The birth of the Mystery Review

The birth of the Mystery Review

The birth of the Mystery Review

I wish I was a better player, but you will learn more about yourself the more you play. While I will be returning to this in a few minutes, let me first make a very important point. Everyone in our team believes in fairness, honesty, and openness when discussing games. This means that all opinions and views expressed by us are genuine. If we’re out there slamming your favorite games, it’s only because of our viewpoints that we have the motivation. We’ll be honest with you about why we don’t like something. This is why I am making this point. There is a distinction between honesty and bias. It has been turned into an experiment about how we view our craft. With that in mind, we welcome you to the Mystery Review. Clear? Good! Let’s get started. The birth of the Mystery Review

 

A real conundrum

 

Unconscious biases are a reality. A lot of us review games simply because we think it’ll be fun or because it features interesting mechanics. This can be a good thing, and it can put us on a bad foot unconsciously. This happens because if a title is something we enjoy, we will probably give it a higher score simply because it fits our expectations and does all the things that we want. We may become more critical if we make too much of something we don’t love. It’s not deliberate, but I must stress that none of this is intentional. We don’t over- or under-grade things. We’re just humans being human.

 

This also applies to games outside our genre. As a non-sports fan, I’d be less inclined to review a title from that category. If I was asked to play a sporting game for a favor, I’d expect not to enjoy it before I played it. Although it may be the best thing of the year, the mechanics are not my cup of tea. This is something everyone does. Choose your favorite pastime, and I’m sure you’ve done it yourself if enough thought goes into it. The birth of the Mystery Review

The birth of the Mystery Review

 

What does all of this have do with reviews? I was intrigued by the possibility of circumventing unconscious bias. This was the inspiration for the Mystery Review. I was curious if starting a game with no knowledge about it would affect the outcome. By doing so, we are unable to compare the game to other games before playing it. Furthermore, we can’t draw any conclusions based only on our opinions about other things. We can’t decide “I won’t like X just because I played Y.” We have to evaluate the title on its merits.

 

The birth of the Mystery Review

The birth of the Mystery Review

 

I was inspired to do a little experiment. Madeleine Acevedo (my good friend) was given a code and instructions. The review she was about to start didn’t allow her to do any research. Let’s face it, she didn’t even know the game’s name. It was okay for her to make comparisons later. However, I didn’t want her to start it from scratch or based on what she’d read. I then asked her if she had noticed any differences while playing the game. This would help me to determine how different the experience was overall. The birth of the Mystery Review

 

Apart from the somewhat serious nature of this study, I found it to be a lot fun. The reviewers might have to get out of their comfort zones. It can be quite shocking to suddenly find yourself in a highly cerebral turn-based strategy video game after years of shooting. But you may fall for someone you’d never give a fair chance. However, you might see “MYSTERY REVIEW,” appearing at the start of articles quite a lot in the near future.

The birth of the Mystery Review

 

After all the rambling, I feel it is only fair that my guinea pork… …. gets a chance to tell me about her findings. Madeleine, our Madeleine was able to tell us all about their findings without me interjecting. The birth of the Mystery Review

 

The birth of the Mystery Review

The birth of the Mystery Review

 

Madeleine Acevedo

I’m an analytical person. If you are familiar enough with the Enneagram, you will see that I fall within Type One. This means that I have a tendency to be objective, fair, honest, and realistic. I enjoy getting answers to my questions, and I want to know where I’m going. This is true when I write reviews. I was open to the challenge of being a Mystery Review guinea. I wasn’t going away from something just for it being unfamiliar. The birth of the Mystery Review

 

Alex is similar in that I know which videogames I like or dislike. I try new games when I feel like it. I love to study and discover what differentiates a product from its peers. Are the graphics superior? Is the storyline engaging? Are there bugs that are being worked on by the developers? Is the gameplay boring or does it have something that keeps it exciting?

The birth of the Mystery Review

 

I am an opinionated person and sometimes it is difficult for me look at things objectively. However, Alex presented Wildermyth for my Mystery Review. Videogames have more to it than just gameplay. I like to be presented with something visually appealing. Let’s consider the presentation of food. If a waiter presents me a dish that is attractively presented, with a balanced color and texture, then I am more inclined to indulge. Wildermyth succeeds in visual presentation. Presentation isn’t all that matters.

The birth of the Mystery Review

The birth of the Mystery Review

 

I love a good plot, but Wildermyth has a lot of narrative and feels very linear. I am an open world girl. I like to build my own path, do my thing, have control and then return to the mission when I’m ready. It took me a while before I realized this wasn’t the game for me. But, I was determined to be fair and give it another few hours. It’s difficult to be objective, no matter how hard we try. We are prone to comparing past experiences to make it harder. I do believe participating in this Mystery Review allowed for me to be more flexible and have a new approach to my review. The birth of the Mystery Review

The birth of the Mystery Review

 

I was not going to research the game publisher or look at the trailer for Wildermyth. Instead, I went blindly into the game without any prior knowledge. It definitely changed my outlook and allowed me find the positive aspects of this game instead of focusing on the flaws. Mystery Reviews are not guaranteed to work every time. It is unlikely. It worked in this instance and I’m eager for more reviews.

 

Alex Southgate

As with any experiment it is impossible to make an objective judgment on a single set of data. We will continue to publish Mystery Reviews. And, if you’re curious, you can follow my discoveries as I diarise. It might not make a difference if you are an open-minded member of the team. These personality types are open-minded and will give anything a shot. Their reviews can be based on what they find.

The birth of the Mystery Review

 

Madeleine, and I, like many others, like to have a little more grounding. It’s a much more enjoyable experience than we would expect because it forces us to do something we don’t feel inclined to. Will this change how we approach all games? This is not likely. This could, however, help us place the genres that we don’t typically run to on a somewhat equal playing field with those we do. A focus on the off, rather than drawing comparisons to it, is something I think all of us can learn from.

Despite all the analytic stuff, it’s a fun way of approaching any game. Stay tuned for more Mystery Reviewing sleuthing in the future.

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