Review of review sites that charge for reviews

My name is Peter Norberg and I represent a smallish indie studio called Hellhound Interactive. Since ‘nobody’ had ever heard about us, we decided to buy some reviews upon launching our new app at Google Play. You know, to get the ball rolling, since it’s very hard to get the big websites to review your game when you’re unknown.

Anyway, I thought I would review the sites that charge for reviews… For fun. And also to let you know what you get for your hard-earned cash.

As a starting point we used this list of sites. We took a closer look and contacted a selected number to see if they were alive. No way that we would pay money to a site if they couldn’t even answer an email, we figured. Upon ordering the review we sent each site a review copy of the game as well as a media kit with prepared screenshots. We also specified a date when the review should be published.

We have used the following categories when scoring the sites.

  • Correct app (0-3 points) – You might think this is a no-brainer, with us sending them a review copy of the game. But no, this proved to be quite tough for a few sites.
  • Screenshot quality (0-2 points) – The same goes here. With us sending them a media kit and a review copy some sites still managed to take screenshots from the wrong version of the game.
  • Service mindedness (0-2 points) – Did they answer emails? Some gave us the silent treatment as soon as they had published the review and refused to make corrections.
  • Review quality (0-2 points) – Was the text well-written? Did they describe the correct game?
  • Good score (0-1 point) – When you pay lots and lots of dollars for a review you expect a good review, don’t you? A score of 4/5 or higher equals one point.

The maximum score is 10 points and among the reviewed sites we rewarded two with the maximum score. Below are the sites we contacted and an account of our experience with them.

Alpha digits (3/10)
alphadigitsWhatever you do, never ever send a single dollar to Alpha digits! The review they made was a write-up based on the description of the game at Google Play. It was plainly obvious that they didn’t even play the game and the text they came up with instead described another type of game. At first we even suspected that they had Google-translated the review from another language! When we contacted them they responded in an aggressive manner and after that all our emails receive the silence treatment. Extremely poor service!

  • Correct app: 0/3
  • Screenshot quality: 2/2
  • Service mindedness: 0/2
  • Review quality: 0/2
  • Good score: 1/1

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