Hi there! I’m Audish, and you’ve arrived at Gold-Plated Games, my dedicated website for collecting all of my game reviews, review series, and assorted musings that occasionally come up. I’ve been running this place for over six years now, and a lot has changed since I first put this page up to explain things. So here’s some modern info for the modern age!

What is Gold-Plated Games?

Gold-Plated Games is more than just a website, you know. It’s the name I’ve given to all my content-creating endeavors around the internet, including a Twitch channel for livestreaming games, a YouTube channel, and a Steam Curator page. It’s also a clever play on my name, Audish, and if you can’t figure out why, catch me live sometime and ask!

What exactly do you do here?

In the past, I used this website for a wide variety of features besides reviews. Some of those include breaking down Steam’s Weeklong Deals every Monday to help people find hidden gems, previewing promising new games that were yet to release, and posting articles on whatever hot topic I felt strongly about in gaming at the moment. More recently, though, I’ve been focusing on Twitch streaming, which doesn’t leave me much time to work on writing. I still post at least one review a week, every Friday, and sometimes an additional one on Wednesday if I can steal the time for it. I’ve also just recently gotten back into doing review series with my Serious Samathon, and that’s gone so well that I’ll probably be doing more in the future.

Also, since we mentioned Twitch, I’m live every night except Sunday at 9pm PST. Monday through Wednesday, we do full playthroughs of all kinds of games. Thursdays and Saturdays are The Power Hours, where we peruse old issues of Nintendo Power and try out the games we find there. And Fridays are always some kind of variety night, whether it be first looks at new indie games, exploring weird retro games, checking out game jam entries, or playing something requested by our community.

Why do you review games?

My reviews originally started as a way to work through my absurd backlog of games on Steam. Getting on a review schedule that required me to always be playing new games was perfect for that, and my seasonal review series like Spooky Games and Roguemas helped me experience entire genres of games I might have missed. As I reviewed more games, those reviews got more and more attention, and things snowballed from there.

In 2020, I reached a point where I couldn’t keep up with it anymore. The height of the pandemic had me feeling extra isolated and burned out, and I turned to streaming in a big way in response. For about a year, I took a hiatus from reviews, only returning after regaining my energy and motivation. I write fewer reviews than I used to, but after a few rocky months, I’ve definitely gotten back into the habit.

What makes your reviews special?

My philosophy is that a good review will make the reader feel like they’ve already played the game. I’m not here to necessarily tell you what to buy, I’m here to tell you about what I played in a way that helps you decide if you want to play it too. To that end, my reviews focus on what you’re going to do in the game, how well the game does it, and how much I enjoyed it. It’s not the most exciting or colorful writing, but I want it to be the most useful to you.

I’m also not here to pad out reviews with tons of jokes or anecdotes. Originally my audience was the Steam community and message board denizens, two groups who are exponentially more likely to scroll past a wall of words with each paragraph they pass. On average my reviews come to six paragraphs, enough to explain what the game is, what it does well, and what it does poorly. Games I feel passionate about I sometimes go to nine or ten paragraphs. Games that are extremely simple or short may only get four or less. I want to get you in and out and educated without wasting your time.

I know some readers (and reviewers) are concerned about disclosures, so here’s my piece on it. All these games I’ve collected have come from all over the place. Most were bought on deep discount or in crazy cheap bundles. A lot were gifted from friends or terribly generous readers. I don’t keep track of all that, and if you become familiar with my work you’ll soon see that purchase price means little to me. So I won’t be disclosing if I paid full price or sale price or nothing for my games, because I don’t remember and I don’t care. What I WILL disclose is if I received a game from the developer themselves, for review or testing or whatever else. That kind of direct relationship can certainly color impressions, and I think that’s worth being aware of.

What’s with these ratings?

On Steam, I’m perfectly happy with the binary up/down review system. It works well in context because in the end, all someone on the store page needs to know is if I’m recommending it or not. Out here on a review site, though, it’s not so simple. I might give a thumbs up to both The Talos Principle and Mirror Mysteries, but that hardly means they’re equivalent. For that reason I’ve come up with a rating system to use just on the site, to help organize my reviews further and provide a better snapshot of my recommendations. It’s still not a substitute for reading the review itself, but in short this is what they mean.

Excellent – Reserved for games at the pinnacle of their genre. I would recommend these titles without reservation to anyone, regardless of preferences.

Good – Most games will land in this area, since I don’t make a habit of buying bad games. These titles accomplish what they set out to do and succeed in entertaining, though they may have quirks or flaws that need to be highlighted.

Ok – This is a pretty gray area, meant for games that perform as advertised without doing anything else of note, or ones that took risks that didn’t pan out. They’re not bad games, but they can’t really be recommended without huge caveats.

Bad – If I can’t recommend a game, it ends up here. Any title that fails to hold my attention or doesn’t manage to be fun gets this mark of disapproval.

Awful – A game really has to work to get this one. Technical incompetence, repugnant content, or worse will earn a title my strongest condemnation.