★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

How do you see Ratings?

03-11-2016, 04:33 AM
#1
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 718
How do you see Ratings?

On many apps on the AppStore people will rate 5 stars yet objectively you know it's not a great quality game, but they've rated 5 stars as they've rated their experience right now, or they've rated it..how satisfied they are. When a rating surely should be about its quality, or how it exists relative to other games?

But everyone presumably sees ratings as different. It's like on eBay, if you mark less than a 5- people are hurt! You'd mark a 4 or something saying the delivery time was pretty good. (But maybe not excellent) They'd see- the nerve of me putting 4! I can't remember eBay ratings but it's something crazy like that, how you are interpreted for less than 5 star rating.

Anyway back to games - if you rate something, what's your criteria?

For me:
3 star I see as a competent playable game. 3.5 as good. 4 as great. 5 as reserved for something really suited to whatever format they're on.

Like Plants vs Zombies 2, I think is the perfect 5. It's got everything, variation, quality, accessibility.
Then you go to a release this week, Bulky pix Math jumper. And you've got a completely different game. It's playable, but it's nowhere near a fully as fledged a product as plants vs Zombies 2. So you probably say 3/5 if you reviewed it on the store.

Tldr: How do you review apps on the App Store? What's your thinking when you do.


(Incidentally the promo section on here is a bit wrong, win $10 for rating my product knowing they're looking for you to put 5 star ratings up.)

Last edited by thumbs07; 03-11-2016 at 04:36 AM.
03-11-2016, 07:05 AM
#2
I used to think a bit like you, but what I see on most games that I enjoy, is that there'll always be some people rating them 1 star because they can't either play the game(they didn't read the description, and their device is not supported), or because they feel they paid too much for it, or some other stupid reason. Right now, The Walking Dead: Michone, has only one review on my country, and that is a 1 star, and just says: "RIP OFF!!!". I've been spending a bit on games lately, so I can't buy everything at once, but I'm seriously tempted to buy it just to give it a proper review.

So, I give mostly 5 star ratings on the AppStore, to try and even things out a bit. For example, AC: Identity, which I rated 4 stars here on TA. I enjoy that game immensely, but it has some issues, say, bad pop-in, and the online-only requirement can be a little frustrating sometimes. So, the 4 stars I think are justified. But on the AppStore, comparing it to most games people can actually reach, it's quite excellent, so I just gave it 5 stars, explaining the game is a lot of fun, while warning people about the online-only thing.

Last edited by Warriv; 03-11-2016 at 07:08 AM.

03-11-2016, 08:56 AM
#3
Joined: Dec 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by thumbs07 View Post

For me:
3 star I see as a competent playable game. 3.5 as good. 4 as great. 5 as reserved for something really suited to whatever format they're on.
The above definitely applies to me. I tend to review (and buy) only the games I like, so most of my reviews are four or five stars, though I did give Chel-Z three the other day.

The App store generally - at least in the the UK, and I suspect elsewhere - tends to be a mix of mainly five-star and one-star reviews, with one-star reviews mainly tending to come from people who can't get the game to work or who have some feeble complaint/rant about the price or IAP or something.

When I read App store reviews, I look at the overall average rating, given the number of users, and then read the reviews that extend beyond just a couple of sentences. Plenty of gamers out there will try to explain why they've only given two, three or four stars, beyond the fact that it lacks MFI support or something.
03-11-2016, 09:02 AM
#4
On the developer side we see ratings as ridiculously important in some ways (such as it being critical for your search ranking on the App Store) but also rather meaningless in others. I should elucidate though

In theory, ratings are a very good way to get a general feeling of how your players are enjoying the game. The fact that they've actually submitted a rating puts them in the top 1% of players that actually care about the game enough to bother, so getting 4 or 5 star ratings on games you've published is a good sign and you start to worry if you see too many 1 or 2 star ratings.

However...

Every App Store user has a completely different view on how to award stars, which is fair enough. If they weren't so critically important it probably wouldn't be an issue but where someone quite enjoys a new game on the store that only cost him $2.99 and he had a lot of fun with gives it 5 stars without thinking about it, another player might decide to give it 1 star until it has a particular feature that he thought might be good in the game, *Despite playing and enjoying it as much as the 5 star guy* but he just wants that feature and thinks holding onto those stars will do the trick.

Other users might dock a star or two because they expect all games to be free, managed to complete it in a single 100 hour session or thought it didn't have quite the right colour blue in it. (believe me, I've seen worse ones )

So the problem is, without context or structure, the number of stars don't really mean too much. It's probably better to have a "Like" Button for games with a "WARNING" option that reports it to Apple (as low star ratings are in theory meant to warn players off from scam or broken apps).

Another issue that's occurred in the past is simply that it's very easy for your competitors to get the app and slap a 1 star rating on. There's also the apps you're up against that have a ton of 5 star reviews that have simply bought them or are published by companies with 200+ employees all of whom have App Store accounts and review automatically.

