Indie dev behind acclaimed dungeon crawler corrects Steam users who think their reviews don't matter: "One review certainly can make a difference"

(Image credit: Akupara Games)

The indie developer behind an acclaimed dungeon-crawling word game has spoken out against Steam users who leave flippant reviews assuming they won't have an impact on the overall rating.

Paul Hart, one of the creators of Cryptmaster, recently shared a screenshot of a Steam review which was filed by the user as negative despite praising the game. "This game is amazing, but it has a VERY niche target auditory," reads the review. "I put 'not recommend' review mainly so that whiners and haters know what they are getting into. Also, because 1 negative review won't change the ranking of the game."

Well, the user is technically correct. Cryptmaster still boasts 'Overwhelmingly Positive' Steam reviews, but Hart shared the insight that this single Steam review actually did drop the percentage of positive reviews down to 95%. It's since jumped back up to 97% at the time of writing, likely in part due to the reaction to Hart's tweet, but at the time the tweet was sent out, that one review was almost enough to lower the game's Steam ranking from 'Overwhelmingly Positive' to 'Very Positive'.

"Charming sentiment but rather amusingly this review did in fact drop us to 95%, so almost out of Overwhelmingly Positive. Unless you have a game which sells a LOT of copies, which unfortunately we don't, one review certainly can make a difference..."

Hart definitely has a point. The weirdness of leaving a bad review for a game you enjoy aside, something like this can have an appreciable impact on the success of a game whose developers are financially reliant on. Cryptmaster has garnered less than 1,000 reviews in the six weeks since its launch, and when you compare that to something like the Elden Ring DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, which already has more than 50,000 Steam reviews just days from launch, it's easy to see how a single review carries so much weight on a more niche title.

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Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.