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TurnBasedFest Approaching

All those wishing to keep abreast with the latest and most !!!-worthy moves made by turn-based game aficionados around the world, relinquish any thoughts about other pretentious plans crowding your calendar from tomorrow, Dec 8th, through Dec 12th, for it is at no other time that you can experience the same potency of premeditation in the online medium. The cognizant creators signing up for this event will take turns to present their latest fare, or latest unfair depending how the difficulty was tweaked! Now off ye go to turnbasedfest.com for the rest of the story from the horse's mouth. (Yes, talking horses are in fashion again.)

Quarterly update (Q4 2022)

Welp, this was totally up yesterday! That's what you get for finishing the article ahead of time instead of what is going by the time-honored custom, in the nick of it. Today is a little special also in the sense that despite trying to play various games in the past several months, I didn't actually find one that I was completely comfortable elevating onto HotU tier. And so you must see it as a resplendent victory for integrity that today's game is one I never got round to trying myself BUT I do have it on good faith from multiple other reviewers that we're looking at something people generally have no regrets giving a proverbial spin. I'll let the more modest review do more talking for Threads of Fate. Ta-ta for now and wish me luck with the next one!

Quarterly update (Q3 2022)

I see there's a dead naked courier at the foot of the magisterial platform. Apparently we've won some kind of scuffle somewhere? Or possibly we've not quite won it yet but might be able to if the boys come home post-haste. Or maybe we should just call an evac and go tide it over with the horny piper up in the cave Plato keeps yammering on about. What's that? You're not actually dead? You didn't actually come from Marathon? You're not even sure how your name is spelled? I see, well, all I can say is "For Sparta!" but also "For Athens!" but maybe even "For Persia!" depending on how this all ends up going.

Meanwhile, and not by sheer chance, Bungie's first big FPS experiment is now a part of the collection.

Dungeon Crawler Jam 2022-1 Results

The second of what's been hinted to now be a BI-annual Dungeon Crawler Jam, organized and belucred by the swell folks at www.dungeoncrawlers.org finished way back in April. So now would be a good time to remind you about it. You never heard of spaced repetition?

Basically, the top 3 ranked by qualities such as graphics, gameplay and originality was:

  1. It Came from the Forest
  2. Labyrinth
  3. The Gift of Fire

The rest of the results are best-accessed hereby. The winner, again, got free games, more free games and the top 3 gets mentioned in a genuine tailor-made Home of the Underdogs news post. Immortality.

Quarterly update (Q2 2022)

"Don't be fooled by the rocks" ring the immortal words of one of the most illustrious contemporary poets we're all blessed to get to share this earthly scene with, Jennifer Lopez, the most grounded of us all. It's also a highly appropriate aphorism to accompany the bling but also bling of Rocks'n'Diamonds as it jazz hands its way into belated glory. It's not just a game, it's a whole pink umbrella of different games, all exploring a different facet of downbound dangerous debris, the manifold malign menagerie... and all the twinkly treasure that makes it worth the pressure.

Dungeon Crawler Jam 2022

You may recall we partook in dungeoncrawlers.org's first Dungeon Crawler Jam last year and picked out a special (possibly) "HotU choice" game from the crop. Well, by popular demand (possibly), you are now invited to come dungeon-crawling back for the second such event that's now an annual affair! Check out the announcement here.

Quarterly update (Q1 2022)

Slick sailing ahoy! Man the mizzen! Caulk the jackstay! Trim the spars? If you think I'm lost, I'll bet you'll fare no better, you squawk-prone booby! The bet, indeed, is on in British dev duo Surprised Man's heavily humorous haul The Wager. Unlike most of our other recent inductees, this game you can actually just play a LITTLE of and come out fine, so excuses will not be excused.

Quarterly update (Q4 2021)

Whenever you've gotten into one of many kinds of TV entertainment, a large part of the titillation was always likely to have been the fantasy of living it vicariously. How would you have answered that 1 mil question on Millionaire? How far would you have gotten in the 3rd course on Ninja Warrior? Could you have eaten that plate of turtle cloacae on Fear Factor that Nancy just puked out with the tattered remains of her dignity? The show I'm about to plug you into represents a return to the visceral blood sports of old and will wipe the floor with all that mundanity! Enter... The Hunt! It's one of the better times of year to visit Moscow in the one verified proud hour of the never-heard-of Russian developer Orion, who also seem to be responsible, among other things, for another Moscovian first-person shooter in which you rush to save Stalin from an assassination attempt (I'm so thrilled!). In The Hunt (originally known as Chernaya Metka), they flatter many existing tokens of mature gun thrillers but stand just as tall in the class photo. Easy to recommend!

Quarterly update (Q3 2021)

Managed to get this double update out in time! It's more like 1½ update though since the two games in question are a release and a rerelease. A make and a remake? It's The Abbey of Crime and The Abbey of Crime Extensum. The original comes from the summit of the golden age of Spanish software, which was a period between 1983 and 1992 that saw a proliferation of 8-bit games from the land in question. While the Spanish certainly didn't miss it, it never actually saw release anywhere else until later. "Extensum" is by no major linguistic stretch of the imagination 'extended', which describes it well, and it's clearly the very way in which the game is best to experience today.

Quarterly update (Q2 2021)

Salutations once again! There's nothing stopping the unearthing of more and more undeserved obscurity, the amount of which may only have ever been on the rise. Today's entry, The Land of Glass made a valiant effort at budding a new hybrid genre combining real-time action with deck-building. You have to appreciate what Dual Wield did that so many others did not. It's even found quite an original art style, drawing from mosaics and stained glass. Is there room in YOUR heart for this cuddly little puppy? Call 1-800-UNDERDOGS to find a friend for life.

