Atari, keyboard, mouse, floppy disks

User guide

We admit it: this isn’t the most exciting page on the blog and we’re sure you’d much rather be reading about video games. But it’s worth taking some time to check out the following policies to find out about the guidelines we follow here at Later Levels.

  • Code of conduct
  • Full disclosure statement
  • Review policy
  • Contributions and collaborations policy
  • Privacy policy

  • Code of conduct

    The gaming world is made up of many different people and we believe all of them are equal. Everybody’s views are worthwhile and we’re interested in hearing them (except if you’re of the opinion that Fable 3 was a worthy entry in the series), so we invite discussion on all aspects of our hobby from every member of the community.

    Understanding and tolerance are therefore key, and we respectfully ask our audience to bear in mind the following points before posting a comment on the Later Levels blog, social media channels or Twitch chat room.

    Be respectful Everyone is entitled to their own view and is welcome to comment if they don’t agree with the opinions expressed in our content. But please be respectful, and don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your parents to see – they’ll ground you.
    We won’t delete negative comments, and will instead take a deep breath before responding in a constructive manner if we feel it’s appropriate to do so.
    Format and audience Clear comments are very much appreciated. We’re too old to be down-with-the-kids so capitals and text-speak really aren’t our thing.
    Remember that the Later Levels blog and associated social media channels are public forms so if you wish to talk to us privately, please drop us an email.
    Community and collaboration Community and collaboration will do more for your own blog than a dodgy SEO company ever could. We extremely appreciate your support but please don’t follow only in the hope of a follow-back: it won’t happen.
    Out-of-context comments left only for promotional purposes will be laughed at and then edited. Leave a link back to your site if it isn’t appropriate, and it will be changed – and you don’t want to find out where we’ll point it to.
    Inappropriate behaviour Show aggression or intimidation towards anyone within the community and we’ll go all invisible-wall on you. We reserve the right to block anyone displaying such behaviour from access to Later Levels.
    Comments containing racist, sexist or homophobic remarks, personal abuse, libel, copyrighted material, excessive swearing, references to illegal activities, requests for pirated software or slurs against The Secret of Monkey Island will be removed.


    Full disclosure statement

    Later Levels is a project of love, video games, cats and ice-cream. We don’t get paid for what we do and while we would love to get rich, we don’t accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship or paid topic insertions.

    Sourcing video games Digital codes for video games are sent to us by developers and publishers so we can publish reviews or previews of their projects. However, the manner in which we receive software will never influence our opinions or content, and we’ll disclose the source if we haven’t bought the game ourselves.
    Saying that though, accepting free codes is something we rarely do. We’re happy to purchase titles ourselves to support indie developers; and if we like your game enough, it’ll end up being the subject of a post anyway.
    Crowdfunding campaigns Members of the Later Levels team may choose to back campaigns on crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, if the promotional video happens to mention the project is inspired by Myst, the works of Ron Gilbert or Twin Peaks.
    This is done using their own money and their decision to back a campaign is a personal one. If we choose to publish a review of a video game obtained via this method, we’ll always reveal this is the case within the post.
    Press events To gather content and develop relationships with people within the gaming industry, we sometimes attend meetings and events. We’ll always fund the cost of travel, accommodation and tickets ourselves – although if someone wouldn’t mind upgrading us to a five-star hotel, it would be much appreciated.
    Affiliations and independence We don’t receive any kind of revenue when hyperlinks within our content are clicked so we can maintain our independence. We simply provide this information to be helpful because we’re nice like that.
    Donations to charity Donations made during charity events and marathon streams are taken online via platforms such as JustGiving. It all goes directly to the organisation we’re supporting so we don’t see any of the money – and nor would we want to. Playing video games, meeting new people and making a positive impact on the world is all the benefit we need.
    Competitions and giveaways When we hold a giveaway, a winner is drawn at random based on the entry rules specified in the content. This is usually done by tallying the number of entries and using the random number generator at random.org.
    You’re only able to enter once unless the rules specify otherwise; and if you violate those rules, we’ll disqualify you (and your 40 aliases). We’re not responsible if an item gets lost in the post or is delivered to a wrong address, and once in a while it may be necessary to substitute a prize of comparable value.


    Review policy

    Everybody is different when it comes to reviews: some like a full evaluation and getting the detail on a video game, while others don’t have the time or inclination to sit through a lengthy article. That’s why we let each author decide on the best format when writing this type of content.

    Saying that though, we don’t particularly enjoy writing reviews so it’s not often we publish them. If we do choose to critique a video game, here’s what you can expect:

  • Whether the author chooses to assign a score out of ten, provide a list of positives and negatives, or give their final opinion in the form of interpretive dance, one thing you can be sure of if that they’ve been honest. We won’t be persuaded to take a particular line.
  • We’ll only review games which are available in full to the general public; doing it any other way just wouldn’t be fair and there’s always the possibility a title could change significantly prior to release.
  • In addition, we won’t change a review after publication. But if we believe a title has changed significantly over time, we might choose to re-review it at a later date and will link to the previous post for transparency.
  • Regardless of how the author scores (or doesn’t score) a review, this shouldn’t be the end of the discussion. Everyone is welcome to leave their thoughts and opinions after each post and to chat to us via our social media channels.

  • Contributions and collaborations policy

    While we love being a member of the community, we don’t accept contributions or take part in article swaps. But don’t think that makes us as grumpy as Wario though because we love getting involved with other blogs!

    Got an idea for a collaboration project or a question you’d like us to answer in a post? Then send us an email with the details and we’ll reply as quickly as possible. We can’t guarantee we’ll be able to participate in everything but will definitely consider all submissions – and if it’s not something we can take part in, we can help you spread the word among other bloggers.

    Privacy policy

    We’re committed to providing our readers with a blog that respects their privacy. We therefore don’t rend, lease or sell your personal information to third-parties and will only disclose details if we’re required to do so by law.

    All data is managed in accordance with our obligations under the UK’s data protection regulations. It should be noted however that Google may transfer your information to third-parties if you’ve been naughty, of if those third-parties process the details on their behalf.

    To make any comments, ask questions or raise concerns about our privacy policy, please get in touch. We may update this statement to reflect feedback received or any new legal obligations.