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Review: Neo Scavenger

Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:00 pm

If you've ever taught a game development class or talked to high school students interested in game development, inevitably one of them will tell you their master plan for 'a... ... scavenger/

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:54 pm

The game was clearly meant for port to pad, but the writer only plays it on an iPhone???a small one at that???and then rips the game for not working well. This was a clear waste of an article, especially considering you only post one a day.
To top it off, you end on a dick joke. Well done PT.

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:10 pm

It's pretty harsh reviewing this game on an iPhone 5! It's clearly intended to be played on an iPad. The developer has been severely punished here for actually making this game universal! I think that's pretty unfair, especially given the reviewer's praise of the PC version.

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:13 pm

FedUp -- My thoughts exactly. There are many games that are great on the iPhone, but many that are not. Playing a game that is admittedly a straight-from-PC port on a phone is usually bound to be a shoddy experience. I have no problem if the review just mentioned this fact, but it seems like the main focus of the criticism. It seems particularly odd to complain and then not actually try it on an iPad.

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:14 pm

What's the editorial policy here in terms of the choice of device for reviews? I wouldn't like to see device specific ratings, but perhaps the iPad should be the default device used for universal games?

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:17 pm

I have to agree here. This is a tablet game, why assign it to a reviewer who can only play it on the smallest possible device? Talk about setting somebody up for failure...

This review is meant for people with small phones wondering if they should play the game, I guess. We have that answer. Can we get a review for the rest of us now?

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:33 pm

I particularly feel bad for a developer who has (in the reviewer's own admission) put this whole game together single-handedly. This entire review comes across like a hit-piece quite frankly and this actually left me feeling quite sad for him. Clearly the outcome of a review isn't linked the size of a development team, but a little grace and consideration would have gone a long way.

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Re: Review: Neo Scavenger

Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:40 pm

Hey guys,

If it helps, Paul came to me with his concerns while he was playing the game. He doesn't own a tablet and was worried that the poor adaptation to iPhone would skew things too much.

To be honest, I didn't think it should have held up the review or change things massively and I advised him as such. My only stipulation was that he play the game on other platforms and write about what it's like outside of platform concerns, which he has done.

Not everyone does own a tablet (although I'm aware as far as the audience here is concerned, around 40% of you play on tablets exclusively). I don't therefore demand that my writers own all devices, but I have enough writers that do have tablets (Mark, Nick, Matt S, Michael) that I know I can cater for that audience easily. I don't see it as a bad thing to cater to other audiences from time to time (like doing reviews on Android devices first/only, or in this case, doing a review on a Phone device only).

Sure, it would have perhaps been useful to have some tablet impressions up front, but I come from a history of multi-platform gaming where you didn't always have access to all platforms, and you had to make do. So long as you were upfront with what resources you had access to, the audience could still make an informed decision based on what you did manage to talk about.

In the specific case of Neo Scavenger, my thought process was:

* This is available on a phone, and so someone who doesn't own a tablet (like Paul) could end up buying this.
* The fact that it's a good game is not a shield for poor porting practices to smaller devices.
* I felt it was an important to point out that this is a good game, but a terrible iPhone game.
* So long as Paul talked about what the game was like generally, tablet users could still decide whether or not they wanted to buy the game based on general game-play impressions.

For me, it doesn't really matter what the 'intent' was - if the 'intent' was it to be a tablet game, why bother putting in on iPhone in the first place? To open it up to the maximum possible audience? That's great if it actually worked as an iPhone game, but it doesn't.

We can perhaps update you with some 'official' tablet impressions if you guys are keen to know about that (I think Nick has played it for a past Out Now), but it won't change the score. Assuming you read the review fully, from my POV it should tell you enough to make a decision.

If you have any further questions or concerns, fire away!
"Determining the appropriate level of influence in somebody else's war is never a simple matter."
- Special Circumstances


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Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:57 pm

I played this on Steam, and did try this on an iPad, and it just did not work well. It was a direct port with no streamlining for touch controls as far as I can tell.

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Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:41 pm

I appreciate the thought and decision that went into the issue, but in this particular case it was (in hindsight) clear that the game is never going to work on an iphone 5 and the review will be completely overshadowed by issues arising out of the small screen, making it much harder to discern its other qualities.

I think the reverse would've been better - a main review on the tablet with a mention that it's going to be terrible on anything smaller.

I have this game on the PC and tbh I have a hard time imagining that it'd work out even on an ipad. A main review on an actual tablet would be really valuable.


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