Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Organized Gamer: Revisiting Runner Apps Video Game Collector App

Four years ago I wrote an article about a collector's app I was using to keep track of my gaming collection, and since then I have used the app pretty extensively. In my 8-bit Friday's and Backlog's articles when I talk about "checking-in" a game, it means adding the game into this app after it's tested. To me once a game is added to the app it's officially part of  my collection.

My gaming collection has expanded exponentially for many reasons since the first article, and this app has been part of that. Through eBay auctions, gaming stores, and even gaming conventions, this app has proven to be a solid resource as a collector. It's saved me from buying stuff I already own, and helped me add titles I thought I owned but didn't. On top of all that the wishlist section of the app has helped me track the games I want for my collection, and provided me with "next buy" guidence. The point of this app is that it thinks about your collection all the time so you don't have to.
Wishlist Mode

Now, since I first wrote about this app, I decided to buy the premium version three years ago, for $5.99. Now, I want you to keep that in mind since I'm not getting paid or sponsored for writing this. If, however, Runner Apps decides to read this and wants to send the premium versions of their Music, Books, and Movie apps my way for free I wouldn't complain. The entire reason I went with the premium version is to take advantage of a few extra features. One is the camera scan, which adds games via UPC bar coding on game boxes and cases. Another feature of the premium version is that it also allows you to edit information for games in the database, which is useful for loose carts when the databases picture, or some of the other information is a bit off.

Before I go any further let me explain the app a bit. Like most of you when I started collecting I began to debate how to track my collection. The fallback for most of us is a spreadsheet of some kind, but to be honest spreadsheets are going to leave stuff out, plus there not all that portable. My biggest issue with collecting came with Atari 2600 games back in 2013 when I first started on that console. If you collect them than you know half the titles have space or star in the name and that can make for big opportunities to end up buying doubles. With my spreadsheet on my personal laptop at home, and the spreadsheet on my phone less than useful I decided to search around iTunes one day and came across several apps. Some were far too oriented to one system, and others were just basically mobile collectors guides. This app stood out though, and once I tested the free version the first weekend I got it, I found that is was exactly what I was looking for.

The Video Games, Collectors app is unique in that is features a database of games from multiple systems. It also features the ability to add games to your collection that may not be in the database, and provides you with the ability to attach box art and as much or as little detail on the game you wish via their comprehensive pre-made forms. Since first using the app I have used just about all of these features, from entering a game of my own from scratch, to just popping a pic of the UPC symbol, and done it all with great ease. On top of that the app can be networked to work on multiple devices by just logging into the app on them, plus being a mobile phone app you always have the ability to check and manage your collection on the go. If you really need that old fashion spread sheet though, the app does allow you to export a list out to the spreadsheet program of your choice.
Personal Notes Mode

I’ve also found the developers of this app to be really easy to work with as well and very responsive to suggestions, and technical support. As I’ve added more systems over the last few years I’ve occasionally found some of them, like the Fairchild Channel-F, not on the list of systems in the database. When I reached out to them about adding it they promised to add it by the next update, and followed through on that promise within a week or so. They also added a separate category for Steam and GoG games last year after I suggested it. As far as tech support I ran into a major issue I which my entire collection disappeared about two years ago, and they were quick to get back to me, and resolved it right away.

There are also other features that have always been with the app that I have just started using in the past year or so myself. Each game has a sub-form on the bottom marked “Personal”, that allows you to track prices, rate the game, and give completion and last played dates, as well as add notes and other items. Recently, I’ve been using this to add the last played dates, and personal ratings, and purchase price. When writing my 8-bit Fridays article so far this year I’ve considered using the 5 star rating system from this app to rate the games. They’re nice features that allow you to personalize your gaming experience.
The app sorted to Jaguar games

If I seem to be gushing about this app it's because of what a fantastic part of my collecting experience it’s been. This app actually has many other useful features as well, like various sorting options, a marketplace, and many other items I could just about right a book on. My suggestion is to pick up the free version, and go from there. Trust me you will never be dealing with an unorganized collection again.

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