Intelliflix ended its game rental program in June 2007, citing the continually changing games market and their desire to focus on film rentals--this review is kept as is for posterity.
Intelliflix is mainly a DVD rental by mail service, which offers some 1,400 games titles on the side for the Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2, PSP, and Gamecube--probably not enough selection for a hardcore gamer, but enough for a casual one. In a head-to-head comparison with Netflix, Blockbuster, Gameznflix, and DVD Avenue, NBC New York found them the best deal.
Still, it's one of the best of the mixed DVD and game sites, which we find ideal; use two of the three slots of DVDs which you cycle through quickly, then the last slot for a game which may take weeks to play--all on one tariff and with one queue; much more convenient than having separate DVD and game services, logins, bills, etc. Of course, their movie selection is not as deep or broad as Netflix or Blockbuster, but you are going for a compromise here between DVDs and games, so that shouldn't bother most.
Intelliflix is the only game site we've come across that lets you set up "subaccounts," which allows you to allocate say one of the three available discs in the subscription to another person in your household, perfect for kids. We recommend to get the most out of the game function, you set up a subaccount that has games only, as these are often in more demand and there is greater chance of getting a DVD lower down your list. You could set up the main account for DVDs only with two slots, and one slot with a subaccount for games only.
Launched in 2004, Intelliflix uses nine distribution facilities--even more than Netflix--as well as a nationwide network of independent video retailers to service customers. The website itself is very well-designed. They have a "Pic-N-Drag" system that allows you to arrange your priority viewing queue simply by dragging and dropping titles, no waiting for the site to refresh, entering new numbers, etc. as often on other sites; they've made the process incredibly intuitive.
Likewise, Intelliflix's Queue Wizard helps you easily create lists of films to see based on favorite actors, actresses, and directors. Unlike some sites, they will let you know when a DVD or game is Rare or High Demand before you enter a title into your queue, honest and useful to know. Intelliflix is also up front in its FAQ that they don't buy massive numbers of new release games or movies as soon as they come out, and it may take a couple weeks to see these latest blockbusters. This won't be a problem for most customers, but is something to be realistic about; even Netflix and Blockbuster struggle on this new release issue.
Their most useful feature is "Coming Back"; a button which lets you tell Intelliflix you've popped the game or DVD in the mail, and they'll go ahead and mail you the next available item on your list without waiting to receive your return; the value of this feature should not be underestimated, as it can shave days off the return cycle, especially if you're not very close to one of the nine distribution centers.
Intelliflix has an excellent star rating system and allows you to read other customers' reviews. The Intelliflix parental controls are also excellent, allowing parents to block access to mature themes for both DVDs and games. Likewise, we like their email system letting you know when discs have been shipped as well as when they've been received at their end.
We hear their customer service generally takes a day or two to respond to complaints, and are often generic, but if you persist you will likely get a personal reply. This is an issue with nearly all game and DVD rental companies, which rely on low manning and overheads, and shouldn't dissuade you, just something to keep in mind. They do not have customer service telephone support, again, they are up front in their FAQ that the average customer call costs about $7 to facilitate, costs which would be passed down to members. Absent those, they are able to keep among the lowest costs in the business. If you think you'll need lots of help or have problems, Intelliflix is probably not for you, and best stick with a more expensive service with a phone line, but the vast majority of users should be fine with just the slightly slower email help tool.
Prices: Intelliflix does not offer a free trial. They only have one tariff for unlimited rentals by month, 3 out at a time for $24.95 per month (compared to $16.95 for 3 out DVDs only). However, they also have some incredibly cheap annual deals, for 1 disc out, max 2 discs per month, if you pay $71.88 up front, he price averages to only $5.99. Or for a 2 games or DVDs out, unlimited, it averages to $11.92 per month, and 14.75 for 3 out. They also have individual pay-per-rent for $3.96-$4.96 per title for 7-day rentals, but this just doesn't compare with their other plans. They offer an impressive 14-day grace period after canceling subscription to return your rentals.
The annual packages are quite simply unbeatable value for combined DVD and game rental; we recommend starting with a monthly tariff to try the service out, and if you like it, the definitely go for the annual plan--the savings are simply too good to pass up.