I wouldn't worry too much about the exact phrasing. There's no magic combination of words that will make you immune to any legal trouble if the worst happens. Just be as nice as possible and do reference your sources.
Thanks for that article, Jess. This part is particularly interesting:
"2. Ask permission. Yes, this does put you on the owner’s “radar”, but show some respect. If you’re making a clone or fan game, at least be sincere about it—obviously you enjoy the game, so show some respect to the game’s creators and publishers and inform them of what you want to do.
If they say yes, you have carte blanche right to use whatever you’ve told them you wanted to use in your product. If they don’t respond, you have a good faith laches/waiver defense. In English this means that the company/publisher has waited, with knowledge of the fact that the infringement was going to happen, until you’d already put yourself past the point of no return as far as production and distribution, before acting.
Generally this conduct is frowned upon by the Court and is therefore treated as a “waiver”; otherwise the Court will honor your laches defense—this is especially true if notice to the company came in the form of a request for permission."
Well.. here's how the law works:
If it makes them look bad, they can hurt you.
If you're stealing money that's rightfully theirs, they can hurt you.
Yeah, that's about it. Otherwise, they spend more money on suing you than they can get from you.
You just have to be careful that they're not using you as an excuse why they made less profits this quarter. This only happens if your game is big enough that people rather play it than play their games
If you have something like Duel Toys that actually makes them look better and isn't big enough to be featured on Kotaku, I think it should be fine.
Disclaimer: Any sarcasm in my posts will not be mentioned as that would ruin the purpose. It is assumed that the reader is intelligent enough to tell the difference between what is sarcasm and what is not.