First Impressions is a service offered by Flash Game License that basically allows you to purchase game testers. It’s a useful service, and can really help narrow down what aspects of your game need improvement. But how does it work? In this post, I’m going to explain that and more.

Who are the Reviewers?

The reviewers for the First Impressions service are anonymous, everyday people. They aren’t specifically trained to test games, but come from a variety of diverse backgrounds. They are essentially the type of person that will be viewing your game when you release it.

Are they given any guidelines for reviewing games?

Yes, they are. Eric over at Flash Game License has been kind enough to release those instructions for you:

Instructions: You will see a Flash game below. Play the game for at least five minutes. After you play, please comment on different aspects of the gameplay by filling out the form below the game.

The purpose of the review is to give the developer unbiased and helpful feedback so they can turn their game into a masterpiece. Your job is to provide concrete suggestions to help them make the game better! Your review will be given to the game’s authors. Game developers have notoriously fragile egos, so please be polite and constructive — but don’t be afraid to tell it like it is.

After five minutes have elapsed, please fill out the questions below, then submit the form. Happy gaming!

New! Bonuses! The most helpful reviews for each game will now be eligible for a small monetary bonus. Thanks again for reviewing games!

Give Feedback

For each category, rate the game from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), and then offer a sentence or two of advice to make the game better in that category. (If you really can’t think of any improvements for a certain category, enter ‘No Advice.’ But please don’t use ‘No Advice’ too often!)

Examples of Helpful, Specific Feedback:

  • “I had trouble controlling the avatar because the mouse cursor moved too abruptly.”
  • “I couldn’t complete level 4 before running out of life, although I tried several times.”
  • “The color of the sky is too close to the color of the ship, I can’t tell them apart.”
  • “The music became too repetitive and I ended up turning the sound off.”

Examples of Useless, Unspecific Feedback:

  • “The game’s controls suck!”
  • “The game is too hard! Make it easier.”
  • “The graphics are bad and need to be improved.”
  • “The music was okay, but could be better.”

In addition, the various ratings have value indicators. For instance, a Fun Factor rating of 1 is “This has been the worst five minutes of my life.” A Fun Factor of 5 is “Yawn. A little dull.” And a fun factor of 10 is “Wow! I’m addicted to this game!”

Where do they play my game?

Reviewers will play your game in an iframe, meaning that they will not recieve any outside instructions for your game. This helps demonstrate how players will view your game when they play it once it is released.

If you are interested in learning more about the First Impressions service, head over to the Flash Game License FAQ.

Related posts:

  1. My Review of ‘First Impressions’
  2. Getting Feedback
  3. Implementing Controls: Teach the Player