This is a refreshed version of our review guidelines. Previously we only gave scores to games and verbal verdicts for other content and hardware. Now, we’re adopting a single five-point scale that will encompass all future reviews at UploadVR. For reference, here is the old scale.
Virtual reality became a consumer-grade technology several years ago and things are looking more exciting now than ever before. In order to best serve our audience, we thought it was time to update and streamline our review guidelines to make things clearer and more understandable.
A big part of what we do here at UploadVR is produce full, detailed reviews of finished games, interactive experiences/films, social apps, VR headsets, AR devices, and other types of hardware, software, and everything in between. These reviews are in addition to our existing features, interviews, previews, and editorials. As a result, unless specifically stated in a unique circumstance, Early Access titles and similarly unfinished content or products will not be given formal review scores.
We’ll provide long, detailed reviews for larger apps, shorter and more concise reviews for simpler ones, and in many cases, even supplement the written reviews with video reviews as well.
Across all lengths and formats of our reviews one constant that you’ll see is an overall Final Score attached to each and every review at the end. These are used to serve as an overall barometer for the quality of a piece of content or a device, as the individual reviewer determines, but the writing within the review itself should be the primary force used to guide your thoughts on the particular subject. All reviews are final, but we may offer alternative angles of coverage, second opinions, or revisit things in the future with editorials.
However, some reviews may initially take the form of a review-in-progress. This means that we were see enough of the experience or device to render a final verdict, such as in the case of games with multiplayer that isn’t active pre-launch or hardware issues making reviews difficult to conduct. In those cases the review-in-progress will be published without a score and will be finalized, then republished with a score once we’ve reached a final verdict. It will not be a new URL, but just an update to the in-progress review to make it final. This means some content of the review may change.
And although reviews-in-progress don’t have a score attached, we do consider them a valuable service to our readers when making a purchasing decision as they provide our thoughts, opinions, and insights on products.
Since ratings on final reviews are so tricky and carry a lot of baggage, we’ve put together this review score breakdown guideline on what each star rating means for a review at UploadVR:
UploadVR 1-5 Star Rating Scale
5/5 Stars | Fantastic
Games, experiences, and hardware rated with five stars and classified as “Fantastic” all successfully harness the best of VR or AR to create an incredibly compelling and rewarding experience. We do not consider this classification perfect, but anything that receives this score makes a great case for what this new medium can do and stands apart from anything you might have seen in a headset so far or seen on a traditional screen and/or in other media. This is something worth recommending to just about everyone with few exceptions.
4/5 Stars | Really Good
Games, experiences, and hardware rated with four stars and classified as “Really Good” are the apps that go above and beyond their primary intention to deliver something truly memorable. The experience that the reviewer had reviewing this content or device left a strong impression and a desire to keep coming back for more. Anything with a “Really Good” rating is worth trying for most people if it’s something you’re interested in.
3/5 Stars | Pretty Good
Games, experiences, and hardware rated with three stars and classified as “Pretty Good” are quite likable, if not a whole lot else. This classification denotes something that may have some nice ideas that are strong enough to warrant a look, but overall things might not piece together into a truly compelling, cohesive whole — though the brighter elements are worth celebrating for some. These experiences or devices will be worth trying to expand your VR vocabulary at the very least, or hunting down on a rainy day, but you won’t be missing anything special if you give it a miss.
2/5 Stars | Disappointing
Games, experiences, and hardware rated with two stars are classified as “Disappointing” because, frankly, we expected more of them. They’re generally considered pretty flawed at what they were trying to do. They don’t fully consider the nature of the platform and what it can do, or they’re just plain uninspiring. This rating is reserved for experiences that you’ll often have trouble finding redeeming qualities for. In almost all cases this is a bad time. If you’re a keen enthusiast you might want to check this out still out, but we yawned and struggled our way through these so you wouldn’t have to.
1/5 Stars | Avoid
Games, experiences, and hardware rated with one star and classified as “Avoid” should not be recommended to anyone under any circumstances. This is the lowest tier and should be reserved exclusively for things that are unplayable, broken, and absolutely unsalvageable. These are woefully misguided attempts that are likely broken on some fundamental levels. It might be that the game or experience just isn’t optimized for VR in the least bit and is either distractingly uncomfortable or redundant. Or it could be a poorly designed device that barely works, if at all, or has significant design flaws and drawbacks. Don’t try anything rated as “Avoid” under any circumstances.
Established October 9th, 2019: This is the date that UploadVR retired its original scoring system.