News Article

New Collection of Video Game Books Gets The Go-Ahead After Smashing Kickstarter Goal

Posted by Andy Green

Earthbound and Super Mario Bros. 2 both feature

A new set of books based on video games is set to be published after the team behind it smashed through their goal on a recent Kickstarter campaign.

The series - known as Boss Fight Books - will feature five books based on historic and groundbreaking video games - two of which are on a Nintendo system: Earthbound and Super Mario Bros. 2. The other three are Galaga, ZZT and Jagged Alliance 2, all of which have helped shape video gaming history.

Each book takes a critical and historical look at the game in question, with each author also adding their own personal experience to the text.

According to the Kickstarter page each book will focus on something different, be it history, level design, story or music. It's not clear what the books based on Earthbound and Super Mario Bros. 2 will focus on, but either way we're sure they'll be an interesting read!

The individual books will be made available in paperback and e-book form from the official website and other participating online bookstores. They'll all be numbered and collectable and there's a chance more could be made.

At the time of writing the campaign has destroyed its original goal of $5,000 and has raised more than $15,000, there are a few stretch goals in place and a sixth book will be revealed at the end of the campaign - which currently has 23 days left to run.

The Earthbound book is set to be released in December 2013, while Super Mario Bros. 2 will be available in April 2014. Galaga comes out in January, ZZT in March and Jagged Alliance 2 in May.

Will you be picking any of these up? Check out the awesome covers below and let us know what you think in the comment section underneath.


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User Comments (17)



Birdman said:

Sounds a lot like the 33 1/3 Series for music albums. While I didn't contribute, if they publish any books on games I enjoy I'll be sure to pick them up.



placidcasual said:

I'm backing a different kickstarter project at the mo which will document the untold stories behind japanese game development with a huge amount of new interviews. If you even have a slight interest in the history of our favourite hobby I'd strongly recommend having a quick look.

Kind of suprised nintendolife haven't run a feature on it yet -it'll be documenting some top nes classics...



LittleIrves said:

Hey Andy and the rest of the NLife crew! This is Jon, future author of the SMB2 book for Boss Fight. Thanks so much for featuring our Kickstarter campaign.

I'm an irregular commenter here, but I really enjoy this community and think many of you passionate, thoughtful Nintendo fans will dig these books.

One thing not mentioned above is that all backers get the chance to vote for the subject of Book #6 in the series. Even if you donate just $1! Check out the campaign page for more details.

If anyone has any questions, ask away. Cheers! And happy E3 week!



LittleIrves said:

@baba_944 ZZT was an old (1991) computer game using ANSI graphics, made by the folks who would become Epic Games, interestingly enough. I'm not that familiar with it personally. But Anna Anthropy sure is.

And so is @Philip_J_Reed, apparently. Quick off-the-cuff review + score, Mr. Reed?



LittleIrves said:

I'd heard that somewhere. Crazy to think how far they've come.

For some reason I always get Epic and id's backstories confused... Jazz Jackrabbit, Commander Keen... the 90s were a time of great alliteration, no doubt.



baba_944 said:

Best thing outta it: Sonic (First game still have my dad's Genesis I'm 16 btw.) and Charlie The Duck



Caryslan said:

As a Sega fanboy, I'm always saddened that Sega never gets any love with these kinds of books. Sega in the 80's and 90's did just as much to push the business forward as Nintendo did.

But this is a nice selection of books. I just wish someone would cover what games like Virtua Fighter or systems like the Genesis did. I'm not bashing these book in particular, but I'm talking in general. Sega just gets treated like a footnote in gaming history while Nintendo, Sony, and pre crash games dominate these kinds of books.

By the way, I'm looking forward to the Super Mario Bros 2 book:)



Philip_J_Reed said:

@LittleIrves Wow, I didn't realize it was you! I genuinely can't wait to get my hands on these.

Quick review and score for ZZT? That's tough! Back in the day it'd have been a solid 9, if only for the ZZTOOP programming language and the endless things you could do with it. It was an ASCII Minecraft / RPG Studio long before that sort of thing became commonplace. It's been ages since I've played it so I don't know how well it would hold up today...but I bet if I did pick it up again, I'd remember more of that language than I realize. Can't wait to read that volume!

These are going to be great. Congrats on hitting your goal!



aaronsullivan said:

Should be interesting.

Jagged Alliance 2 seems an odd one, but there must be something I don't know about it. XCom is the much clearer turning point in gaming of that type from what I know.



LittleIrves said:

@Yoshi3DS Each of the books will have a different focus. Some will be more about the history and influence the game has had, some will be more autobiographical. I'm planning the SMB2 one to be something of a mix.

I'd love to talk with people involved in the decision to bring over Doki Doki Panic as SMB2 if I can... but also I'm interested in looking closely at the game itself, what it feels like to play, how it compares to the broader Mario franchise and what it can tell us about Nintendo and their role in the industry.

Or something like that.



LittleIrves said:

@Caryslan I know what you mean. Since Sega stopped making hardware, their stamp on history has diminished a bit... but they still have a huge devoted audience. A Sonic game was in the running for this first series of books, actually, but didn't quite make the cut. Season Two?

@Philip_J_Reed And thanks! Can't wait to get my hands on them, either.

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