Using (bad) reviews to improve your game

I’ll port Spring Up!, but it won’t be an exact copy of the game. I will spend time to fix some problems people have seen. I could not afford many tests when releasing Spring Up! for Mac and PC. I only saw a few people playing the game before the release. Now that I’m making this game once again, I look back at those reviews carefully.

I could find 7 interesting reviews. Four of these reviews comes with a grade, here are they, in decreasing order:

There are also 3 reviews without grade, at (small user review), and

Of course I read them all carefully, and some problems where recurrent among reviewers, here is a small list, with the most important problems on the top:

  • no way to lose / lack of challenge
  • no reward for difficult shots
  • ugly/utilitarian graphics
  • multiplier too easy to increase
  • levels are too long, boring near the end of the levels
  • not enough different power-ups
  • repetitive music
  • some bad sound effects
  • adventure mode not really useful, need story, garden is useless
  • objects can be stuck and don’t always fall at the bottom of the screen.

Well, it’s already a huge list of problems. I won’t fix all of them, but I’ll certainly take these reviews into account when doing the XNA port of Spring Up! I may not be able to invest much more money to improve graphics and music, but level design, game design and the physics engine will probably be improved.

There is often a debate whether a bad review is better or worse than no review. I think a bad review is better. Not to sell the game, but to improve it.