Serious Game Review

Playing and evaluating games is one thing, but sometimes you need something a bit bigger. For that, we will be doing critical game reviews!


This technically has two parts to it: the full review you’re submitting to D2L and an executive summary of what you chose submitted to Slack.

Choose a serious game or simulation that is intended to persuade, educate, inform, improve health, etc., preferably one that we haven’t touched on in class (and, no, Goat Simulator doesn’t count). I encourage you to pick from a Twine game, they’re highly accessible and are typically easy to complete. Here are two wonderful resources:

Of course, if you want to pick another serious game, I encourage you to do so.

Executive summary

Submit to the Slack #infv405-module2 channel by the D2L due date a post that includes the following:

  • The name of the game or simulation you want to review
  • A link to the game’s website or a site about the game (if no official site)
  • Why you consider this a serious game or simulation
  • Why you’re interested in this game or simulation
  • The genre of the game or a brief description of the simulation.

Full review

Now, the meat of the assignment. Play through the game or simulation as fully as possible and put together a well-written review that covers the following topics:

  1. Basic Topics (roughly two paragraphs)
    1. Who created it?
    2. What genre of game is it?
    3. What devices can you play it on?
    4. What is the premise/theme?
    5. What is the player’s goal?
  2. Gameplay (roughly five paragraphs – include subheadings)
    1. What systems exist within the game?
    2. What mechanics?
    3. What actions are available to the player?
    4. What does the game look like?
    5. What is the interface like? (How does the player interact?)
    6. Do the game’s rules make sense considering the theme?
  3. Educational Potential (roughly two paragraphs)
    1. Could you use this game to teach?
    2. What could you teach?
    3. How?
    4. Has anyone used this game to teach before?

The Basic Information portion should clock in at around two paragraphs, the Gameplay section around five with sub-headings, and the Educational Potential section also at around two paragraphs. For an example of a well-constructed review that would earn full marks, see this review of My Spanish Coach on the Nintendo DS. You might think that since we’re looking at Twine games (mostly text-based), the portions on the look of the game don’t apply. This would be untrue. Everything about a game should be taken into consideration; in this case, font, font color, alignment, size, speed, shape, background, and maybe there are images so what impact does that have?

With your submission, include at least three screenshots that illustrate some of the important mechanics, screens, interface elements, etc.


Category Goal
Format Easy to read, well organized, clear, with very few, if any, spelling or grammar errors.
Post Post to Slack was both on time and complete.
Analysis Analysis of the systems and mechanics that comprise gameplay is extensive and detailed. Explains how the player plays the game, and what he or she can do within it. Thoughtfully addresses the unity of theme and gameplay.
Presentation Language flows smoothly and expresses ideas eloquently. Ideas are organized in a logical fashion which advances the argument being made.
Screenshots Three or more screenshots are included that showcase important aspects of the game. Include captions, descriptions, and are placed appropriately. Text references them accordingly.

Submission and Assessment

You may know of or remember gateway requirements and grading declarations in my previous classes. I am now combining these to streamline the process. Make sure to check out the grading declaration page for more information on the process.

The PDF you submit should basically be an APA paper: have regular margins, be double spaced, use a standard 12pt font (no Comic Sans, please), and be free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

  1. Complete the Serious Game Review grading declaration quiz. This will open the Serious Game Review assignment submission folder.
  2. Submit your review PDF that addresses all the required targets above in the Serious Game Review submission folder by 11:59pm system time on the D2L due date.
  3. Share your executive summary also in the #infv405-module2 Slack channel as a post (see above).