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Solitaire, Shills, and Slimeballs

09-21-2009, 11:55 PM
Solitaire, Shills, and Slimeballs

I'm seeing a disturbing trend of games that are propped up by shills.
It's difficult to definitively prove this sort of thing, but "iSolitaire by Haiwen Soft" appears to be one of the most flagrant examples of this practice.

Its the original release was stocked with dozens of 5 star reviews, all from people that had amazingly only ever reviewed that game and no others.

After it began accumulating more realistic reviews, it received an update with comments simply noting "better algorithm." And it was stocked with another pack of similar suspicious reviews which happened to puff its "rating for this version" back up to a perfect 5.0.

Now, if this guy or anyone else wants to resort to these tactics to get people to buy their game, that's their right, I guess. But what disturbs me more is that I'm seeing more and more evidence of people going one step further and planting bogus bad reviews for competitor's games.

For example, the first review for Card Shark Solitaire Deluxe 4.3 is a one star review making the damning claim that "most of the games don't work" which is utter nonsense. 4.3 is a rock solid release, that's generated fewer support requests than any other update, and happens to feature four new games, including Blackjack. The reviewer in question (Jim314) suspiciously only has ever reviewed Card Shark Solitaire Deluxe.

What's the best way to try and fend off this type of thing?
09-21-2009, 11:58 PM
I think its natural for friends and family to write good reviews for small-time developers. The reviews that came from this forum were actually good and very helpful for our game Aves. I agree... the shill is stupid.

However, I noticed the bad shill as well, the 1-star review, and that is the only review. Its sad, but when other developers feel threatened thats what happens.

I dont think apple takes the reviews into account when featuring... so..