About Andre’s GameReviewPad

I’ve had a passion for writing about video games for a very long time and created GameReviewPad.com in 2013. What drove me to start my own website is my strong dislike of Metacritic, but more broadly, number ratings. GameReviewPad presents reviews with a “Review Context” that adds a backstory of the reviewer’s gaming experience as it relates to the game’s franchise or genre.

As a result of owning and writing for GameReviewPad I’ve been exposed to so many fantastic independent games that I would not have known about otherwise. Although I do play and enjoy many AAA games, I’ve been far more impressed with indie games and that will be the larger focus of the consistent weekly content moving forward. AAA game coverage will also exist, but in smaller quantities.

Why am I transitioning to Substack?

Substack seems like a better place for what I’m trying to do, and quite frankly, if Substack was around when I started GameReviewPad I may have joined here first to begin with. If you visit GameReviewPad.com, you’ll see lots of text and minimal imagery, something that fits a little better over here on Substack.

Substack Content:

Andre’s Gaming Odds and Ends

The frequency will generally be when I have opinions to share, but potentially every week.

The following types of content may appear in Gaming Odds and Ends:

Indie Game Discovery Roundup:

This is content that I’ve done over the years on the main website. This roundup features five indie games that caught my attention that I think are interesting. Games that either recently released or will be officially released soon (excluding games entering Steam Early Access and other betas). I likely will not have played most of the games in each roundup.

Trailer Impressions

This is fairly straightforward. I will give my opinion on newer indie game trailers. For Substack performance reasons on mobile devices, I may only embed a limited amount of video trailers, with the remaining trailers listed with just a text link.

Full Reviews (Excerpts & Links)

As mentioned above, any recent indie game full review that is published on GameReviewPad.com will be included with an excerpt and link to the full review. Once I reach a certain number of sign ups to my satisfaction, full reviews will be published on Substack as its own newsletter.

Demo Thoughts

This will include thoughts of demos recently played. Unfortunately, due to the weird indie demo practices, a lot of indie developers pull their demos after festivals and events. I can’t promise that the game demos discussed here will be available for everyone to play by the time the newsletter comes out due to timing.

Steam Early Access/Beta/Game Preview Reports:

I’ll give my thoughts on my Steam Early Access, Beta, or Game Preview experiences for a particular game.


Mini-Reviews will be exactly what you think it is. These will be short reviews of games or reviews-in-progress of games I’m currently playing that may take a while to complete. As much as I would like to write long reviews for every game I play, time is a resource, and I would rather spend my time playing many games instead of a few.

Video Game News & Opinions

I’ll select a few news items or updates in the world of gaming and give my opinions.

Events & Showcases Overall Opinions

This section will be used to give my thoughts on whatever recent events or showcases happened. Events like E3, PAX, Gamescom, State of Play, Nintendo Direct, and others fall under this category. This will be more overall opinion and the rest of the sections within the newsletter will cover thoughts on specific games.

Upcoming Content

I’ll give you a heads up of what to expect in the future.

Andre’s Video Game Hype Rankings (Once per month)

This is something I recently started doing to measure my interest levels for games coming up. I rank games 1-10 and re-order them month to month depending on how hyped I am for particular games. I find this process interesting because in the world of gaming an update to an upcoming game can really fluctuate your interest levels.

Andre’s Bucket List Gaming:

There are many games that I haven’t played over the years that I need and want to play or finish. I will designate this section to discuss those games. Final Fantasy XIV is a game I’m currently playing at my own slow pace, but will include my thoughts of that here as I progress. I prioritize my gaming to new games first. This will likely be a reader involvement section in the future.

After I reach a certain threshold of subscribers:

  • Full Length Reviews of new games published exclusively on Substack to your inbox

I’ll be moving over all NEW GameReviewPad published content operations to Substack EXCEPT for new full length reviews until I get enough sign ups here on Substack. GameReviewPad.com is already in a decent state as far as Search Engine Optimization goes, so I’ll only shift publishing full reviews here if my numbers are good enough to be a primary choice over the SEO of the website in order to maintain my PR relationships. The other reason is that Substack doesn’t have very good SEO at the moment.

With that being said, all of my full length reviews will be linked with an excerpt within the appropriate newsletter.

All non-review content written based off of a press review copy will be cross-posted in full for the same reason. The endgame is for this Substack to be the primary source for everything. The more sign ups, the faster this becomes a reality!

Check your Promotions or Spam folder if you aren’t seeing the newsletter in your inbox.

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Andre Calvert

Founder/Creator of GameReviewPad.com now transitioning to newsletter format.