The Backloggery is a game tracking website specifically designed to encourage people to play their games and get their video game backlogs under control. It does this mostly by providing a visual breakdown of their game collection.
I am going to evaluate the Backloggery’s features as outlined in my article: Game Tracker Criteria To Beat Your Game Backlog.
Adding And Importing
To add games to Backloggery, click “Add A Game’ under the My Games menu. Here you can add the information about a game. There are two modes, Quick Mode and Detailed Mode. Quick Mode allows information for name, system, progress, playing now, and wishlist. Detailed Mode as the above as well as compilation (for DLC, etc.), ownership, achievements, ratings, and comments.
After inputting the information, you can add the game to your collection by clicking the ‘Add Game’ button, or ‘Stealth Add’, which will add the game but not display it on the website’s front page and other locations. The Stealth Add feature is good to use when you first add your collection or if you need to make corrections.
Pros: Easy to use, very flexible
Cons: No import or sync feature, manually adding takes time
Sorting And Searching
When adding games to your Backloggery collection, you can sort your games by system and progress. The list of systems is extensive, while the progress categories are as follows: unplayed, unfinished, beaten, complete, and mastered. The site gives detailed explanations for each of these progress categories. Backloggery does not allow sorting by genre or user-created categories, yet.
The user can use these system and progress categories to filter their game collection as well as search by title.
Pros: Multiple progress categories with explanation, system categories, multiple search criteria
Cons: No genre or user-created categories
Prioritizing Of Games
Backloggery has a Now Playing list which you can add to by editing individual games. Otherwise, it does not allow you to prioritize your game backlog.
Backloggery does have a feature called ‘Fortune Cookie’, which randomly choose for you what game to play next. The fortune cookie can be customized.
Pros: Now Playing list and randomly choose next game
Cons: No prioritizing of games
Game Progress Statistics
Backloggery has two tools that allow you to track your progress through a game. They are the achievement score and progress notes. The achievement score allows you to enter two numbers and displays the numbers as a fraction/percentage. The achievement score is useful even if the game does not have achievements or trophies, as you can set the score to track anything you want. A ribbon is displayed next to games where significant progress has been made.
Progress notes can be anything, although the site asks you not to post spoilers. You can use this to track time spent, for notes about where you left off, and hints you’ve received in the game.
Pros: Flexible text and numerical progress tracking, ribbon as a reward for progress, a place for note taking
Cons: No auto-tracking
Game Backlog Statistics
Backloggery displays your backlog statistics on your user page. It uses three bars to show how many games are unplayed and unfinished, beat, and complete. Below this is a chart that displays how many games by system, are unfinished, beat, and complete.
The ‘Trends’ tab shows how your progress has changed over time and shows your unfinished, beat, and complete games as a pie chart.
Pros: On main user page, front and center, presented visually in a variety of ways
Cons: Slightly customizable
Help & Encouragement
Backloggery’s encouragement in subtle but in some ways very effective. I mentioned earlier that games with completed achievements or trophies are given a ribbon beside their title, but this isn’t the only instance of this type of encouragement. Backloggery presents the user with badges, small icons, that appear next to a user’s avatar. Most badges are automatically awarded after certain conditions have been met. Likewise, they automatically disappear if said conditions no longer apply to your Backloggery statistics. Most badges are awarded when you have beaten or completed several games in a row, if the majority of your backlog is finished, or you have 5 or fewer unfinished games. But it also hands out badges for having a largely incomplete backlog of games or adding several incomplete games in a row. This incentivizes users to minimize getting “bad” badges and maximizing getting “good” badges, i.e. beating games and not buying new games.
Backloggery also highlights beat or completed categories by game system, encouraging completion by system.
Creating connections on the Backloggery is limited. When a user updates their collection, the activity and a link to their profile are listed on the home page of the Backloggery site. Most people on the Backloggery must meet up on another site like Reddit to exchange profiles.
Once you have access to a user’s profile, Backloggery allows users to send private messages, comment on their profile, or add them to your multitap, a friend’s list that also creates a scoreboard to allow friendly competition. The makers of the site have intentionally excluded other features like forums in order to keep discussions focused on beating backlogs, which they have said is succeeding.
Pros: Good use of badges to incentivize, focused discussion
Cons: No game help and limited user interaction
Backloggery may be one of the hardest game collection trackers to start but once you do it is well worth it for its ability to encourage users and its games progress and backlog statistics.
Total Score: 22 out of 30
The creator, Drumble, is in the midst of a site remake. If you like what they do, you should consider becoming a patron of the Backloggery on Patreon.