Shipping April 2017
Could this be the perfect coffee table book?
We've seen an explosion in books celebrating retro video game history lately. One of the most prolific publishers is UK-based Bitmap Books, which is responsible for many of our favourites - including the excellent Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection. Their catchily titled 'Visual Compendium' series has...
The ultimate coffee table companion?
Bitmap Books' series of visual compendiums already has a strong following amount retro gamers but its latest iteration has been perhaps the most notable yet, for two key reasons. Firstly, it utterly smashed its Kickstarter goal of £25,000 and eventually raised a whopping £190,000, and secondly, it very nearly...
The humble 2D shooter may have fallen out of favour with the mainstream these days, but it's certainly one of the most important genres in the world of video gaming. Were it not for Space Invaders – the shooter that arguably birthed a genre – then our industry may well have evolved in an entirely different fashion. During the '80s...
A minimalist trip down memory lane
We've seen lots of attractive coffee table art books aimed at retro gaming fans in recent times, which is no bad thing. Joining the ranks is a publication simply titled 8-Bit Art Book - by Ear Books - which pays homage to the visual quality of classic games spanning from 1975 to the early '90s. The author...
Shipping April 2017
Sonic turned 25 this year, and Sega marked the occasion by confirming that the popular character would be getting two new outings next year, one of which is the gorgeous-looking Sonic Mania. Art house Cook & Becker also has something special for fans of the Blue Blur coming next year - a coffee table book which shows off a...
A wonderfully bizarre tour of the Mushroom Kingdom
He's undoubtedly one of the most recognisable faces ever to grace the box art of a video game, but aside from his blue-collar occupation and a dislike for turtles, fans in the early '90s didn't know a whole lot about Super Mario himself. Beyond the pixels onscreen and information found buried...
It's dangerous to go alone!
Hot on the heels of the launch of the Nintendo Classic Mini on the 11th of this month is Prima's Playing With Power: Nintendo NES Classics Book, which is available on the 18th November. The book offers a retrospective on 17 NES classics including complete walkthroughs for Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, and The Legend...
A fitting tribute to a beloved console
So much for the internet destroying printed media. In the past few years we've seen a wealth of amazing video game-related books, including Sega Mega Drive: The Collected Works, Britsoft and – still to come – the
Are you a bad enough dude to read this book?
Alongside the likes of Capcom, Konami and Namco, Data East was one of the quintessential software makers of the '80s arcade scene, but unlike those other firms it perhaps didn't have the pulling power to ensure long-term success. The company has long since been dissolved and its properties sold to the...
Available this fall
Before the days of the internet, Nintendo Power was the source for all news and secrets about Nintendo. While all those pages held invaluable information for the time, they also played home to some entertaining comic strips, such as Howard & Nester and Super Mario Adventures. Naturally, it's relatively difficult for fans of...
A happy end
Bitmap Books appears to have come to some agreement with Nintendo of America regarding the intellectual property dispute on its NES: A Visual Compendium book. The publication - which is part of Bitmap's Visual Compendium range - had proved to be a massive crowdfunding success on
The President, Programmer, and Gamer
The late Satoru Iwata contributed much to Nintendo's history. While it's easy to remember him for his more recent accomplishments in the Wii and DS eras, many are aware that Iwata's time at the company has lasted for much longer; he got his start as a part-time programmer at HAL Laboratory in the 1980's. This...
A timely reminder that Konami was really good at making games, once
Konami may be retreating from the production of video games these days but not so long ago the company was seen as one of the leading lights in the industry, challenging the likes of Capcom, Sega and Nintendo when it came to creating compelling, must-have experiences. This...
And the Famicom, of course
UK publisher Bitmap Books has carved out quite a niche for itself in recent years. Focused on quality coffee table tomes related to video gaming, the company has produced a wide range of retro classics, with the most recent examples being the lavish Artcade and positively lush Super Famicom: Th
Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection launches this month, but we've been lucky enough to have the chance to thumb through an advance copy ahead of its official release. Published by Bitmap Books and created by fanatical Super Famicom fan Stu Brett, this 276 page tome highlights some of the best cover artwork of the 16-bit years.
A work of art
We've been keenly following the progress of the Super Famicom Box Art Collection book for some time now, from its initial (aborted) crowdfunding campaign to the news that it would be published by Bitmap Books. After what feels like forever, the book is
An encyclopedia to honour Nintendo's beloved system
The N64 turns 20 this year and is regarded as one of Nintendo's finest machines, not only because it pushed technological boundaries and introduced numerous innovations, but also because it was home to some of the best games in the company's library. Author and fan Mathieu Manent is working with...
Got any spare change?
It's hard to believe it now, but there was a time when the evolution of the video game industry happened not in the home, but at locations like bowling alleys, cinemas, bars and - if you're from the UK - humble fish and chip shops. While home consoles have been a massive part of gaming for decades, they traditionally lagged...