So really, you either enjoyed an app or didn't. If you did and care enough to tick some stars that's pretty brilliant in itself, but if you feel there's stuff that can be improved on an actual review can help other players who might be considering it and clicking the support link on the App Store to let the devs know is even more important (we don't always see the reviews, especially if you're in a different country to them) so if you hit a bug or something in the game feels really wrong, it's always worth clicking the support link and letting the devs know as there's every chance they'll be able to fix it (a lot of the time it's something we know about and can sort out a workaround for you before the bug's fixed in an update).
03-11-2016, 04:50 PM
#5
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 718
I like that idea of 'liking' a game, that does seem to make more sense.

I forgot some apps get quite a lot of unfair 1 stars as much as their 5s. That is true.
03-11-2016, 04:51 PM
#6
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 718
Quote:
but if you feel there's stuff that can be improved on an actual review can help other players who might be considering it and clicking the support link on the App Store
ah never knew that feature. That's useful to know.
03-13-2016, 08:52 AM
#7
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 947
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zwilnik View Post
On the developer side we see ratings as ridiculously important in some ways (such as it being critical for your search ranking on the App Store) but also rather meaningless in others. I should elucidate though

In theory, ratings are a very good way to get a general feeling of how your players are enjoying the game. The fact that they've actually submitted a rating puts them in the top 1% of players that actually care about the game enough to bother, so getting 4 or 5 star ratings on games you've published is a good sign and you start to worry if you see too many 1 or 2 star ratings.

However...

Every App Store user has a completely different view on how to award stars, which is fair enough. If they weren't so critically important it probably wouldn't be an issue but where someone quite enjoys a new game on the store that only cost him $2.99 and he had a lot of fun with gives it 5 stars without thinking about it, another player might decide to give it 1 star until it has a particular feature that he thought might be good in the game, *Despite playing and enjoying it as much as the 5 star guy* but he just wants that feature and thinks holding onto those stars will do the trick.

Other users might dock a star or two because they expect all games to be free, managed to complete it in a single 100 hour session or thought it didn't have quite the right colour blue in it. (believe me, I've seen worse ones )

So the problem is, without context or structure, the number of stars don't really mean too much. It's probably better to have a "Like" Button for games with a "WARNING" option that reports it to Apple (as low star ratings are in theory meant to warn players off from scam or broken apps).

Another issue that's occurred in the past is simply that it's very easy for your competitors to get the app and slap a 1 star rating on. There's also the apps you're up against that have a ton of 5 star reviews that have simply bought them or are published by companies with 200+ employees all of whom have App Store accounts and review automatically.

So really, you either enjoyed an app or didn't. If you did and care enough to tick some stars that's pretty brilliant in itself, but if you feel there's stuff that can be improved on an actual review can help other players who might be considering it and clicking the support link on the App Store to let the devs know is even more important (we don't always see the reviews, especially if you're in a different country to them) so if you hit a bug or something in the game feels really wrong, it's always worth clicking the support link and letting the devs know as there's every chance they'll be able to fix it (a lot of the time it's something we know about and can sort out a workaround for you before the bug's fixed in an update).
The stars are important to me- I will not spend my money on a 3 rated game with 10 reviews
But I probably will for a 3 rated game with over 200 reviews,
And the like, and dislike button will be worst.
Imagine the people who rated the game 1 star just because it doesn't have on feature they wanted.
They will dislike the game for the same reason
.
03-13-2016, 09:20 AM
#8
Joined: Jun 2014
Location: Brazil
Posts: 876
Quote:
Originally Posted by madreviewer View Post
The stars are important to me- I will not spend my money on a 3 rated game with 10 reviews
But I probably will for a 3 rated game with over 200 reviews,
.
I don't get the logic behind that.
03-13-2016, 01:10 PM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by madreviewer View Post
The stars are important to me- I will not spend my money on a 3 rated game with 10 reviews
But I probably will for a 3 rated game with over 200 reviews,
And the like, and dislike button will be worst.
Imagine the people who rated the game 1 star just because it doesn't have on feature they wanted.
They will dislike the game for the same reason
.
I didn't say about having a dislike button, just a report button (that reports broken/scam apps directly to Apple). The reason we don't like people being able to rate a game 3 stars is exactly because you (and others) wouldn't buy a 3 star game. Despite the 3 star game being just as good as a 5 star one just it was unlucky enough to be reviewed by someone who thinks 3 stars is "good". In App review terms, 1-3 stars is "dislike" and 5 is "like" with 4 being "might be worth a gamble if the screenshots look good" for most people looking to buy a game (anything under 5 stars is "So horrible it's amazing it's on the App Store" for free games ).

This isn't a reality or scoring system based on actual data, it's purely down to millions of people who all have a different idea of what 1-5 stars means. Whereas if the system was "Like" if you know, actually like it, then probably 90% of those millions might understand it and the worse case scenario for the other 10% is they accidentally like a game they didn't like.
03-14-2016, 05:22 PM
#10
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 843
Quote:
Originally Posted by thumbs07 View Post
On many apps on the AppStore people will rate 5 stars yet objectively you know it's not a great quality game, but they've rated 5 stars as they've rated their experience right now, or they've rated it..how satisfied they are. When a rating surely should be about its quality, or how it exists relative to other games?
I completely disagree with this. There is no meaningful objective way to judge a game. All you can do is rate a game based on how much you enjoy it.