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 83 icons spread over 11 arbitrary categories. See Icon Statistics Page for statistical breakdown.

Seasonal icons

IconNameTool tip (mouse-over)Description
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.
iconChristmasContains Christmas themesIdeal to play around the holidays.
iconHalloweenContains Halloween themesEmbodies the creepy sights and sounds of Halloween.

Positive icons

IconNameTool tip (mouse-over)Description
iconHead To HeadGreat head-to-head actionIdeal for one-on-one competition.
iconCooperativeCooperative PlayTeam up with a friend to play this one.
iconMultiplayerSupports three or more playersTry this game when you have some friends over.
iconGreat MusicGreat musicThis game contains terrific music.
iconFunnyThis game is funny!This game is likely to make you laugh.
iconComebackBack from the AshesMarks a long-awaited return for the series.
iconChicks Dig ThisChicks Dig This!Even girls like this game! That's sexist.
iconHidden GemThis game is a hidden gemNot a well-known title, but worth checking out.
iconSplit Screen 2PSupports two-player split-screenContains a local two-player split-screen mode
iconSplit Screen 4PSupports four-player split-screenSupports split-screen for up to four players

Negative icons

IconNameTool tip (mouse-over)Description
iconOnlineWarning: Requires constant connectionRequires constant online connection to play.
iconNauseaWarning: May Cause NauseaMay cause nausea due to motion sickness, ugly graphics, or poor gameplay.
iconLong LoadsWarning: Long load timesSuffers from long, aggravating load screens.
iconPainWarning: May cause painMay cause pain to hand or wrist.
iconBuggyWarning: Bugs and glitchesThis game is known to have glitches and bugs.
iconBoringCaution: May cause drowsinessDo not play while operating heavy machinery. Might put you to sleep.
iconETET Award for extreme disappointmentThis game didn't live up to expectations.

Genre icons

IconNameTool tip (mouse-over)Description
iconRPGRole-playing Game (RPG)This is a role-playing style game (usually turn-based).
iconStrategyStrategy gameThis is a strategy game.
iconPuzzlePuzzle gameThis is a puzzle-oriented game (Tetris, Dr. Mario, etc).
iconMusicalMusical gameGame is musical in nature (Guitar Hero, Dance Central, etc).
iconCompilationClassic Game CompilationA collection of older games in one package.

Content icons

IconNameTool tip (mouse-over)Description
iconConstructionHas construction elementsThis game has build-it-yourself features.
iconFull Motion VideoContains Full Motion VideoThis game contains full-motion video.
iconEducationalCaution: May be educationalThis game may contain educational subject matter.
iconKid FriendlySuitable for childrenThis game is suitable for young children.
iconAdultWarning: Contains Adult Subject MatterThis game contains adult themes and is unsuitable for kids.
iconViolenceContains violence and goreMay contain brutal violence, blood, and gore.
iconProfanityContains bad languageThis game contains profanity.
iconControversialControversialThis game has been a source of controversy.
iconScaryThis game is scaryCaution: This is a scary game!
iconiconFrighteningThis game is frighteningCaution: This game is extremely frightening!
iconiconiconTerrifyingThis game is terrifyingCaution: This game is downright terrifying!

Media icons

IconNameTool tip (mouse-over)Description
iconDownload OnlyOnly Available Via DownloadOnly available via download from an on-line service like Xbox Live.
iconFine LiteratureFine Literature AwardComes with high quality instruction manual.
iconFloppy DiskComes on 5.25" floppy diskComes on 5.25" floppy disk media.
iconGame CardComes on a game cardGame is stored on card media.
iconCDCD FormatComes on a CD. Notable for systems like Neo Geo which also support cartridges.
iconTwo CDsIncludes two CDsThis game comes on two CDs.
iconThree CDsIncludes three CDsThis game comes on three CDs.
iconFour CDsIncludes four CDsThis game comes on four CDs.

Controller icons

IconNameTool tip (mouse-over)Description
iconArcade JoystickArcade-style joystick recommendedBest when played using an arcade-style joystick.
iconLight GunUses light gun controllerSupports (or requires) light gun controller.
iconSteering WheelWorks with Steering WheelThis game works with an optional steering wheel controller.
iconTrak-ballSupports trak-ballThis game supports optional trak-ball controller.
iconBalance BoardSupports balance boardSupports balance board controller (like the one for the Wii).
iconKeyboardSupports keyboardSupports (or requires) keyboard controller.
iconPaddleUses paddle controllerUses Atari 2600 paddle controllers.
iconMotionFeatures motion controlsSupports motion controls like the Kinect or Move.

Effects icons

IconNameTool tip (mouse-over)Description
iconVoiceHas voice featureGame supports voice synthesis (Intellivision) or voice recognition (microphone).
icon3D GlassesSupports 3D GlassesWorks with 3D glasses such as those available for the Sega Master System.

Special icons

IconNameTool tip (mouse-over)Description
iconDifficultArthur Award for Extreme 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.
iconHottieMay contain hottiesThis game may contain one or more hot-looking babes.
iconBest at NightBest played at nightThis game is best enjoyed at night.
iconDrinkingBetter when drinkingThis game is more fun if you've been drinking.
iconBrainCaution: May require use of brainThis game is cerebral in nature.
iconExpensiveRare and ExpensiveThis game is rare and expensive.
iconBudgetReleased as budget titleThis game was released as an inexpensive budget title.
iconFake ReviewThis review is totally fakeThis review is totally fake, but kind of funny.

Origin icons

IconNameTool tip (mouse-over)Description
iconImportImportedThis game originated from outside of the USA.
iconHomebrewHomebrewThis is a home-made title developed for a classic system.
iconHackHack of another gameThis game is a modified version of an old title.
iconPrototypeThis is a prototypeThis is an unfinished, previously unreleased prototype.
iconFilm-basedBased on a filmThis game is based on a movie.
iconTV-basedBased on a TV showThis game is based on a television program.

Specific icons

IconNameTool tip (mouse-over)Description
iconPenguinMay contain penguinsThis game may contain penguins.
iconCheeseMay contain cheeseThis game may contain cheese. Yes, the dairy product.
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.
iconGraveyardsMay contain graveyardsThis game contains a graveyard!
iconExploding BarrelMay contain exploding barrelsThis shooter features obligatory exploding red barrels.
iconClownWarning: May contain clownsThis game may contain frightening clowns.
iconPirateMay contain piratesThis game contains pirates (as in Pirates of the Caribbean).

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