As we predicted GameZnFlix (what a silly name), went out of business in late 2008; this review is kept as it was for posterity.
GameZnFlix is a combined games and DVD rental company; good for the convenience, but it means they fail to do either mission well. Moreover, with an stock price of less than a penny, we're concerned about their future, and can't in good faith suggest anyone sign up with them under the present conditions. Six game rental companies closed last year, and in the such cases customers are often left holding the bag in case of bankruptcy.
Founded in 2002, they have nine distribution facilities, located near Boston, Washington D.C., Orlando, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Franklin Kentucky. Of course, by offering both games and DVDs, they're not perfect at either, but they do have the convenience of covering both markets well enough.
The GameZnFlix browsing engine is pretty good when you click on Advanced Search. Many titles have trailers you can watch, and both purchase and rent buttons. The synopses are often lengthy and detailed, a major plus, and they list Studio, Length, Cast (all hyperlinked, often over a dozen listed vice the top few stars), and Genre. The site was relaunched in September 2007 with a much sleeker green and black look, and the slogan, "Life without pause," as well as a decision to focus on the games side of the business, while still providing a solid films service.
They claim to stock 50,000 film titles (but when we checked the site it said only about 20,000 were available) )which are divided into an impressive 14 genres. In June 2006, they even added audiobooks--to us it seems like they're trying to be all things to all people, but the lack of focus means lack of depth. In June 2006, they even added audiobooks.
They have a good selection of games for most platforms (all but the handhelds, PSP, Nintendo DS and Gameboy Advance). In fact, their games are divided into an unmatched 64 genres (including obscure ones like Hunting, Trivia, and Economic)--we've never seen so many video game genres on a rental site in any English-speaking country, and we're quite impressed; this should really help when browsing.
In 2007 they added a customer service phone line, open M-F 8-5 CST, a very welcome addition. However, there are no parental controls, which is a downside if you have a family, and a surprising omission given the high quality and many features of the rest of the site (hopefully they'll add this soon).
GameZnFlix has a very useful Availability Status function which lets you gauge how soon you may receive a given title: Pending means will be shipped within 24 hours, Available means in stock and ready to ship, Short wait means should be able to get to you within 14 days, In Demand means should ship within 30 days, High Demand means will take over 30 days, possibly much longer, Not Released is self explanatory, and On Order means the title has specifically been ordered for the customer and should arrive within 30 days.
They even have introduced a video on demand service, so you can download previews and own movies for as low as $5.99 on Windows Media Player. This area will be the next generation of content viewing, so watch this space as it develops over the coming years; it's good to see GameZnFlix have an early head start with a limited service now. In October 2007, they also added Gamebyte podcasts and video blog, for great commentary on the latest games. They do stock Blu-ray high definition films, but when we looked we only saw 40 available.
However, we have seen a number of customer comments complain about slow service and lack of top titles. For instance, saying they may be the cheapest, but you get what you pay for.
Prices: GameZnFlix has some of the lowest prices around; a 14-day free trial. Game plans (unlimited) are 1 game or DVDs out for $8.99 per month, $12.99 for 2 games or DVDs out, and $16.99 for 3 games out. You can also purchase a mammoth 6 out at a time subscription for $249.00 per year (which works out to $20.75 per month)
They give a one-month free trial to military members, retirees, and Department of Defense employees, something we haven't seen from any other company.