We use a simple “out of 5” rating criteria for all reviews. We feel this is the clearest, simplest representation of overall quality. However, we do not use “.5” or “halves”, as we think this gets messy and makes it that much harder for readers to understand the final score.
That’s not meant to be patronising. We’d just rather everyone reading the site leaves with a clear understanding of how we feel about a game, with no room for confusion.
Here is a breakdown of our scores and their meanings:
Bottom line: a game with this rating is a waste of
your time and money.
decent ideas, but the execution misses the mark and
the game falls short.
absolutely worth playing, but it’s a flawed package
with a couple of mis-
experience, with plenty of reasons to invest. Even
if it’s just shy of greatness.
with this rating comes highly recommended, and is
pretty much close to perfect.
Jay Tee Games Alliance (JTGA) is a passion project. It was born from a desire to express opinions about video games from an honest, unfiltered perspective. Our mission statement:
Editor Jay Tee has been talking about and playing games since Primary School, and has a long history of journalistic, opinion based writing. Thanks to his best friend, Mike Hazleton, Jay Tee was able to pursue his childhood dream of writing about the very medium he adored so much.
He became Sub Editor to Mike’s The Gaming Shack Network (TGSN.co.uk) for over 10 years. The website achieved a great deal, with review code support from big publishers like EA and Ubisoft, regular trips to press only events in London (including the BAFTA’s), and interviews with developers from Team Ninja, LucasFilm, and Ubisoft Red Storm Entertainment.
This new venture will take on board all the lessons learned from those incredibly enjoyable years; we will evolve over time, and we hope you enjoy our content. JTGA is only for everyone.
If you have any feedback, would like to enquire about writing for us, or just want to join the conversation, then Tweet us @JAYTEE_GA, or you can send an e-
TARP knows best.
There are times when the world of words is not enough. That’s where Tarp Badges come into play. At the end of every JTGA preview or review, the writer will assign any number of specific Tarp Badges that best describes their [actual or likely] experience with a game.
The idea is to represent important parts of any given title with an easily digestible metric. The added visual flair also brings a bit of colour to written pages, as our site is designed to make well written content look interesting.
Here is a breakdown of Tarp Badges and how they are earned:
Est. April 2016. III Version 2.0. III
This page contains a brief history of the site, a general overview of our review policy, and an explanation of the TARP badges, our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’.
The LONE WOLF badge tells you that a particular game can only be played, or is more enjoyable, when
you’re flying solo.
The DEEP DIVE badge is a heads up that what you’re about to play is a huge undertaking, and best enjoyed in extended periods.
The KITCHEN SINK badge is an indication of a game that is
bursting at the seams with content (either on disc or DLC).
The BAM! DONE! badge lets you know that within minutes of picking up the controller, you can play this like a pro.
The HOT POTATO badge makes a really clear statement: this
game is making waves and you should get on board.
The LEARNING CURVE badge is awarded if you’ll need to allow a fair bit of time in
order to fully
grasp the controls.
The SCEPTICAL FACE badge is for when a game doesn’t leave a strong first impression. Perhaps more
time is needed to decide?
The LEFT FIELD badge is awarded when a game surprises us by being really good and it hadn’t previously been on our radar.
The HMM… FIREWORKS badge is earned when a game features excellent particle, lighting, or atmospheric effects.
The BARREL OF LAUGHS badge is for when a game boasts a keen, sharp wit and several laugh out loud moments.
The BIG STINKER badge is awarded when a huge AAA budget title turns out to be a letdown that leaves us feeling cold.
The BOOTS ON THE GROUND badge is for a game you need to play as soon as possible. Don’t leave this one for your backlog!
The SMALL FRY badge is for a title from a smaller development team that is absolutely worth your time and should not be ignored.
The SLICK RICK badge is earned when the soundtrack, effects, and / or overall audio design is fantastic across the board.
The CAPTAIN KEYES badge is for a game that has well written characters that leave a lasting impression.
The LAME WAD badge is used in the event a game has particularly bad dialogue or cheesy voice acting that distracts from the story.
The HOMEBOY badge is for the kind of game that is perfect for playing at home, AND when you’re on the go.
The MILO & KATE badge is for a game that we don’t think will look the same from reveal to release, or perhaps even see the light of day…
The JUST ONE MINUTE MAN badge is for a game that keeps making you come back for just one more go.
The TOO MANY TARPS badge is awarded when a game has a lot of content, but no real substance or depth.
The JUMPED THE TARP badge is for a game that has had one too many sequels, and should be radically rebooted or retired completely.
The PICK N’ MIX badge is awarded for a game that has a wide variety of things to do, or continually presents new mechanics / ideas.
The BOOGEYMAN TWO badge is for a game with a collection of strong, varied enemies to face.
The WEAPON DROP badge is for a game that features superb weapon / item design.
