Kmart's new review policy, which places customer game reviews on their store shelves, recently went live with some important tweaks.
The store chain says that they want to pick reviews that are "honest, constructive and well-written — regardless of perspective."
So far there are four reviews up on store shelves nationwide. The games reviewed are Crackdown 2, Madden 11, NCAA Football 11 and Starcraft 2. Three of the reviews come from customers, one comes from Kotaku, which I OKed.
Here's the new run down of what a review needs to be to be considered for those many, many store shelves:
Helpful and constructive
Unique and well-written
Written for an audience that may be made up of non-gamers; your review will be read by gamers and non-gamers of all ages
About a title released in the last month or so, or a more "evergreen" title (Example: Red Dead Redemption or NCAA Football 11) that will be prominently featured on store shelves for several months.
Abide by the MyKmart terms of service
We won't post reviews that simply say whether a game is good or bad. Reviews that describe gameplay, graphics and storyline are more likely to be featured. (This way, we can cut down on any potential abuse of our program.)
Kmart also appears to be paying, sorta, for reviews. There's a deal on the site right now that gives you a $5 Kmart gift card for writing five reviews. If you write more you are entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card. Not much, but something I suppose.
As I've said before, it's a really neat idea with potential for abuse. Though, looking at this first run of reviews it appears that Kmart is headed in the right direction. So far they seem to be choosing reviews for games that are good, which makes sense for a retailer. As long as they don't start plugging crap games with shifty reviews I think it's a win, win.