CISC 226: Game Design

School of Computing • Queen's University • Winter 2018

Two-Minute Game Review

During term, you will present to the class a critical review of a video game of your choice. The review should use the terminology and concepts taught during the course. No game may be reviewed more than once. Your review may follow any format you wish. You should provide a brief overview of the game's concept, style, fun elements, fun-blockers, novel concepts, and anything else that will be interesting to the class. You review may draw from secondary sources, but should be primarily reflect your own analysis based on play of the game.

Your reviews will be submitted and presented in the form of a two-minute video. The video can contain static images, text, and footage from the game itself. I will play the video in class, and you will talk over it. The video should not contain narration, but may include sound (for example game sound during gameplay segments).

Your presentations will be strictly timed - do practice in advance to ensure that your presentation is within length. Any submitted videos that are longer than two minutes will be truncated at the two-minute point and a penalty will be assessed for being over length.


Your review should be a critical analysis, not simply a description of the game. You should draw conclusions about aspects of the game's design. Draw on particular features of the game that are important to the game's success. For example, depending on the game, you might focus on a novel game mechanic, the narrative structure, or the quality of the control scheme. Tie the review to concepts introduced in the course, for example, Fullerton's elements of game design and dramatic elements, Bartle's player typology, or Csikszentmihalyi's theory of flow.

Please avoid subjective, poorly-defined characterizations such as "This game is really addictive". It is ok to describe the game as "fun" (or not fun!), but you need to provide rationale for why this is the case.


The video should be in 720p format (1,280 x 720 pixels), in MP4 format. Videos should be compressed using the Handbrake tool. Read my instructions on how to capture and edit video.

If you use sound, be sure to keep it quiet enough that you are not fighting to make yourself heard as you talk over the video.


Our first step in scheduling for the two-minute game review is that you should send us an email specifying your preference for when during the term you would like to present. Please send an email to teaching assistant ( with the subject "2-minute game review" (spelled exactly as I have written it, without the quotes). Your email should contain exactly one line in the following format:


Your name should be the name that you used to register at Queen's. Your choices may be "early", "middle", or "late" (again, without the quotes), specifying which part of term you'd prefer to present in. People presenting later get more time to prepare, while people presenting earlier get more choice (since games cannot be repeated.) For example, you might send:


Please follow the above instructions exactly, as I will be importing this data into a spreadsheet.

The presentation schedule will be posted on OnQ. Please email your 2-minute video of your presentation to by 5:00 PM on the day before the presentation.

© 2018 Nicholas Graham