TBC 020: How to Manage a Backlog


Are you buried in unplayed games? Do you keep purchasing new titles, knowing full well that you don’t have the time to play them? Are you drowning in a long list of classics that you want to try and make time for… someday… eventually? If any of this sounds familiar, we know exactly how you feel. And we’re here to discuss a strategy and make that backlog manageable. Hop on board the TBC train!

“Exit the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

To Backlog or Not to Backlog Scott’s Thoughts

That is the question. The question we are all asking as a new wave of indie titles hits the Nintendo Switch each and every week.
It’s nearly impossible not to fall behind.

To illustrate this point, consider the following group of games: Shovel Knight, TumbleSeed, Thumper, Sonic Mania, SteamWorld Dig 2, Golf Story, and Stardew Valley.
Did you purchase and play all of those?
This is just a quick list of games filed under “DON’T MISS” off the top of my head. Chances are, you’ve let a handful of these slip through the cracks. (If you actually played all of those, I want to shake your hand.)

Each week is a new opportunity to either A) catch up on amazing games in the backlog, or B) play the newest latest game that was released.

Option A feels good because you get to experience that title that’s been sitting on your wish list, enjoy it, and cross it off.
It creates a problem, though, when it causes your backlog to grow. Thanks to the deluge of new releases, truly “catching up” isn’t really an option.

Option B is exciting. You get to buy a brand new game and join in the conversations while it’s still hot. All the Nintendo podcasts and groups are discussing it.
The downside is, it prevents you from getting back to some of those earlier eShop games that received 8s or 9s out of 10.

No matter what we choose, we’re missing out.
How do you pick between shoring up your collection and trying out the latest greatest?

You have better chances of enjoying your purchases, and not regretting them, if you go with the backlog. Hindsight is 20/20, and a few months after a game launches, you know from the way a title is talked about (and IF it’s even remembered) if it’s worth it or not. You probably build a wish list and whittle it down as your perception of each game’s value evolves with time. What’s left is a series of sure-fire hits that you’re bound to enjoy.

Delve into games like that.

The cutting edge is risky, but rewarding. You can get in on a game’s fandom on ground 0 and be a part of a community’s formation. Other times, the game just isn’t what you thought it was and you’re out $10 or $20.

When you have a really good feeling about an indie title, and you can just sense that you will love it, buy it on launch day. Don’t let it pass you by. During those times, the backlog can wait.