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Cheap Walking Tour and Herlock Sholmes both sound particularly great. Herlock reminds me a little of an extremely pared down version of The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen RPG/storygame/thing.

Can I ask why you gave The Love Balloon 1 star? Would love to hear why you didn’t like it.

Sure; it just isn't my jam. The style and themes don't appeal to me and I'm not interested in the type of stories it seems geared to tell.

Alright fair enough. You know that a 1-star rating hurts a lot when it comes to small independent work though, right? Going out of your way to rate something 1 stars is saying you dislike something enough to hurt a project. I’d urge you to reconsider consider or at least if you’re going to give 1 stars leave a reason for the review.

I'm not going out of my way when I rate content; rating content is the method that itch.io makes available for me to conveniently track what I've read and how much I liked it.  If there was an option to have all my ratings private - not visible to the creator or my (zero) followers - I would enable that.

That feature may be convenient to you but I hope you understand that it also really hurts content creators in terms of visibility and discovery via any platform’s algorithm.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/carolineodonovan/the-fault-in-five-stars

Especially in niche communities where the audience reach is a matter of thousands if not hundreds.

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Thanks for the informative read. It sounds like what you're suggesting is that I should use a 5-star rating as a 'seal of approval' and not provide any rating at all for anything I wouldn't consider to be worth of 5-stars, is that right? Thereby promoting content that I feel should have increased visibility, but not potentially decreasing the visibility of other content?

Pretty much! Unfortunately, the five star review system tends to only reward participation if the recipient receives full marks. Doubly the case for independent content, where there is often a lack of visibility and the sample size of participants/reviews is thus incredibly small. Every vote counts, and you help immensely when you rate something 5 stars, but you also hinder much more than you would think for anything less than 5, especially a 1.

I'll go back and reconsider all my previous ratings through this new binary lens and adjust them accordingly. Thanks for taking the time to explain.