The YOSHI’S EYELIDS badge is for a game where the facial animation leaves much to be desired…
The BREAK THE TARGETS badge is for a game that has excellent side quests and/or optional missions and activities.
The KABOOM! badge is for a game that has excellent explosions (with Halo 1 frag grenades being the gold standard).
The PUMPKIN LOOK badge is for a game where the art style, graphics, and/or presentation are on top form.
The FALCO FEEL badge is earned when the gameplay mechanics, controls, and/or learning curve feel just right.
The POPPY SOUND badge is for a game where the music, sound effects, and/or dialogue are superb.
The POM POM EXPERIENCE badge is earned when a game produces numerous great anecdotes or stories.
The SARU’S GANGLIA badge is for a game that does a great job of visually immersing you in its world.
The FADING CIRCLE badge is for a game with extremely poor environmental interactivity and/or object physics.
The BEVERLY badge is for a game that would make even Jean-
The DISCO TECH badge is for a mini game compilation or party game that’s (perhaps surprisingly) really good!
The LOOT ON THE ROOT badge is for a game with lots of different collectibles, items, and other bits and pieces.
The CLONE WARS badge is for a game with lots of repeated character models.
The JASON DUFNER badge is for a game with a limited choice of playable characters.
The CONGLOMERATE badge is for a game where characters frequently clip through surfaces.
The CLOONEY badge is for a game with outstanding character design.
The BLEEDING EYES badge is for a game where bump mapping doesn’t happen as often as you might think…
The PICK UP AND PLAY badge is for when a game is better suited to brief, impromptu sessions that give a quick blast of escapism.
The SLIM PICKINGS badge is for a game that is lacking in content.
The PRINCE OF PERSIA POT badge is for a game with glitches too hilarious to be angry about.
The KILLSTEAK badge is for a game where
wins / kills are really satisfying.
The TEA OF SIEVES badge is for a game with truly emergent moments.
The EMILIO ESTEVEZ badge is for a game with randomly generated content.
The MAYORAL ELECTION badge is for a game filled with high pressure moments that put your skills to the test.
The ANDREX DOG badge is for a game with a memorable AI companion.
The CITY 17 badge is for a game with an outstanding opening level.
The ALPHA SITE badge is for a game with an excellent PvE or Horde mode.
The FRAMERATE VIAGRA badge is for a game with mostly solid performance, but has occasional dips or stuttering.
The CRASHBREAKER badge is for a game that is really unstable or has persistent performance issues.
The PHOLIAGE PHYSICS badge is for a game with excellent foliage physics.
The ON ME! JONESY! badge is earned when getting into a multiplayer game takes hardly any time.
The LOBBY LAG badge is for when the multiplayer side of things is lacking features, and/or runs very poorly.
The COUCH MADNESS badge is awarded when a game nails split/same screen gameplay.
The BEST WITH FRIENDS badge is earned if a game is significantly more fun playing with people you know, either in campaign or online.
The JOHNNY FIVE HOLE badge is earned for a game where you are likely to get destroyed in multiplayer if you're new to it.
The SAVE MY BACON badge is earned for a game that lets you revive your co-
The CAPTAIN JONWAY badge is earned for a game that lets you party up / invite friends into online matchmaking so you can play together.
The ARCHER’S EXPANSE badge is for a game with massive multiplayer maps / courses / levels.
The BEN HOLE badge is for a game with low quality multiplayer maps / courses / levels.
The NABOO badge is for a game with multiplayer maps that feel too big, or it takes too long to get to the action.
The PAMELA badge is for a game that requires good communication in multiplayer to be consistently successful.
The OOKLA badge is for a game with inconsistent server performance and/or frequent lag.
The REFELLIAN’S GLOVE badge is for a game that lets you customise your character.
The LEDGE BUCKET badge is for a game where the U.I and / or menus have been really well designed.
The OPTIONAL HUFFMAN badge is for a game with confusing settings or options.
The SHOVELWARE badge is for something that feels rushed, or launches without key features that would have made a big difference.
The TEARS OF BORE badge is for a series that just needs a break. Please. Just stop.
The BEN’S PISS CUP badge is for inexcusably lazy game design that both confuses and infuriates.
The MOLYNEUX’S LIES badge is for a game which fails to deliver on basic promised features.
The ROLL THE DICE badge is for a game surrounded by easily avoidable controversy.
The MEDIUM RARE badge is for a game that could have done with a few more months in the oven.
The WATER WASTE badge is for a game that is a perfect example of wasted potential.
The FRUGAL CHRISTMAS badge is for a game that is really overpriced.
The OUT THE BINDOW badge is for a game you should put in the bin AND throw out the window.
The BIN GRIFFIN badge is for a game that even Ben Griffin would put in the bin.
The TGSN badge is for a game that's seemingly held together with Blue Peter's sticky backed plastic.
The SIMPSONS ROAD RAGE badge is for a game that's better than Simpsons Road Rage.
The IT’S A TARP! badge is awarded when a game offers a real challenge.
