App of the Month: BoardGameGeek


     I’m a bit of what’s known as a “late adopter.”  That fact surprises even me.  I’d think I’d be all over new tech, but until recently, my motto (at least one of them), “I fear change,” kept me from messing around with newfangled stuff like iPhone apps. Until, that is, I stumbled upon some great ones like BoardGameGeek’s iPhone app.

     As you know, I’m a collector.  I like to keep track of my vast empire of stuff.  Until now, I’d always done so by using a list compiled on MS Word.  The problem with that is, you have to make sure you keep up with it, updating it religiously. You forget to do it a couple times and now your inventory’s useless.  Well, for the game collector (or just the player with a bunch of titles), BoardGameGeek’s got you covered.

     BGG’s app is an easy to use inventory system for your mobile device. It offers the following features:

–Search BBG’s massive game database and access reviews/comments by BGG
–Browse the top 100 rated games on BGG.
–Games Owned (your personal inventory)
–Search games owned based on number of players, time to play, and level of difficulty.
–Wishlist of games you want to add to your collection.
–Games you want to play.
–Games played (if you like to keep track of wins/losses/draws)

     For me, it’s the Games Owned feature that I’m all over. Since my iPhone is pretty much within reach 24/7, I don’t need to sit down at the desktop PC, pull up a file and type in a new game, then print out the newly updated list.  Now, when a box arrives courtesy of eBay, Noble Knight Games, or I’ve just left the friendly local game store, I just open the app, search for the game in BGG’s database, then slide the bar to “I own it” and my inventory is updated.

     And the really nice thing for me is that BGG’s database isn’t limited to just games, but also includes gaming-related items like supplements.  For example, I love me some Advanced Squad Leader.  If I’m surfing on eBay and find a good deal on a copy of ASL Journal #3, I don’t have to go digging through my shelves to see if I already have it. That’s because it’s in my BGG app’s inventory.

     And speaking of eBay, if I find a game that sounds interesting but I’m unfamiliar with it, I can jump on BGG  and check out reviews and the comment section.  It’s a quick and easy way to get a feel for a game and whether or not it’s worth a bid or a pass.

    So far, my only suggestions for improvement would be the addition of a user comment function (to note things like condition & missing/damaged components) and the ability to record multiple copies in the user inventory.  I don’t have a bunch of extra copies to trade or sell, but the ability to flag those that I do have would be handy.

     Any gripes? Well, BGG doesn’t include role-playing games, so I can’t include my Advanced D&D 1st Edition collection along with my war games & board games. But, the website is called BoardGameGeek, so it’s not exactly like they’re falsely advertising or anything.

     If you’re a gamer, a game collector, or both, you can’t really go wrong with BGG’s gamer app.  Chuck the notepad, the spreadsheets, and the Word files and join the 21st Century. Did I mention it’s free?

Copyright 2013 It Came From The Nerd Cave