No stopping the Top Dog train: the trio of 'U', 'V' and 'W' has been thoroughly purified of bad links and bad English. The game no-one talked about this month was Evil Islands, a tactical RPG that still seems to stand apart.
Upgraded site code to PHP7, added Discord link and other small changes.
Quarterly update (Q2 2019)
More and more top dogs get spanked into submission: this time everything under 'T'. This is not the letter this quarter's new entry will be filed in, articles being relegated. Don your tricorn hats and buckled shoes, and bow in the grand Count Lucanor!
Quarterly update (Q1 2019)
With this update, the Herculean effort that was plowing through the 'S' underdogs has been completed! And for the next new entry, we have a very respectable one-year-old metroidvania that seems to have flown completely under the radar, selling far less than it really should have. May I present: Treasure Adventure World.
STICK THIS GAME AT THE TOP OF THE WISHLIST! That's an order. Until next time!
Quarterly update (Q4 2018)
With this update, half of all the 'S' Top Dogs (of which there are an enormous count!) have been given the dusting. For the new game entry, we go back to our fave six-degrees-of-freedom shooter series and review the expansion, Descent 3: Mercenary. That's one more promise kept...
In case you missed it, there's now a HotU Discord chat. Join it for real-time exchanging of underdog ideas and such.
Quarterly update (Q3 2018) With this Autumn update, we're dusting off all Top Dogs from 'Q' and 'R'. The game this time is Frayed Knights, a unique RPG which I have no doubt many have not heard about.
Is there anyone reading this who would like to join the diminutive team as an editor? If you're someone who plays interesting, non-mainstream games anyway, you might as well be sharing your experiences. Find the appropriate thread in the forum.
Quarterly update (Q2 2018)
Cleaned up all Top Dogs under 'P' (there were a lot!) The new game this time is a very strong Top Dog also, called Outlaws. I (LotBlind) was very happy, and surprised, that we didn't have it yet so I had the chance to try it. Shoutouts to Waltorius whose blog post hinted me at the game. As always, I've tried to give you a headstart on everything, without spoilers, in the TIWIKs below the main review. I really think we need this acronym BTW...
Added collections (left menu). Fixed TopDogs status which was missing for some games. Other minor improvements.
Quarterly update (Q1 2018)
Did some cleanup of Top Dogs starting with the letters 'N' and 'O'.
The new game is Jane Jensen's and Robert Holmes' Moebius: Empire Rising from 2014. In addition, I'd like to shout out recent developments in an old underdog flight sim, Tornado. Frankie Kam has continued relentless work on enhancing the experience even more, and one of the changes is the option to remove the cockpit for more immersion. The list of recent changes is right here and if you're any sort of fan of the game, or of flight sims in general, I don't think there's any old game with a fansite more comprehensive than Frankie's.
Until next time!
Quarterly update (Q4 2017)
Did some cleanup of Top Dogs starting with the letter 'M'.
The new game this time is Double Fine's Stacking from 2012. Enjoy!
Quarterly update (Q3 2017)
Did some cleanup of Top Dogs starting with the letters 'K' and 'L'
Added a new game, I Wanna Be the Guy from 2007. Enjoy!
Quarterly update (Q2 2017)
Cleanup of Top Dogs starting with letter "G", "H","I" and "J" (broken links, etc).
Added a new game, Descent 3 from 1999.
Quarterly update (Q1 2017)
Cleanup of Top Dogs starting with letter "E" and "F" (broken links, etc).
Added a new game, The Swapper from 2013.
Updates frequency changed to quarterly
Monthly updates are a bit too much for us, especially with such a skeleton crew. So we decided to go for quarterly updates instead.
Monthly update (October 2016) - Fixed companies
A tool for editors to allow correction of companies (found some rare instances where those were wrong).
Some games got descriptions adjusted.
news - 30-09-2016
Monthly update (September 2016) - Top Dogs 'D' cleanup part 2/2
Finished cleanup of Top Dogs starting with letter "D" (broken links, etc).
Monthly update (August 2016) - Top Dogs 'D' cleanup, part 1/2
The first part of the cleanup of Top Dogs starting with letter "D" (broken links, etc).
Monthly update (July 2016) - Top Dogs 'C' cleanup, part 2/2
The second part of the cleanup of Top Dogs starting with letter "C" (broken links, etc).
Monthly update (June 2016) - Top Dogs 'C' cleanup, part 1/2
This month we managed half of the Top Dogs starting with letter "C" to be cleaned up (removed broken links to external sites, etc).
Monthly update (May 2016) - Links to guides & manuals
Added links on game profiles to game manuals on ReplacementDocs website. They are an old and respected website that collects high quality guides and manuals for old games.