The BREACH ON ZULU badge is awarded for a game that consistently demands intelligent strategy / tactics.
The TRANSPORTER BUFFER badge is for a game that requires you to carefully manage your inventory and supplies.
The SCRATCH THAT RASH badge is for a game you should take a risk on. You might love it!
The 1, 2, DITCH badge is for a game that has been poorly explained and/or received a lot of bad press.
The YAR! BEARS! badge is for a game that is played (or should be played) by Adam Burleigh.
The SHODDY CODDY badge is for a game that includes mechanics or controls that just don’t feel right.
The TROLLOLOL badge is for a game with sudden spikes in difficulty.
The WAGGLE YOUR LIPS badge is for a game with terrible pacing and/or too often takes control away from the player.
The QUANTUM OF SOLACE badge is for a game that is played (or should be played) by Mike Hazleton.
The SCRIPT SUPERVISOR badge is for a game with incredibly quotable dialogue.
The WII SPORTS badge is for a game that even non-
The BUFF TING badge is for a game that has an excessive number of patches, or requires a huge day 1 update.
The LEAVES ON THE LINE badge is for a game where awkwardly placed geometry and/or bad level design causes you to get unintentionally stuck.
The ATOUBA badge is for a game that features a loveable character (or characters).
The IT WORKS SO WELL badge is for a game with characters you’re truly invested in.
The SKYPE RINGTONE badge is for a game with a catchy soundtrack that you can’t help but love.
The LAWBREAKERS badge is for a game that is unlikely to get long term player support.
The EPIC RESPAWN badge is for a game with superb post launch developer support.
The ROMULAJON badge is for a game that is played (or should be played) by
The ARENA LAMP badge is for a game with a weapon that is far too overpowered.
The MAG WRIST badge is for a game where the controls are needlessly complicated.
The CHALLENGE ME BRAIN PUZZLES! badge is for a game that is tricky, but rewarding, to master.
The SPECIAL DELIVERY badge is for a game with lots of optional content, like audio logs, letters to read, and / or environmental storytelling.
The I’LL BET badge is for a game with really cool vehicles. I’ve been itching to try the Argo.
The BOND THEME badge is for a game that makes you feel like a badass.
The ORCHESTRAL SCORE badge is for a game that deserves this specific praise: "This game has a great orchestral score".
The OOBLEH! badge is for a game that has a dodgy or inconsistent framerate.
The DIGITAL FOUNDRAJON badge is for a game that pushes technical boundaries with cutting edge presentation.
The NOOB COMBO badge is for a game that lacks balance in multiplayer.
The SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES badge is for a game that unnecessarily restricts co-
The SEA OF THIEVES badge is for a co-
The WILL MIKER badge is for a game that lets you play locally with your friends against A.I.
The POO MEDIC badge is for a game with class based multiplayer.
The DOME badge is for a multiplayer game with small to medium sized maps / courses / levels.
The JACK CARVER badge is for a game with stereotypical or unimaginative characters.
The RANDO CALRISSIAN badge is for a game that allows you to randomly cycle your character's appearance or attributes.
The CROSSING THE LINE badge is for a game that pushes the boundaries and / or takes risks.
The DEALBREAKER badge is for a game where one or two crucial mis-
The THEY’VE FU**ED IT badge is for a game that really should have been so much better…
The TEN DAY RETURNS badge is for a game so disappointing you wish you could get your money back.
The WE GOT BORED badge is for a developer who didn't make the game everyone wanted them to make.
The MAG DRAWER badge is for a game that belongs in the MAG drawer.
The DIVORCE badge is for a game that might cause the breakdown of your marriage.
The PUMPKIN’S CLAW badge is for a game that enrages you, but you still love it.
If you have a passion for writing about games and are happy to write for free, then we want to hear from you! Whether you want to gain experience, see your work published online, or just vent your thoughts with the written word, then JTGA would love to have you onboard.
We post our articles around the Internet on social media and article aggregators like N4G.com, and directly with PR representatives of publishers and developers. We also regularly receive early access, preview, and review code, and will share these equally among the team.
We’re gamers first. We understand that the prospect of being a games journalist, getting sent to press events and receiving review code, is exciting. You can help us build JTGA into something truly special.
If you’ve got any questions, or would like to make an enquiry, please
send an e-
Jay Tee Gaming Alliance is only for everyone. We take that idea very seriously. That means any abusive, racist, homophobic, or any other form of personally offensive remarks left in the comments of our articles, sent to our social media accounts, or e-
Users will be banned from the site if this behaviour occurs. We will be swift and ruthless. So play nice.
JTGA is the culmination of my years of writing about games, discussing and debating with friends, and of course, indulging in this incredible hobby. Who know’s where the site will go from here! Please give us any and all feedback, let us know what you think, and we’ll shape this thing together.
The DROWSY badge is for a game that sometimes has issues with pacing.