Do Reviews Need Scores?


I was reading an article from Ars Technica about how many gaming publications are starting to drop review scores from their game reviews, favoring a more subjective approach to reviews than the traditional quantitative approach.

This places a greater emphasis on the various elements of the games, both good and bad, and prevents a game that may have some elements that are poor (i.e. a broken multiplayer) dragging down what could be an excellent single player experience.

We have a tendency to use review scores to compare things but often we’re comparing apples to oranges, even when we use consistent criteria.

So it got me thinking. Are review scores that important?

At Home Theatre Life, I review lots of devices and break each device down into 5 key categories. Each is rated out of 5, and an overall score is determined. But I’m wondering, do you actually use these scores to determine whether or not you’ll purchase a device? Is it the score or the actual experience with the device that matters?

I’d love to hear your opinions. Let us know in the comments below.

  • Michael Verrenkamp

    Do away with scores! The only reason I have had them in my own writing was website requirements. No score means the reader is forced to actually evaluate the content rather than having it simplified to a single number.
    The few times I have done video reviews (horrible, non structured, stand up comedy rather than facts reviews) I have done away with the score. I felt it worked so much better.