Our scoring philosophy
To keep our scoring as transparent as possible, we would like to give a little insight on our scoring philosophy and how the scores are determined.
Each add on is rated in nine categories, which are slightly different for sceneries and aircraft for obvious reasons.
These categories are:
Modelling (sceneries, aircraft)
How well and detailed is a 3D model recreated, be it the outside model of an aircraft, the virtual cockpit or even a cabin. For sceneries this score applies to the modelling of buildings and other static objects
Textures (sceneries, aircraft)
Determines the quality, i.e. look of the textures. Are they crisp? Are there weathering effects? Do the textures of the buildings of an airport look as if the belong together? A hi res 4096px resolution texture does not automatically mean, that it does look more realistic than a handcrafted 1024px texture. For sceneries – are there seasonal textures included?
Aerial View (sceneries only)
This is basically the background image. Does it look realistic? Does it match with the airport? How detailed is it? Does it blend in with the surrounding scenery?
Objects (sceneries only)
How many static objects are there at an airport? Did the developer just take care of the basic buildings or are there added details, e.g. airport vehicle pools, etc.
Performance (sceneries, aircraft)
Does the add on guarantee a smooth simming experience? FPS are important, but not everything – a constant 18 fps can be a smoother experience than a framerate running up and down between 12 and 45 fps. Also, how is the impact on VAS usage.
Surrounding (sceneries only)
Is only the airport itself modelled or did the developer pay attention to objects in the vicinity of the airport as well, e.g. important landmarks.
Details (sceneries and aircraft)
The love for details can bring an add on to life. Be it waving visitors on a visitors terrace at an airport, car races nearby an airport, luggage thrown away in a dark corner of an airport, entrance cards for a nightclub in a cockpit, etc. Generally things that make you smile when exploring your new add on.
Manual (sceneries and aircraft)
Does the developer supply all the info we need to enjoy our new add on? Are there charts for our new airport? Are there tutorial flights for our new airplane?
A missing manual does not necessarily result in a “0” score, sometimes add ons simply are self-explaining and do not need any documentation.
Value for money (sceneries and aircraft)
Simply put, is it worth the money? Would I voluntarily pay the price asked? A score “8 out of 10” means, we think it is worth about 80% of the actual price.
Sound (aircraft only)
Primarily these of course are the engine sounds. Do they sound realistic? Is there a difference between external and internal sounds? How about the switches? Are there other ambient sounds, like cabin personal or our first officer?
Animations (aircraft only)
Are there any additional animations except for the basic control surfaces? Are the animations smooth? Do they look realistic in regards of animation speed?
Flight Model (aircraft only)
How does the flight model feel? Of course we all are no real life pilots, so we can only rate if it feels realistic to us. We expect an A380 to behave differently than an F-16. But not only the flight dynamics are judged, in this point items like an auto pilot are also included. The best flight dynamics will be of no joy, if the auto pilot tends to exceed the bank limit or acts weird otherwise.
This is the mathematical average of the nine given categories.
How we score
The maximum achievable points for each category are 10. As a base we start with 9 points and start subtracting points for flaws we find or things we don’t like. If there is nothing wrong the add on will get a 9. If it excels it will receive the top score 10. Yes, we do get some of the add ons for free for the reviews, but that does not mean they will get a better score automatically, even if a bad review could mean we won’t get any more review samples from that developer.
We try to be as neutral as possible and to keep personal biases (negative and positive) out of the review. The general approach is to pretend we are reviewing an add on that we wanted to have, in order to replicate a buyers perspective. While testing we try to be as thorough as possible, but keep in mind, this is just a review and not an in depth beta test, so some flaws might remain unnoticed – we are just humans too.
What does an Overall result score mean
10 – 9.5 This add on is a marvel and excels any expectations. A must have!
9.5 – 9.0 A great add on without any real flaws. A must have!
8.9 – 8.0 A good add on with some minor flaws.
7.9 – 7.0 A solid add on with noticeable flaws.
6.9 – 6.0 A good base, but several shortcomings prevent a good simming experience.
5.9 – 0.0 We do not recommend this add on, buy it only if you are desperately wanting this.
Have fun reading our reviews – your simreviews.com team.