Graphics are rated for quality of the artwork; use of color; use of special effects, such as scaling, rotation, color cycling, or polygons; the avoidance of sprite-dropping and other flaws; smoothness of the animation; and unique or innovative effects. Graphics should help set the mood for the game.
Sound is rated for sound quality; musical composition; stereo/dolby seperation; and use of special effects. Sound should also set the mood for the game.
Gameplay is rated for speed and responsiveness; overall handling; number and/or appropriateness of moves; and general feel.
Longevity and playability rate how long it takes to become bored with a game; would a player play the game again after solving it; how strong is the urge to mindlessly play the game repeatedly; years from now will you still be playing this.
Overall is a catch-all that covers general feelings about the game, including innovation and unique concept.
As you have noticed in our older reviews, there are numerous four person reviews of games. By having multiple reviewers, each intentionally with different preferences, we try to ensure that we will be less biased in our reviews. While some reviewers may be more extreme in their scoring than others, you will find that it is nearly impossible for a game to get all fives, or all zeros. We believe that this is the best way to come up with the most comprehensive, well-rounded review possible. Unfortunately as time has passed and many of the staff have taken on other responsibilities in life, many of the recent reviews consist of only one or two reviews at best. As time permits we may increase the number of reviewers on a particular game back up to four.