With digital game purchases becoming more and more the norm, it’s no longer a case of looking towards your shelf as you build your sofa nest of snacks and warmth and seeing which game you want to play for the night. Now you browse your ‘pins’ on Xbox, or look through a seemingly endless list in tiny font on Steam. What if you have more than one console of choice? What if (like my forsaken self) you have all of them?! You can’t go firing up each console one by one looking for that perfect game as it would take all evening, and God forbid you actually remember what games you have, (if you do then you don’t have enough games).
So in come the organiser apps. These apps for your phone allow you to categorise and organise your entire game collection and help with the most important question any gamer faces each weekend: “What am I gonna play today?”
Coming in in third place we have CLZ Games which is here mainly because of its ability to sync with Collectors.com therefore enabling you to log your entries via your phone or on a computer, meaning you can access your game collection on a larger screen should you need to. The app allows you to organise your games by folders such as publisher and format, though you are limited to adding 100 entries before you have to pay a whopping £14.99 to unlock the full app. There’s also the CLZ cloud which means you can save all your entries and import them to a new device should you upgrade to a new phone. This app definitely allows you to do a lot with the information you give, but ultimately is let down by the absence of one much needed feature which I’ll get to shortly.
#2 – Gamer iOS
The unfortunately named ‘Gamer’ app is hard to spot on the iOS app store because typing in ‘gamer’ gets obviously a lot of lame iPhone games rather than the app we want. Unfortunately the Gamer app tugs on the ol’ heart strings for me as it used to be my number one app. Not a day would go by that I wouldn’t stare lovingly at my game collection painstakingly stored and categorised on the Gamer app. You see, the app was simple but had all the fundamental features. It allowed you to categorise by console, it allowed you to customise the tiles so they could be larger if you wanted to overcompensate for your lack of video games, or you could make the icons smaller so you could fit many of your beloved games on one screen. Though by far the greatest feature in my humble opinion, was the ability to set a game to the ‘Now Playing’ category. Which meant within a few mere taps you could open the app up and have a perfect visual reminder of the current games you’re wading your way through. I often juggle around 7 – 10 games at a time (low attention span, but still a completionist) and so was overjoyed when I first noticed this feature.
Then. One fateful day. Tragedy struck. I noticed that the app had downloaded an update, and so, utterly ecstatic I thrust my finger towards the icon, what wonders awaited me within this new update? A new colour scheme perchance? One could only imagine. Then my face grew sullen and pale when I realised that there was no new colour scheme, in fact, the app had been almost entirely stripped of all of its most redeeming qualities. The icons were now a preset size, so my icons grew larger without my permission, suddenly horrific and at a slightly larger aspect ratio I could not bring myself to look at them. Adam Jensen’s head had never looked so disgustingly huge. The worst part? My beloved categories had been entirely wiped from the app. No longer able to organise my games via the ‘Now Playing’ tab I wiped my eyes, sought out solitude in my living room and began the search for a new home for my game collection. Which brings me to number 1.
#1 Game Vault iOS
Let me get this off my chest right away. Game Vault is not as good an app as Gamer used to be, but it is better app than Gamer is now, and sometimes we just have to overcome life’s challenges.Game Vault allows you to easily search and add your games as well as choose whether they are displayed via Platform, Name, or Date. You also have immediate access to the wish list tab where you can add upcoming games and there’s even a pre-order tab in case you just have so much money that you can’t remember which games you’ve already pre-ordered. The app is very similar to the previous apps but manages to make the whole thing very simple with easy to use large icons. Tapping on a game allows you to rate it and *drum roll* add it to a ‘Now Playing’ category!!! This simple addition enables the app to be a reliable place to store and organise your game collection as well as monitor the ones you’re currently playing. The app is not without its downsides, it uses Giantbomb to collect the information required for your game collection and because of this sometimes does not have enough data for certain older games. For some you get the choice of different icons depending on the box art for different countries, yet others, especially PC games can have only one choice and it’s usually of a low res image that looks poor when displayed amongst your other games.
Honourable mention goes to My Game Collection for Android. This app looks like a great choice but unfortunately because it’s only available on on Android and as I’m a dreaded iOS user I have no access to the app. If any of you have used it please do let me know what it’s like.
Well that’s my top three! See one that you like? How do you organise your game collection? Have you found an even better app out there for storing your games? Let us all know in the comments below!