The other day I was messing around on my new iPad thingy and came across one of those 'apps' that the cool kids are known to play around with, and I thought it was worthy of a mention innit. Excuse me - I appear to have slipped into 'youth mode' for a moment there. We've previously looked at something similar here at the 'Yard (see Dream Collection), but Dreamcast Collector by PureGaming/Pieterjan Vandegaer is a paid application for iOS which does exactly what it says on the tin - it's a collection tracker for you iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. On firing the app up, you are presented with a long list on the left of the screen that shows thumbnails of the box art for most of the US and PAL releases (there are 276 games listed in the app). You are then encouraged to tap the icons for the games you have and can enter ownership criteria such as whether you have a complete game, or a copy sans manual or case. It's fairly straight forward and the games are all listed in alphabetical order.
Dreamcast Collector is the must-have reference app for every Sega Dreamcast enthusiast. This app serves as a reference for every Dreamcast game ever released. Keep track of your own game collection and even keep a wanted list.
The large graphics, clear text and fairly professional design help to make finding your games a breeze and you can even add your own box art images to the library if you so desire. The thing that sets this particular collection app apart from some others I've seen, is that it has several online features that you can play around with. Each game (when selected from the menu) has it's own information table, which displays a rarity rating (out of 12 for some reason) and current average listing prices taken from live eBay auctions. This is quite enlightening, but also a little head scratching - especially when looking at some of the prices the lesser titles are fetching. It is a nice feature though, and not something I was expecting when I downloaded the £1.99 app. Further to this eBay price matching, there is a dedicated button that will take you to a game's listings on said auction site, and also a Youtube button that will take you to a list of videos showing game play footage and reviews etc.
The only downside to this is that the eBay button seems hardwired to take the user to eBay.com, and so it's not much use for people who may be in the UK or elsewhere. You can change the currency of the pricing guide, but that doesn't alter the fact that all of the data is actually coming from the US eBay site. A minor gripe yes, but adding an option to change locations would have been nice. Upon further investigation, it appears that you can indeed change the region of the eBay site that the app links to - just go to the settings menu and you'll find the option in there.
A further nice feature DC Collector offers is the Trophy Room (accessed through the 'more' tab at the bottom of the screen), where your collection is displayed on a bookshelf and arranged in order of rarity or value. As stated above, I'm not too sure about the valuations the app gives, but it's still quite a novel idea and interesting to know which games might be the more valuable in your library. Lastly, DC collector allows you to create an online record of your games, and then lets you sync the in-app information to a web-based account hosted by PureGaming.org. This not only acts as a back-up function, but also allows you to create a multi-platform database using the other system-specific apps they offer.
It's true that sites such as RetroCollect offer this kind of service for free already, but DC Collector is the first app I've seen that lets you not only take your virtual collection with you on your device (not literally, obviously), but also allows you to track prices, mark whether you have titles listed for sale and gives you an estimated value for your games. It's not perfect - for example, there are no NTSC-J games in the library; and likewise homebrew titles are absent too. Not only this, but several PAL-only titles are missing. Furthermore, some of the other online functions didn't appear to be working when I tried them...but really, for the £1.99 asking price DC Collector is a really well-made and nicely designed application. It's well worth the asking price if you're a dedicated Dreamcast collector (and they also offer similar apps for the Saturn, NES and a whole host of other classic consoles), and is quite a bit better than the free Dream Collection, which is also available for iOS and Android.