Review Ethics

Casino games vary hugely in quality. Games in the virtual currency sectors typically benefit from being unregulated and are able to utilise the latest and greatest gaming technologies to deliver games. Likewise even in the regulated sector popular games exist at either end of the quality sector.

When reviewing casino game content Return to Player has introduced a set of foundation guidelines to ensure that all reviews are reasonably standardised. The key areas of assessment are explained below.

Outline

The Game will have its key listings at the start including:

  • Developer = the Studio or team that developed the game
  • Platform = the game network that is distributing the game
  • Casino Sector = Being either casual game sector or the regulated sector
  • Type = Type of the game from the pre-=determined list of: ‘ Slots’, ‘Table’, ‘Instant Win’, ‘Bingo/Keno’, ‘ Card’, ‘Poker’
  • Return to Player = published RTP rating
  • Features = ‘Achievements’, ‘Jackpots’, ‘Multiplayer

Review Categories

Each game will be assessed under the following criteria, which provides suggestions and examples of elements that are reviewed. Each of the 5 categories is assigned a range between 1-10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best.

Please note that the elements here are not exhaustive:

  1. Presentation – this is a rating of the presentational aspects of the game including (but not limited to) art design, graphically fidelity, sound effects, animations, transitions, delivery of narrative and the overall look and feel of the game.
  2. Accessibility – this is a rating of the game’s UI and interface, ease of play, delivery of rules and information, identification of any in-game hierarchy, and responsive design and support for multiple consumer devices.
  3. Features – this is a rating of the game’s features and mechanics, design of the prize table, allocation of RTP% across the features (usually based on gameplay rather than published documents), design and implementation of the features in the game, and design of any additional meta-games.
  4. Uniqueness – this is a rating of whether the game does anything particularly different than its competitors, and can include any aspects of the above if they are considered notable.
  5. Enjoyment – this is the most subjective rating and analyses whether the game is actually fun to play. All casino games (casual casino games or regulated real-money) still revolve around the idea of wagering and winning a prize for your original bet at all times based on luck. This criteria will look at items such as the game math design, the expected returns, ease of triggering feature, win line hit rate, theming of the game or use of brands, and the overall feel good factor of the game. Generally if a player leaves a game feeling good (regardless of whether they’ve won) then the game has succeeded.

Overall Rating

The overall rating is a mean aggregate of the 5 review categories, with the following flags:

  • 10 = OUTSTANDING
  • 9 = GREAT
  • 7-8 = GOOD
  • 5-6 = MEDIOCRE
  • 3-4 = WEAK
  • 1-2= TERRIBLE

The RTP Challenge

Whilst all our articles are open and honest – after all, we want you to have the best playing experience – we do realise that they are also subjective. For example – one reviewer may dislike a particular slot theme, and it is possible that will enjoy it less and give it a lower ‘Enjoyment’ score.

Therefore, in order to introduce some element of standardisation across our reviews, we established the ‘RTP Challenge’. Will’s mathematical explantion coming soon 😉

FAQs

How do you choose which games to review?

Return to Player reviews games on the basis of our own interests, word of mouth, games gaining popularity and games that offer something unique different or compelling.

I don’t agree with your review. You’re wrong!

Return to Player reviews games on the above guidelines. We are as objective as is possible in applying this criteria across the board. If you don’t agree with the criteria please drop an email, use our contact form, or raise a post in the forum and let us know your thoughts.

Can review scores be changed after publication?

We would only change a review score if we believe the game has received significant major update since our published review, or there is a significant change to our review criteria that would unfairly prejudice games reviewed on the legacy system. Where we do change a score we will list the legacy score and the reason for the update.

I'm a casino game developer. Will you review/preview my latest game?

Please submit the details to our contact form. We don’t guarantee we’ll review every game because we are always limited by resources. You should know that we’ll only review games that are published and live. We will preview games that are not yet published but they should have a legitimate expectation to be published.

The listed RTP isn’t the same as the RTP Challenge?! Is the developer cheating us?

Not at all. The developer’s published RTP has been certified by third party ATFs and is verified in accordance with gambling regulations. The RTP Test is simply a basic snapshot to give you a rough expectation of what you could expect playing the game from fresh for 20mins or so.

I can't stop playing. I think I'm addicted. I have a problem!

If you require further advice about your gambling activities or you are concerned about the gambling habits of your friends or family, please visit one of the support websites below:

  1. http://www.gamcare.org.uk/
  2. http://www.gamblingtherapy.org/
  3. http://www.gambleaware.co.uk/
  4. http://www.gordonmoody.org.uk/

Or the relevant institution in your country.

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