To: The Game Industry
From: Gen Katz, Editor
Topic: Game-tasters
Date: Apr 2009

There are wine-tasters and tea-tasters and yes, game-tasters - sometimes called reviewers.

Reviewers rarely spend 40 hours playing the game to the finish and if they do, it is after they have already reviewed the game and continue to play in their free-time. In the place of savoring the game - we have under our belts the "tasting of hundreds of games" and we know what to look for - the top notes, body, clarity, character, quality, development, uniqueness, value and the legs of the game.

We do keep a "cellar" of collectables - unique games, trailblazers, favorites that we will play when we retire. We, of necessity, still own or construct machines that will play these old goodies. This cache will be invaluable should we ever get an accessible game history museum and library.

Now that you know how we work, here is how you can help us help you.

Walkthroughs - send them along or link to them. This will become more of a problem as casual games become more full bodied. Brady Games and Prima Games don't have casuals in their sights yet.

Descriptions of the story lines - beginning, middle and conclusion - we won't tell the ending. We can review them anyway even if we don't find out who dies, who lives, who gets the girl.

God cheats - don't make me search the web for them - I know you have them. Remember, we no longer enjoy double jumping; bosses that are too hard are the end of the game - imagine fighting them and trying to meet an editorial deadline.

Your idea of the targeted age - "Everyone" simply isnít.

Information on disks - assets, previews, games are preferable to ftp downloads (when they work). Disks have a physical presence and don't get lost as easily. Do you have any idea how large and inscrutable my download files are?

We use box art on our review sites. Not so much a problem with games that we receive because we scan them, but casual games don't have that shelf-visual-attention getter. Think of the advantage of the box shot as an advert outside of the web. Besides, intro screens saying "Hello Gen" is unprofessional and tacky.

Your text press releases are more useful than trailers which are for a different population. Their purpose is to sell - I need information, besides trailers clog up my download file.

In conclusion, let me thank all the PR professionals who are at the ready to supply answers, backgrounds and will scour for information for me. Some I've know for ten years and follow them from job to job and name changes with marriages - love you all.