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As you may remember ‘A Visual Commpendium’ was a Kickstarter project started by Sam Dyer that was successfully funded back in May last year.
We thought it was about time we did a review about this awesome Commodore 64 book which features some of the very best times in Commodore gaming. There’s a lot of excellent Commodore 64 books out there about programming and such but this particular book celebrates the nostalgic game visuals we all remember as a child growing up. What was once ‘just a game’ back in the day has now turned into art.
One of the things I miss the most about playing Commodore 64 games these days is actually loading the game, this may sound crazy to some of you, but I really miss waiting five minutes for a game to load, and the best part during that loading time was games back then had their little quirks during loading like awesome colourful title screens, excellent loading music and sometimes even a minigame to play while the main game loads.
This is one of the things this book immediately reminded me of .. a time when gaming was fresh and fun. A Visual Commpendium is a time capsule of pure Commodore love. Whether you’re a die hard Commodore fan looking to rekindle your childhood memories or just getting into the retro gaming scene, this book caters for everyone.
I have spent the last few days glued to this book, I can’t put it down! Reminiscing great times in my childhood, Games such as Commando, Wizball and Rambo, memories literally flooding back to me every time I turn a page. If I was to sum up this book in one word, the word would be ‘Fantastic’.
Bound in a protective cover (nice touch) the front of the book shows an array of mini images of game characters, some you will instantly recognise, the cover is glossy and matt and really shows that this book is of the highest quality and print with no expense spared to make this a worthy piece to anyone’s living room table.
The first thing I did when I opened the book was smell it! Am I weird? c’mon you know you do it too right? There’s nothing like the smell of a brand new book!
Looking over the contents pages I see a huge list of classic titles, but some unfamiliar new titles? Would you believe me if I told you that games are ‘Still‘ being created for the Commodore 64?
If you follow our website you will more than likely know about some of the new games that have been released over the past couple of years, games such as Commando Arcade, C64anabalt and Bomberland. I won’t spoil the fun if you haven’t heard of these yet, let’s just say that this book covers some of those titles too and you will be pleasantly surprised how awesome they look and play on the good old 64.
In the book a majority of the games are spread in glossy colour over two pages with a mini review about each game. Mini reviews are not specific to one reviewer either, various contributors such as Jeff Minter and Archer MacLean have a say, it’s so wonderful to see such enthusiasm towards the scene so many years later.
Each mini review contains a short write up about the game, the release date, what type of game it is and who developed and published it. This is also very handy for a bloggers quick reference on each game, for example if they are wanting to write a game review, the basic info needed is right there with a flick of a page.
Another nice touch I noticed, some pages have four games spread over two pages, I haven’t counted how many games in total are in this book yet but I can safely say that pretty much every well known release is featured.
The awesomeness doesn’t stop there either, there’s more!
Earlier I mentioned about game title loading screens, there’s plenty of those included to drool over too as well as game artwork from artists such as Jon Hare, Oliver Frey and other famous names from the Commodore scene.
Let’s take a look at the book ..
Front cover, can you name the games?
Who ya gonna call? ;)
One of my all time favourites, Monty on the Run.
1985 Arcade Smash Hit, Ghosts ‘n Goblins.
Ocean’s Rambo First Blood Part II.
Title Screen Goodness!
uh oh .. Caught with ya pants down!Gorgeous quality Artwork as you can see.
.. and lastly, had to add this one in, Lovely ;)
Overall I recommend this book very highly, it will be definitely be taking a place proudly on my gaming shelves with the rest of my collection.
If you would like to purchase this book, you can do so by heading over to funstock.co.uk website. Not only do they sell this lovely book, they have some other wonderful gaming gadgets over there you may be interested in. I would like to personally thank Joe from Funstock Games for sending over this book for review, it has been a pleasure :)
Sam Dyer: https://twitter.com/mrsidc64
Buy the book: http://www.funstock.co.uk
Review by Christina Burroughs (Kitty)