For 2024, I’ve decided to become one of those people who catalogue the movies they’ve seen throughout the year on Letterboxd, the popular film review app. The moment I made that determination, a question occurred: Do they have a Letterboxd for video games, I wonder? If they do, I haven’t really heard anyone talking about it.
It’s the new year: I’m sure I’m not the only person that’s decided to become a Letterboxd wanker and had the same thought. So I did some looking around on my way back from Christmas break to see what kind of options are out there. While it turns out there is still no specific ‘Letterboxd for Games’, there are quite a few platforms that attempt to mimic the app’s most popular qualities. Here are just a few options for you.
Backloggd (which cleverly Letterboxd’s stylisation, despite not being affiliated with the app at all) is perhaps the most popular choice. It appears to be the product of a one-person team but keeps up a steady flow of updates and improvements despite this. The UI is quite clean and easy to find your way around, and the platform breaks your games into four clear segments — Played, Playing, Backlog and Wishlist — to help you define a pipeline for play. Its large library pulls images from the IGDB press asset archive. Of everything on this list, Backloggd is the platform that feels like it’s gone the farthest to emulating The Letterboxd Experience.
The one drawback right now is that it’s browser-based — there’s no native app for smart devices, the way there is for Letterboxd. Using Backloggd via your preferred smartphone browser isn’t difficult, but an app would surely help it thrive. Right now, Backloggd is supported by a Patreon page, which charges $US3 per month for some extra features. What’s available on the free tier is already really good, and honestly, everything the day-to-user will need — unlimited game logging, reviews, list creation and journal tracking. However, you only get 14 days of recent activity on the free tier. Throw the dev team $3, and that climbs to 60 days, along with a personalised All-Time stats page, an ad-free experience, and more.
Did you know IGN built its own version of a Letterboxd for games? It’s true! And it uses a lot of the same functionality that made Backloggd a favourite. The library of games is vast, the UI is quite clean, and you can divide your games into four categories: Playing, Beat, Backlogged or Wishlisted. You only need an IGN account to get started — if you already have one, then you’re already good to go. You can also follow lists created by other prominent members of the community and the IGN staff. You can also access IGN walkthroughs for games in your library with ease, which is a feature few other competitors in the space can boast.
This will be a platform to watch, as it’s the only app on this list from a major media company with meaningful financial backing.
GG is the first platform on this list to boast an Android and iOS app right out of the gate, separating it from some of its bigger competitors. While it has many of the same features as other Letterboxd-likes — custom lists, friends and followers — it also has some significant ommissions, like user reviews and completion date tracking. If you didn’t need all that extra data or weren’t interested in community reviews, then GG presents a solid, if pared-back, option.
It is also the only platform on this list to receive a formal shout-out from the Letterboxd mothership.
So it’s got that going for it.
There are just three examples of platforms attempting to fill the niche in the competitive ‘Letterboxd for games’ journaling space. For me, I think Backloggd is my pick because I love data, but you might feel differently. Are there other platforms you’ve used that you’d recommend? Get in the comments and let me know. I’ll happily check them out and add them to the list as they pop up.