There is a new button on game's profile which will bring you to that game's docs search results on ReplacementDocs.
Monthly update (April 2016) - Top Dogs 'B' cleanup
And the holy quest to clean up our database continues :) This month it was Top Dogs starting with letter "B".
By the way, we could use some additional staff you know. If you would like to help just visit our GoogleGroups and say so.
Monthly update (March 2016) - Top Dogs special_characters cleanup
Another cleanup of broken links, reviews, etc in games descriptions. This time it was all top dogs that have a name starting with a number of a special character.
Still looking for some people who wish to help. Visit out GoogleGroup if you are interested.
Monthly update (February 2016) - Special Collections
Introduction of special collections (click "Special" category on the top navigation bar). In contains games grouped by other criterias than genre/theme, like Tolkien games, Superhero games, Non PC games, Open Source games, etc.
In additions there were some fixes (broken freeware games navigation).
Monthly update (January 2016) - Top Dogs 'A' cleanup
With the new Council we decided to go for several changes. One of them being monthly updates. The premise is to aim for smaller but regular improvements. This month we tackled broken links in games descriptions and checked reviews. Top Dogs starting with letter 'A'. We checked and fixed like half of them (it will be much faster from now on since people are getting experience with this and we have improved the tools to do these) and we will finish letter A by the next month it seems.
Quite likely soon we will start recruiting more people who are willing to help us with those, so, if you might want to give it a try start by subscribing to our group firstname.lastname@example.org we will recruit there once we are ready.
New game added
Another game added, this time a small text based simulator of a roguelike developer. It's a tiny and short game but deserves the inclusion due to a unique take on the software development genre. Enjoy MyADOM.
Because this game is extremelly hard to find on the net we are hosting it (download link available on the game's page).
HotU Council formed
The HotU community has approved the Council nomination. The Council consists of: vic-k, LotBlind, martiniturbide, broklynite, FlyM0lo and will operate until 30th June 2016.
To people who were not following the discussion on our google group the Council is a body of people elected by the community under the premise to switch from a one man job to a team effort. Now with more people responsible for the wellbeing of HotU things should go more smoothly.
Removed several outdated/broken things/links, rearranged the left menu. But that's just the beginning, quite soon we will have more staff onboard and we will start a big revise & cleanup of all the pages.
Also Happy Christmast!
Since people said they have trouble to nominate people since they do not know each other we changed the Council election system. Now there is the list of Council members prepared by me and all community members are to vote if they APPROVE / DISAPPROVE it. This will be considered a provisional Council for half of a year term only.
We were discussing on our GoogleGroup and the consensus is we need a change. The updates are far too rare and overall it's not working very well. So, we are switching from a one man job to a team effort. The first step is to elect a HotU Council that would decide on various things regarding HotU. Such Council will be elected by the community (which means you).
OK, time for the final test if HotU is to survive or not. Technical stuff was more or less fixed and it's functional, now what's left is the money. Probably you noticed we have much fewer ads that in the past, I would really like to keep it that way (plus, the ads income is minimal nowadays, so, really direct donation from you is the only realistic way for this site to go on).
I think the best way will be to use Patreon. It's a website to collect recurring donations for various "atristic" projects require ongoing income (so ideal for HotU). It's a reputable site, many people use it.
How it works:
1) Register at Patreon
2) Decide how much money (like $3-$5) per month you want to donate
3) At the end of each month your donation will be deducted from your CC/PayPal (you can change it anytime) and transfered to HotU
YouTube button & FaceBook page
- added two YouTube buttons to game page, the first search YouTube for a review of that game and the second for a longplay
- created FaceBook page (link on the right bottom)
I was observing for a long time how the community was still hanging around, regardless of my laziness and negligence. And finally I gave up, you do want HotU to exist and you do want it to grow, so let it be your stubborn way :)
Since you really love it that much, let's bring HotU to its former glory (or at least make it fully functional again).
Of course there are several obstacles, but I think I got all or most of them covered. At the moment there is a discussion going on at the forum about the details.
But the overall plan is like that:
- an overhaul of the site (technical & functional wise - the look & feel will change over my dead body)
- more or less regular updates (like quarterly?)
- fundraising to assure long term survival and growth
- building a strong team of editors and other helpers (so I'm not the bottleneck)
- embrace the XXI century (to a reasonable extend, in the end we are all old geezers or geezeress (or whatever female geezer is called) who live in nostalgia world :))
For now I made a small overhaul which is:
- created Twitter account
- fixed/removed some outdated information
I will post more details once we got them forged out.