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UploadVR's Review Guidelines For Games, Apps, Hardware & More

UploadVR's Review Guidelines For Games, Apps, Hardware & More

UploadVR awards games a score out of five stars – full stars only, no half stars.

In October 2023, we refreshed our review guidelines once again, moving from our label system to a refreshed 5-Star rating system. You can read more info on the reasoning for the change here.

The guidelines for our retired label system are available to read for reference purposes here.

The VR industry is growing bigger by the day, and consumers have more choice than ever when it comes to games, films or other types of experiences to purchase for a variety of headsets. At UploadVR, we take pride in providing balanced, informative reviews of VR software to help you make the right purchasing choices in an increasingly crowded field.

UploadVR's review guidelines have gone through a few refreshes over the years. In October 2019, we retired our 10-point review scale in favor of a five-star system. On March 14th 2022, we moved to a system with three labels (Essential, Recommended, Avoid) alongside a broader unlabeled category rather than a numeric score. Now, we're moving back to a five-star system, with refreshed guidelines to suit. This system will be used mainly for games and experiences – we don't score hardware reviews.

Only complete games in full release will receive a score out of five stars –you won't see them on impressions of Early Access titles. From time to time we may also publish a review-in-progress. This means that we haven’t seen enough of the experience to render a final verdict, such as in the case of games with multiplayer that isn’t active pre-launch. In those cases, the review-in-progress will be published without a score and will be finalized, then republished with a final score out of five stars. It will not be a new URL, but just an update to the in-progress review to make it final. This means some content of the review may change.

Here’s our review breakdown guideline on what each star ratings means for a review at UploadVR:

1 Star

An experience that, for any reason, is completely unplayable, broken or worthless. It might be ridden by bugs or unacceptable performance. Alternatively, the experience might run smoothly but find itself devoid of meaning or creativity. Either way, there’s nothing worth your time here and you’re better off not touching a 1-Star experience at all.

Examples: Tarzan VR, Gambit!, Colossal Cave

2 Stars

These experiences set out with admirable goals and intentions, but ultimately miss the mark. While not a total trainwreck, they might feature one too many bugs, slightly questionable performance, or simply fail to deliver an enjoyable experience. Even if everything runs smoothly, these experiences might be creatively uninspired, uninteresting or just below average in other ways. Some people might be able to glean some fun from them, but for most, they’re unlikely to be worth your time.

Examples: Firmament, Crimen Mercenary Tales, Tennis League VR, Peaky Blinders, Grid Legends

3 Stars

An average, enjoyable experience – not great, but not terrible either. What you get out of these experiences will often depend on what you’re looking for and what caveats you’re willing to put up with. For the most part, these experiences work as intended – it’s just a matter of whether what’s on offer is enough to keep you interested.

Examples: Hubris, Dead Hook, Budget Cuts Ultimate, Another Fisherman’s Tale, A Knight in the Attic, The Dark Pictures: Switchback, No Man’s Sky on PSVR 2

4 Stars

An experience that delivers on everything it promises and one that will be memorable after you put it down. These experiences excel at what they do, without necessarily meeting the barrier to be crowned an all-time classic that everyone should check out. There can still be some downsides or caveats, but the pros will likely outweigh the cons. Often experiences that master a specific genre or type of game will find themselves here – not necessarily for everybody, but the perfect choice when it aligns with your personal preferences.

Examples: Horizon Call of the Mountain, Gran Turismo 7, Before Your Eyes, No More Rainbows, Synapse, Ghost Signal, Unplugged, Among Us VR

5 Stars

An experience that is, for all intents and purposes, near flawless on every level. This is a ranking reserved for the best of the best. It doesn’t mean the experience is entirely without fault or caveats – nobody’s perfect – but it does mean that any downsides are unlikely to affect your overall enjoyment. These experiences are rare entries that often push the boundaries while mastering the medium. We recommend everyone with access to the relevant platforms check them out.

Examples: Pistol Whip, Resident Evil Village, Half-Life: Alyx, Demeo, Walkabout Mini Golf, Eye of the Temple, Dungeons of Eternity, Vertigo 2

Updated October 25, 2023. You can find details of our retired label system here.

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