2 out of 5 with 1 ratings

Game Collector Reviews

Great game collection manager

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Update 2019: Unfortunately, the praises I sang in this review about the fair, "non-extortionist" pricing model of Collectorz.com software, no longer applies as of 2019. The developer have replaced the previous model of paid subscription for software updates and cloud services, with a "keep paying up or close the door from the other side" model à la Adobe. =(
I have adjusted my rating accordingly, from 4 to 2 stars.

This has been my favourite application for tracking my game collection for many years. It's very powerful, highly customisable, and runs fast. While I also develop my own custom database solution for kicks, I keep my Game Collector database up-to-date because it's just so quick and pretty. I'll point out a few of the main reasons why I went with this application instead of any of the competitors.

Over the past couple of years, there have been many developments in the customisation features. Apart from a fixed number of fields for custom use, there is now a full-powered custom field system. You can add as many custom fields as you want, and choose whether they should hold text values, whole or fractional numbers, a date, a binary value (yes/no), or display a list box to choose values from a table you define (single or multiple values). What this means is that Game Collector truly allows you to track any information you want about your collection. I have about two dozen fields set up for anything from additional game facts (distribution license, maximum number of local players) to information about the game narrative (scenario, themes) to personal details (time taken to beat the game). All are full-valued members of the database, get displayed in the views, and are exported.

Which brings me to easily one of the most important points: data portability. While a proprietary, commercial application, Collectorz doesn't lock your data in. The application allows you to export your full database, all fields included, to text CSV files, HTML pages, or XML. This way, should you ever want or have to use your data elsewhere, or want to copy or move it to another application, it should be no problem to do so. Unlike many competitors, Collectorz respect the fact that the data you enter, and all the time you spend working on your collection database, is yours. This was an absolutely essential feature for me, because I don't want to lose my data for reasons beyond my control.

Another export function that is offered is to Collectorz' own CLZ cloud app, which allows you to view and edit your database, with slightly limited functionality, on the web, or on their mobile applications for iOS and Android. The latter is particularly handy to avoid purchasing duplicates at shops, fairs, car boot sales and the likes. You'll have your collection and wishlist with you.

And while the website and shop speak of subscriptions, don't be alarmed! Game Collector is a pay-to-own product. What does require an active subscription is receiving continued updates for the software, and using the cloud services. In other words, anything that the developer puts time and effort in. What doesn't happen is that an expired subscription takes away your access to the software you already paid for. You simply won't be able to access cloud services or upgrade beyond the final version that was released while your subscription still lasted. It's a fair pricing and upgrade model that, unlike racketeers like Adobe, doesn't remotely disable your software simply because you don't want to pay for forced upgrades anymore. Plus, the Collectorz pricing is very fair. You can get a recurring subscription for around $2.50 a month, or pay less than $10 for a registration with 3 months of upgrades. More than worth it.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Game Collector, because apart from offering all the features you are likely to ever need when managing your game collection, the developer also respects your ownership of your data, and users' wishes to pay for a software to own rather than rent it. They let you pay for upgrades because you want them, not because you're being extorted. And the flexible custom fields, searching, and filtering options mean that this is probably the most powerful collection manager out there short of developing your own solution on a general-purpose database management system.

Two thumbs up! And, of course, give their other applications a try if you're also collecting music, movies, books, or comics.

[Edited by Anamon, October 04]