At Adventure Gamers we believe strongly in maintaining our editorial integrity. Our promise to you is that we will always be an independent voice by avoiding any conflicts of interest or undue external influences.
Simply put: our loyalty is to you, our readers, and not to any game publishers or their commercial interests. Our goal is to provide independent information on this game genre we love, which is what we’ve been doing since 1998.
While many of us contribute to Adventure Gamers as volunteers, we uphold strict standards of professionalism. Here is an overview of our editorial policies.
- The editor works with reviewers to ensure the score is in line with the tone and contents of the review itself, but will never override the reviewer's final scoring decision.
- Reviewers' names are never revealed ahead of time and reviewers do not communicate with game companies themselves during the review process, avoiding even the possibility of behind-the-scenes influence, whether personal or monetary.
- Reviewers have to finish a game before submitting the review so that they can make an informed judgment of the game as a whole. (In some rare cases, such as with game-breaking bugs, a reviewer might not finish the entire game, which will always be noted.)
- Evaluations of pre-beta builds or demos are always marked as previews. We only review final code or, in some cases, nearly finished post-beta code. If there are any serious bugs or other issues with the post-beta code, we play some of the final version when it goes public to see if the problems have been resolved.
- We accept review copies as they help us deliver more timely reviews. When no review copy is made available, we arrange for our own copy.
- We use a 0.5-5 star rating system. Our rating system is explained here.
We accept advertising and affiliate sponsorships in order to provide our website for free. Our strict advertising policies allow us to pay the bills while remaining unbiased and free from undue external influence.
- We believe in ‘separation of church and state’ between advertising and editorial. Even though our team is small, our responsibilities are clearly delineated. The person responsible for dealing with ads generally has nothing to do with the editorial side of Adventure Gamers. This may lead to a game being advertised while also receiving a low score in our review. Publishers may find this ‘less than ideal’, but they have to accept our journalistic independence (and, so far, they always have).
- Advertisers are not allowed to exert any influence over our content. This is a core principle. We also avoid third parties from ever having any leverage by maintaining multiple independent revenue streams. In other words, no one could credibly threaten to ‘pull their ads’ as we keep a diverse mix of income from direct ads, affiliate ads from online digital distributors (such as GOG and Big Fish Games), and automatically targeted ads from Google.
As the majority of Adventure Gamers contributors are volunteers, a few of us hold positions in the game industry, either on a permanent or freelance basis. We strictly avoid conflicts of interest by assigning reviews only to impartial members of staff.
Extent of Coverage
We cover adventure games in all forms and on all platforms, including commercial and amateur/freeware releases.
Although we enjoy other game genres too, we keep our primary focus on adventure games and leave other games for other sites to review. We use the following guidelines to determine which games fall within our scope:
- We do not cover action-adventures, roleplaying games, or other established genres besides adventure games.
- Games with action elements that are highly subservient to its adventure elements are considered adventures, and will be covered fully. Full Throttle is a good example of such a game.
- We do make some exceptions for games that are of substantial interest to adventure gamers, but which might not confirm to strict definitions of the genre. These will typically be treated as special feature articles as opposed to scored reviews.