The Video Game Critic's Explanation of Icons

In order to spice up the reviews, I often assign icons to each game. Some icons are insightful and some are just silly, but I like to think they add a little spice to the reviews. Below are explanations of the 87 icons spread over 11 arbitrary categories. See Icon Statistics Page for statistical breakdown.

Seasonal icons

IconNameTool tipDescription
iconWinterSeasonal winter funFeatures snow, ice, and harsh winter conditions.
iconSpringSeasonal spring funFeatures scenic spring elements.
iconSummerSeasonal summer funFeatures summer elements such as beach, aquatic, and tropical locations.
iconAutumnSeasonal autumn funFeatures colorful autumn elements.
iconChristmasChristmas themesIdeal to play around the holidays.
iconHalloweenHalloween themesEmbodies the creepy sights and sounds of Halloween.

Positive icons

IconNameTool tipDescription
iconHead To HeadHead-to-head actionIdeal for one-on-one competition.
iconCooperativeCooperative PlayTeam up with a friend to play this one.
iconMultiplayerSupports multiple playersTry this game when you have some friends over.
iconGreat MusicGreat musicThis game contains terrific music.
iconFunnyGood humorThis game is likely to make you laugh.
iconComebackRising from the AshesMarks a long-awaited return for the series.
iconChicks Dig ThisChicks Dig ThisEven girls like this game! That's sexist.
iconHidden GemHidden gemNot a well-known title, but worth checking out.
iconSplit Screen 2PTwo-player split-screenContains a local two-player split-screen mode
iconSplit Screen 4PFour-player split-screenSupports split-screen for up to four players

Negative icons

IconNameTool tipDescription
iconOnlineRequires constant connectionRequires constant online connection to play.
iconNauseaMay Cause NauseaMay cause nausea due to motion sickness, ugly graphics, or poor gameplay.
iconLong LoadsLong load timesSuffers from long, aggravating load screens.
iconPainMay cause painMay cause pain to hand or wrist.
iconBuggyBugs and glitchesThis game is known to have glitches and bugs.
iconBoringMay cause drowsinessDo not play while operating heavy machinery. Might put you to sleep.
iconETExtreme disappointmentThis game didn't live up to expectations.

Genre icons

IconNameTool tipDescription
iconRPGRole-playing GameThis is a role-playing style game (usually turn-based).
iconStrategyStrategyThis is a strategy game.
iconPuzzlePuzzleThis is a puzzle-oriented game (Tetris, Dr. Mario, etc).
iconMusicalMusicalGame is musical in nature (Guitar Hero, Dance Central, etc).
iconCompilationClassic CompilationA collection of older games in one package.

Content icons

IconNameTool tipDescription
iconConstructionConstruction elementsThis game has build-it-yourself features.
iconFull Motion VideoFull Motion VideoThis game contains full-motion video.
iconEducationalEducationalThis game may contain educational subject matter.
iconKid FriendlySuitable for childrenThis game is suitable for young children.
iconAdultAdult Subject MatterThis game contains adult themes and is unsuitable for kids.
iconViolenceViolence and goreMay contain brutal violence, blood, and gore.
iconProfanityBad languageThis game contains profanity.
iconControversialControversialThis game has been a source of controversy.
iconScaryScaryCaution: This is a scary game!
iconiconFrighteningFrighteningCaution: This game is extremely frightening!
iconiconiconTerrifyingTerrifyingCaution: This game is downright terrifying!

Media icons

IconNameTool tipDescription
iconDownload OnlyDownload OnlyOnly available via download from an on-line service like Xbox Live.
iconFine LiteratureFine Literature AwardComes with high quality instruction manual.
iconFloppy Disk5.25" floppy diskComes on 5.25" floppy disk media.
iconGame CardGame cardGame is stored on card media.
iconCDCD FormatComes on a CD. Notable for systems like Neo Geo which also support cartridges.
iconTwo CDsTwo CDsThis game comes on two CDs.
iconThree CDsThree CDsThis game comes on three CDs.
iconFour CDsFour CDsThis game comes on four CDs.

Controller icons

IconNameTool tipDescription
iconArcade JoystickJoystick recommendedBest when played using an arcade-style joystick.
iconLight GunLight gun supportSupports (or requires) light gun controller.
iconSteering WheelSteering wheel supportThis game works with an optional steering wheel controller.
iconTrak-ballTrak-ball supportThis game supports optional trak-ball controller.
iconBalance BoardBalance board supportSupports balance board controller (like the one for the Wii).
iconKeyboardKeyboard supportedSupports (or requires) keyboard controller.
iconPaddlePaddle controllersUses Atari 2600 paddle controllers.
iconMotionMotion controlsSupports motion controls like the Kinect or Move.

Effects icons

IconNameTool tipDescription
iconVoiceVoice featureGame supports voice synthesis (Intellivision) or voice recognition (microphone).
icon3D Glasses3D GlassesWorks with 3D glasses such as those available for the Sega Master System.

Special icons

IconNameTool tipDescription
iconDifficultExtreme DifficultyNamed after Arthur of Ghouls and Ghosts fame, this is hard as nails.
iconShortThis game is shortYou can finish this game in a short period of time.
iconHottieHottie AlertThis game may contain one or more hot-looking babes.
iconManlyContains TestosteroneThis game is extremely manly.
iconBest at NightBest at nightThis game is best enjoyed at night.
iconDrinkingBetter when drinkingThis game is more fun if you've been drinking.
iconBrainMay require use of brainThis game is cerebral in nature.
iconExpensiveRare and ExpensiveThis game is rare and expensive.
iconBudgetBudget titleThis game was released as an inexpensive budget title.
iconFake ReviewThis review is totally fakeThis review was posted on April Fools Day.

Origin icons

IconNameTool tipDescription
iconImportImportedThis game originated from outside of the USA.
iconHomebrewHomebrewThis is a home-made title developed for a classic system.
iconHackHackThis game is a modified version of an old title.
iconPrototypePrototypeThis is an unfinished, previously unreleased prototype.
iconFilm-basedBased on a filmThis game is based on a movie.
iconTV-basedBased on TV showThis game is based on a television program.

Specific icons

IconNameTool tipDescription
iconPenguinMay contain penguinsThis game may contain penguins.
iconSkylineContains scenic skylinesContains scenic city building skylines.
iconBunnyCaution: May contain rabbitsCaution: This game may contain bunny rabbits.
iconCheeseMay contain cheeseThis game may contain cheese. Yes, the dairy product.
iconEggplantMay contain eggplantCaution: This game may contain eggplant.
iconChickenMay contain chickensThis game may contain chickens.
iconPigMay contain pigsThis game may contain pigs.
iconSharksMay contain sharksThis game may contain sharks.
iconMonkeysMay contain monkeysThis game may contain monkeys.
iconDragonsMay contain dragonsThis game may contain dragons.
iconGraveyardsGraveyardsThis game contains a graveyard!
iconExploding BarrelExploding barrelsThis shooter features obligatory exploding red barrels.
iconClownMay contain clownsThis game may contain frightening clowns.
iconPirateMay contain piratesThis game contains pirates (as in Pirates of the Caribbean).

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