About Us

Who are we?

Armdog Reviews is a compilation of impressions and write-ups by the author across various product categories. Our objective is to update and curate the page like a searchable wiki, providing ratings in an easy-to-digest format. The plan here is to keep articles, reviews, and posts updated over time, rather than create new ones. So, when something changes about a product – for example, an update hurts a device’s functionality – we’ll update the existing review.

The overarching goal is to provide a review site with real, practical opinions from a regular person on items someone similar might be interested in. Amazon reviews are plentiful, but unfortunately the massive spread of fake and paid for reviews have damaged their usefulness. It’s become harder to parse out which of these are incentivized or outright purchased. The reviews here are just a guy’s opinion.

Who is Armdog though? The guy writing these reviews is author, analyst, and portrait hobbyist Jon Amdall. The name “Armdog” came from a hilarious mispronunciation of Amdall by a DMV worker about 20 years ago.

How does this work?

The site does not use traditional ads (Google Adsense, WordAds, etc). Instead, we’re supported by readers – when you buy something from a link, we may get an affiliate commission. But it never affects your price or how products are evaluated. Affiliate links are primarily from Amazon and used to keep this site running.

No product listed on this website is a paid endorsement. Every item listed here has been used by Jon, the reviews are his honest impressions after personally testing them. You might notice that many products on the site have high ratings; early on, there was a tendency to write about the best things out there. Over time, more average or disappointing items will also be covered.

What do the review categories mean?

The reviews here structured in a fairly consistent way. The top section contains ratings across various categories, an overall average, and some summarized pros and cons. Under the box is the text review – we try to keep it to only a couple of paragraphs to keep things from becoming too hard to digest. Next is an affiliate link box. If you want to check out various available options that are similar to the reviewed item, you can click here to browse. Then, we include some basics on availability, descriptions from the manufacturer, ingredients (if applicable), or hardware specifications (for some games).

Game Categories:

  • Core Gameplay (Combat, Action, etc): The core gameplay of many RPG and action games boils down to defeating enemies. How engaging is it? Is combat (or other means of progression) fun?
  • Story & Character: Are the NPCs and characters interesting? Does the story make you want to learn more, or is it too convoluted?
  • Game World/Environments: How is the game’s atmosphere? Are the aesthetics appealing and appropriate?
  • Music: Is the game’s soundtrack memorable in a good way? Bad? Or is it forgettable?
  • Graphics: How are the graphics relative to its release date? Graphics improved by mods are fair game.

Gear/Gadget Categories:

  • Value/Pricing: How is the price compared to similar products?
  • Functionality: Does it work like it’s supposed to? As it’s advertised?
  • Usefulness: Has this become a go-to device? Is it counted on now in life’s routines, or is it sitting on a shelf collecting dust?
  • Durability/Quality: Is it well-made? Can it withstand some bumps (if that’s part of its design)?

Food Categories:

  • Baseline Flavor/Taste: Does it taste good? Is this something we would eat again?
  • Flavor with Modifications: Not used for every product (like we wouldn’t modify candy). But for something like a frozen pizza, is the flavor improved by adding more cheese? Your own toppings?
  • Value/Price: How is the price compared to similar products?
  • Availability: Is it hard to find in stores or online? How many retailers sell it?
  • Packaging: Is the packaging sufficient for the product? Can it easily be smashed or broken in transit? Does it add to or take away from how appealing it seems?

Kids/Toy Categories:

  • Fun Level: How much fun do the kids have when they play with this? To quote that interior design lady, “does it spark joy?”
  • Attachment/Long Term Use: Has it become part of the kids’ all-star team of toys? To put it in Toy Story movie terms, is the item a Woody or Buzz Lightyear? Or is it forgettable and destined for a bin?
  • Value/Pricing: How is the price compared to similar products?
  • Durability/Quality: How well does the item withstand routine use from kids?