Dungeon Crawler Jam 2021 results

The jam organized by www.DungeonCrawlers.org, which we observed with a great curiosity, has just ended. There were 78 qualified entries. Which means that many games were finished and were made according to the rules of the jam, which were quite specific since the goal of the jam was to recreate the old classic style of dungeon crawlers which almost extinct by now.

Here are the full results: Jam results

Top entries (according by voting by the jam participants):
2. The Dark Forest in Heaven
3. Synthyfriends Dungeon
4. Beat of the Bard
5. Funk Dungeon

Also a special, HotU honorary mention goes to:
Callan: Escape From Dungeon

The first place winner is getting $100 USD worth of games from on itch.io or gog.com (sponsored by DungeonCrawlers.org). All jam participants are getting a copy of Legends of Amberland and Stellar Monarch (sponsored by Silver Lemur Games).

Quarterly update (Q1 2021)

Happy two thirds through the second quarter of 2021! I've come to cognize calendar quarters don't start in the months these updates have been posted on... ON OTHER SITES. Wishing someone a happy quarter sounds very clumsy anyway but I'm always late to include even the Chinese New Year in my greetings so it's the closest I can get. :/ I don't believe we've welcomed a pure puzzler into the party in a time or two, so won't you receive the investigative ichthyes of The Fish Fillets II warmly! Or not, they're mostly cold-blooded after all.

Quarterly update (Q4 2020)

Hope you're not greatly suffering from vicious ailments, dear reader! Yours truly has finally exhausted every safe harbor and cashed in all his seedy favors, much like Disney Han Solo, cause I'm stricken by some kinda flu-typ-a-thing. It's not the dread Chinese plague, however, so no excuses about posting this update today. I've got for you another very underdog underdog: The Adventures of Clive McMulligan on Planet Zeta Four. Clive is a gravity-defying stuntman in a space suit that protects him against hardly anything but the maleficent atmosphere. Thankfully lives (and subsequently deaths) are unlimited. It's not the first game of its kind, but still a very solid effort that could use a little more love. Would you adopt this puppy this Christmas?

Quarterly update (Q3 2020)

Another quarter has whooshed past like that time when you were still pretty, Ma'm. Much to no-one's surprise, another game is getting introduced to the collection today. It's a shooty one with vertiginous verticality and va-voominous variability. This kind of random number generated fare often makes for fluctuating quality of gameplay, that or tends to grow old pretty quickly, but my 70 hours don't lie: 1001st Hyper Tower is a keeper!

Quarterly update (Q2 2020)

It's known to be very difficult to sell games of a more obscure strain. People tend to look for games of specific kinds they know they like, according to this GDC talk at least. Anything that falls in-between, regardless of its inherent quality, may struggle to win buyers over. I believe this is something of the story of today's inductee as well. Please give a warm welcome to Memody: Sindrel Song!

Quarterly update (Q1 2020)

Yet another game finds its way onto pastures greener with Endless Forms Most Beautiful, something that's novel in a very quaint kind of way. If you don't generally have interest or time to try out the games being quarterly-induced, this one won't take too much on your part to test out... until you're hopelessly trapped in its compelling gameplay. We also have our first guest author in a while who agreed to lend us his words lest we tread trodden grounds. Until next season!

Quarterly update (Q4 2019)

There's nothing left of the unruly and frequently grammar-defying Top Dog entries since the final few letters (which I shouldn't have to tell you, are 'X', 'Y', and le 'Z') are also done and certainly dusted so those you with allergies can come hang out, too. You know, it seems the wint'ry holiday is trotted out creeping ever earlier with each passing year isn't it? If by this token, this update is also a Christmas one, which of the Ghosts of Christmas is today's entree, Jetpack 2 then? Past, Present, or a taste of things to come? Judge for yeselves, me hearties! Judge for yeselves...

Quarterly update (Q3 2019)

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.

Technical update

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...

Technical Update
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.

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
home-of-the-underdogs+subscribe@googlegroups.com 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.

Winter cleanup!

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!

Council nomination

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.

All community members are eligible to APPROVE / DISAPPROVE

Upcoming HotU Reform

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).

If you are a fan of HotU visit this topic and speak up / nominate someone (it's a moderated group, if you want to join send an email to home-of-the-underdogs+subscribe@googlegroups.com and you should be given access soon).

Summer cleanup!

Big cleanup, updated some information on various paged, removed some outdated ones. Changed forum button & link to redirect to our new google group.

Communication (GoogleGroups instead of forums)

The forum was sooo abandoned recently. In order rejuvenate communication I decided to switch to google groups instead.

You can use it like a traditional web forum (via web interface) or use like a mailing list (with an option for digest email if you don't want to be flooded with these).

To join visit: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/home-of-the-underdogs


Send an email to: home-of-the-underdogs+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Restored old ratings
Managed to recover old votes (decade's worth of ratings). Sorting games by rating also works now.

Fixed broken descriptions of: Glowgrass, Arrakis, Witchaven, Mogura Reverse

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

Click here

New games added!
Finally, first new games added since a very looong time. These are Mission Supernova and Andromedas Erbe.

If you want to propose a game to be added you can do it via forum "Add Game" subboard (do not forget to include as many information as possible).

Companies description
Improved publishers and developers profiles, added descriptions, logos, countries, etc.

Top underdogs slaughter!
Today 1607 top underdogs lost their status and reverted to regular underdogs. The remaining 2069 top underdogs enjoy their status even more.

There was simply far too many of these, too many.

You can propose a game to add!
We have a section on the forum where you can propose a game to add (check 'Add Game' subboard).

It's super easy (make a topic and post all you know about the game like: name, genre, theme, year, designer, etc).

If you have trouble registering drop us a line on:
FaceBook or Twitter


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)


Upcoming Changes!
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.

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