This weekend at Metatopia, I presented on three panels, and at all three of them, people asked the same question: “How can I get reviewers to review my game?” So, here’s my answer:
“Become part of the community. Follow people on Twitter, talk to other game designers, talk to the reviewers they’re interacting with, answer questions, ask questions, and talk to people like they’re people about the things you’re both passionate about. Agree. Disagree. Listen to podcasts, read reviews, and decide which reviewers you like best. Keep listening to and reading them. Start all of that now even if your game is just an idea in your head. Then, when you have a good prototype ready to send out, ask them if you can send it to them. They’ll probably say yes.”
And that’s it. The magic is that there’s no magic, just time and effort.