Shacknews (www.shacknews.com) is another long time favorite gaming site. Launched in 1996 with the name “Quakeholio,” as a site dedicated to following news about the Id title Quake, it has continued to grow and maintain relevance in the following years. The site maintains a platform agnostic approach, focusing primarily on reviews and game play. Tech industry relevant to the gaming community is offered, as well. Shacknews has changed hands a couple of times since it’s launch 20 years ago, and was most recently purchased in 2014 by Gamerhub Content Network, who currently owns the site.
Featured Site Info
Shacknews leans primarily towards game reviews, but also features hardware reviews and industry news. In addition to reviews and information, there is a content rich video section, which features interviews with game developers and talent. Also found among the site’s featured content are walkthroughs and FAQs for new and established titles, which can be difficult to find on other gaming sites.
Frequency of Updates
Content is updated throughout the day, in a timely fashion. Authors often post “Review in Process” articles, which discuss a new title, but make it clear that not all of the features or content have been explored. These reviews are followed up later on, as the authors continue to review the game or hardware.
Industry news is updated regularly. Articles are a mix of original reporting and interviews and summaries of news posted to other sites. Visitors searching specifically for industry news will probably view the site frequently, but may use other sites as their primary reference.
Variety of Content
The site centers around game and gaming hardware reviews, but there are other offerings, such as industry news, interviews, and game walkthroughs. Posts range from short to medium length. The game reviews are solidly written, and are a bit generous in praise, but not overly so. Because of the site’s approach, reviewers note what platform the game was played on for review purposes.
A highlight of the site is the Guides, which features tips and info on gameplay for a number of titles, as well as FAQs and content specific info. Gamers who are looking for these kinds of features will appreciate that they are unified in one topic area on Shacknews, making both topic specific searches, as well as casual browsing for information, quick and painless.
The Video section of the site stands out, with interviews, gameplay, and other content. Visitors who are casually browsing the site will probably find enough variety in these videos to hold their interest for a while.
Shacknews uses a simple, easy to navigate interface to direct visitors to featured content as well as other sections of the site. The main page is content rich but it is relatively uncluttered. Topic areas are accessed via a menu at the top of the page.
Individual articles use contrast very effectively, with a simple black on white presentation of text. The font size is a bit small, and may present issues for visitors with smaller screens. The use of boldface type, and italics are sparse, which serves to improve readability.
Game related articles make moderate use of screenshots and other graphics. Other articles use them more sparingly. The site tends to use larger graphics, which may cause some viewing problems on tablets and other mobile devices.
Ads are present but are set apart from content making navigation easy. Visitors should be cautioned that leaving the page open for any length of time without activity may result in pop-ups or browser redirects, which may present a deal-breaker to many visitors, who will simply cease to use a site where they are present.