyone I've spoken to has been friendly and very helpful – I just hope that a couple of positive reviews will be enough to start the process rolling... But, yes, if anybody has any tips we're ready to listen.

Mike Sugarbaker

The top blogs - and MiniEnt seems to be on target to become one of them - are good to send review copies to, and unless they have their heads in their asses they post pretty clear instructions somewhere on how to do that. But is the single largest review site. It doesn't take much to identify the dozen or so dudes who write very thoroughly about essentially everything that is sent to them. They rarely savage things, but it's even more rarely that they write in a way that gets anyone excited.

In short, you can get several high-visibility reviews without too much work, but don't expect it to make sales take off. The way to make sales happen is to be part of a community, and have a product that fits that community. Now go forth and lurk no more. :-)
Publisher/Co-Editor, OgreCave
Caretaker, Planet Story Games
Content Admin, Story Games Codex


QuoteNow go forth and lurk no more


Mark Truman

Quote from: Mike Sugarbaker on May 26, 2011, 12:10:10 PM
In short, you can get several high-visibility reviews without too much work, but don't expect it to make sales take off. The way to make sales happen is to be part of a community, and have a product that fits that community. Now go forth and lurk no more. :-)

This is great advice.  :)

Do you have any examples of indie products that have filled the need of an existing community?  It seems to me that the most successful ones have a community built up around them over time...
Eternity is coming!  Let us know that you think of our sneak peaks.

Proud member of the Indie Game Developer Network.  Currently running: HotB, Eternity


Reviews are a great way to get some exposure. But they are a double edged sword. A good review can give you a nice bump, but you do risk getting negative reviews anytime you send comps to reviewers. I don't think it is wise to fish for good reviews, but it is wise to fish for a fair review from a reviewer whose game philosophy is not out of line with your product's. Look at the reviewers previous reviews and try to get a sense of what kinds of game designs they like. If you send a traditional RPG sandbox adventure to a reviewer who is big into storygames (or vice versa), not only is the review likely to be negative, but you'll find your whole design philosophy on the table for atttack. Certainly everyone has their preferences and some reviewers can be objective despite their preferences though.

Also if you do get a negative review, be positive about it. If the reviewer makes criticisms that expose real holes in your game (issues with the game that aren't consistent with its design goals for example), take a note of it for future consideration. I usually send a note of thanks to all reviewers whether it is a negative or positive one. They took the time to read your book and write about it. They don't owe you a good review just because you gave them a comp PDF or Print.

Another general piece of advice. Stagger the reviews. Send out the comps and wait for each review to come out before sending another comp. This way if things get bad, you end up with one really bad review rather than a train of them.
Bedrock Games

Ron Edwards

Hey guys,

This thread is pretty old and is only near the top because of some barely-permissible bumps. Let's close it here.

Best, Ron