Simulation & Gaming: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theory, Practice and Research
  | HomeGuide for Authors | About S&G | Resources | Search | Subscribe

Game reviews

Back ] Up ] Next ]  Same level => • Ready-to-use s/g • Game reviews • Book reviews • Debates •
Lower level =>

 Reviews of games and simulations

Pierre Corbeil, History, FPC, Québec, Canada
Reviews Editor

Andrew Stainton, Strategic Management, U of Southampton, UK
Business Reviews Editor

This page provides guidelines on writing reviews of simulations and games.  These reviews appear in a special section of S&G, called "Simulation/Game Reviews".  The section Editors are:

Pierre Corbeil, for reviews of games and simulations in all areas except business:  pierre.corbeil  -AT-  gmail  -DOT-  com

Andrew Stainton, for reviews of games and simulations related to business:  A.Stainton  -AT-  --DOT--  uk

Please contact one of those people before you embark on a review.

The section Editor will read your draft ms and then make suggestions for modification.  You will then revise your ms and send it back to the section Editor, who will then forward it to the journal Editor, David Crookall.

Also, post or fax a signed copy of the Sage Author Agreement.  Your ms cannot be published without this agreement.

Deadline.  You and your section Editor will agree on a deadline for having the final ms in the hands of the section Editor.  If for whatever reason you are unlikely to meet this deadline, then contact the section Editor immediately.  Your ms will generally be published a few months after the final version is received.

Review length:  400­1200 words. For advice on good writing, especially succinctly.

Content:  Give readers information enabling them to decide if they wish to use the simulation game. Describe the game briefly - its subject, its purpose, and how it "plays."  Then examine its strengths and weaknesses - remember that this is a critical assessment in addition to a description! Where helpful, you may wish to compare the simulation game with others simulations.  You may weave in a short essay on an issue that the game raises.  You may include whatever material you think will make your review (a) interesting in its own right, (b) a valuable addition to the literature, as well as (c) a balanced critique of the simulation.

Structure & flair.  See the notes on good writing elsewhere in this Guide.  In addition:

  • Look at some reviews that have already been published in recent issues of S&G.

  • Start with a sprightly or intriguing opening.

  • Then develop your ideas, including only essential description and (mostly) insightful critique.

  • Finally, draw some interesting conclusions, something more than a mere summary -- include a summary, but then finish on a high note (interesting idea, question for thought, riddle, quote from participant in simulation, quote from author, any quote, warning, anecdote, amusing story (short).

  • Throughout, write in a concise but popular (i.e., eminently readable) fashion.  See notes on good writing in this guide.

Email:  Use email, no paper.

Format:  Recently published reviews in S&G will give you a good idea of how to format your MS.  Make sure that you look at a few recent back issues of S&G..  It will also give you the headings that come at the start of your review.  The following notes are important.

For the name of the simulation game, use all capital letters even if the title is long, e.g, WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARMEN SANTIAGO?  For sub-title, use caps & lower case, e.g., TALKING ROCKS: A simulation on the origins of writing.

When writing the name of the simulation/game designer in the title block, write the last name followed only by the initials of the first &/or middle names, e.g., Crow, P. C.  However, use the full first and last name of the designer as early in the text as possible. If you use the designer's name again in subsequent text, use last name only.

Indent the first paragraph, and all subsequent paragraphs.

Background info about you:  Please write a bio statement and provide contact details immediately following the review.  Make this interesting! Simulate your agent!  This statement should not exceed 100 words.  It should follow immediately after your review.

In addition, put your full address, including your country even if it is the USA, since this is an international publication.  Also indicate your e-mail, phone, fax if you wish. (See examples in the journal, or end of example ms in this guide.)

Title block

It is important to get the title block correct.  All details have to be correct.  First an example, then a few notes.

For books - use APA.

Cover sheet here


Greenblat, C. S. (1988.)  Designing games and simulations: An illustrated. handbook.  Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

(Sage Publications, 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, USA. +1-805-755-0272; +1 805-499-0871 (f);


Reviewed by Kuon Custer Hunt
University of Simulation, Scotland


Your text starts here ...

  • Title in lower case, bold. 

  • Publication date (in parentheses).

  • Place of publisher: Name of publisher.

  • On a new line.  In parentheses, contact details for publisher, including: address (including country name, even if USA); (if possible) telephone numbers; fax numbers; email address; web URL (using ; as a separator).

For simulation/games, use modified APA.

Cover sheet here


TALKING ROCKS: A simulation on the origins of writingVernon, R. F.  (1988).  Del Mar, CA: Simulation Training Systems.

(Simulation Training Systems, PO Box 910, Del Mar, CA 92014, USA; +1-800-942-2900, +1-858-755-0272; +1-858-792-9743 (f);;


Reviewed by Kuon Custer Hunt
University of Simulation, Scotland


Your text starts here, followed soon after by basic data (see below).

  • Name of simulation/game in capital letters (sub-title in lower case) and bold face. 

  • Designer: Last name, initial(s).

  • Publication date (in parentheses).

  • Place of publisher: Name of publisher.

  • On a new line.  In parentheses, publisher, contact details for publisher, including: address (including country name, even if USA); (if possible) telephone numbers; fax numbers; email address; web URL (using ; as a separator).

  • Your full name, flush right, preceded by the words "Reviewed by" ­ in bold face, and then your affiliation and country.

Basic data for simulation/game review

The first part of your review contains a "basic data" block, giving essential information about the parameters of the simulation/game.  Look carefully at the titles below to see how this section is set up  Set yours up with precisely the same indentations. Underline whatever is in bold (below). (Underlining is printer’s code for italics.)

  • Instructional (learning) objectives (phrases beginning with verbs, e.g., convey, develop, experience, examine).

  • Simulation/game objectives.  (These are not the learning objectives.  They are the objectives of the players or participants inside the the simulation/game, e.g., "to win", "to gain a maximum number of points", "to do as many rounds in a given time", "to exchange as much information as possible", "to build three models in paper, following instructions and a plan", "to find the missing element", "to buy as much property as possible".  You may, of course, have several objectives.  Give as much essential information as possible, without saying how the game is played.

  • Debriefing format(s);

  • Target audience (e.g. ages, specializations, interests, pre-requisites).

  • Playing time (total time, indicate if breaks are possible or preferable).

  • Debriefing time.

  • Number of players required (min & max totals, number of groups).

  • Simulation/game materials included (e.g., handouts, blocks, pens, scisors).

  • Debriefing materials included (e.g., handouts).

  • Computer/internet configuration (e.g., type of computer, web-only participation).

  • Other materials/equipment required.

  • Price (to buy, user license, or participation fee).

Use a lively, personal, direct style of writing. Try to make yours easy, informal, as though you are right there talking with your reader.  However, make your review elegant in expression, crafted and a joy to read.

For help and suggestions on writing your review, visit the web sites below.  If you find others, please let the editors know.

Thank you, on behalf of Simulation & Gaming, for your time, ideas and critical thinking!!

Author agreement

You must send a signed copy of the publisher's author agreement.  When the section Editor has your final ms in hand, she or he will ask you to send the author agreement directly to Sage.  Include a note saying "for S&G".  The address is: 

Sage Publications, 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, USA.

Send the section Editor a note when this has been done.

Proofs.  Later, you will receive page proofs to correct.  Send your corrections back to the publisher immediately.  (Sometimes they send the proofs to the section Editor instead.)

Unfortunately, if you do not do both of the above things (send the agreement and send back your proofs), your paper will be pulled from the issue.

Many thanks for your understanding and help, and for contributing to S&G.

Review Editors
Pierre Corbeil & Andrew Stainton