"It feels great to get fourth Plok book out there"
Plok is without a doubt one of the true hidden gems of the SNES library. Created by British coding siblings Ste and John Pickford, Plok originally starred in a unique platforming epic for the 16-bit console but has since gone on to become the lead character in a series of web-based comics, drawn by...
From Elevator Action to Liquid Kids
Video game site Hardcore Gaming 101 has become something of a goldmine for retro gamers, with its staff tirelessly uncovering gems from the past that everyone else has all but forgotten about. The site also produces a line of excellent books which feature both new and re-written content, and the latest offering...
Hardcore Gaming 101 does it again
People love putting things in lists - it's human nature. Since the dawn of the internet however, such lists have taken on a life of their own; starved of time, short on attention and faced with a seemingly unlimited amount of free content, the average web user wants information delivered in the shortest time...
Pre-orders open today
Those of you looking for the perfect coffee table accompaniment will no doubt have already earmarked some cash for the purchase of Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection, a lavishly-produced tome we've featured on the site a few times in the past. Penned by Stu Bre
Starting 2016 with a bang
Back in October, we delivered the happy news that Stuart "Super Famicom Guy" Brett's Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection had found a publisher and would be coming to store shelves in the near future. Bitmap Books has now revealed that pre-orders will open on January 2nd, giving you something to look forward to early in...
Unofficial, but in the best way possible
A Guide to Village Life isn't an official publication to accompany Animal Crossing: New Leaf - hence the fact that the game's name doesn't appear anywhere on the cover. However, that's not a bad thing at all - it's highly unlikely that any official guide would have the same degree of love and care lavished...
It's dangerous to read alone
Fangamer is publishing a book all about the localisation (or localization, if you prefer) of the very first Legend of Zelda title on the NES, and it looks set to be an essential purchase for truly hardcore fans of the series. Written by professional translator Clyde "Tomato" Mandelin, whose credits include Attack on...
"I hit my head against the monitor hard enough to make the screen crack"
The term "labour of love" is often bandied around in media circles, usually relating to a personally important project by an artist writer, and while it's possibly overused in some cases, it most certainly applies to John Szczepaniak's quest to chart the hitherto unseen...
Packed with exclusive interviews
While the exploits of Japanese and North American games makers are well documented, the considerable contribution that the United Kingdom has made to the global gaming scene is perhaps less well known. Thankfully that appears to be changing; last year's From Bedrooms to Billions documentary took an extensive look...
"A series about art impacting life"
There once was a time when the notion of someone writing a serious book about the impact of video games would have seemed laughable, but the medium has become such an entrenched part of our popular culture that we're now blessed with many fine tomes on the topic. As if to illustrate the fact that gaming is now on...
255 pages of gaming history
As many of you are likely aware, we're currently approaching the end of the year that has marked the 30th anniversary of the Super Mario series. It's hard to believe that this iconic game franchise has only been around for 30 years when you look at the impact it's had on the game industry and the world as a whole, but...
Book returns with publisher backing, Steve Jarratt editing
This time last year we reported on a book which look certain to adorn the coffee tables of Nintendo fans the world over. Stuart Brett's Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection was a glorious celebration of the lush Japanese artwork found on 16-bit Nintendo game covers of the period, and a...
Game & Watch was Nintendo's first foray into the world of portable electronic gaming. These small, pocket-sized devices used LCD screens to create crude but surprisingly playable games, perfect for passing the time on the way to and from work (in fact, creator Gunpei Yokoi even stated that he was inspired to create the range after...
300+ pages of kid/squid goodness
As if the Inklings among us didn't already have enough to celebrate, it looks like the 2-disc soundtrack we recently reported on isn't the only piece of Splatoon merchandise emerging from the watery depths this year. Freshly announced by Famitsu magazine and translated by
Castlevania! Untold History of Japanese developers! Bible Adventures!
The Summer Video Game StoryBundle is now available, and might be of particular interest to Nintendo fans thanks to the inclusion of some riveting reads. Hardcore Gaming 101's superb Castlevania retrospective is in there, as is John Szczepaniak's indispensable Untold History of...
Strider and Bionic Commando go under the microscope
Hardcore Gaming 101 isn't just a great resource for retro gamers - it has also published some excellent physical books on our beloved hobby, including one which takes a look at Sega's arcade lineage and a comprehensive history of Konami's Castlevania. The site's next project is
The full history of the creators of Gods, The Chaos Engine and Speedball
If you're a UK gamer with a keen sense of history then the name The Bitmap Brothers will be instantly recognisable. Most active during the 16-bit era, "The Bitmaps" are considered by many to be gaming's first "rock star" developers, and produced such classics as Gods, The...
"Their qualm is that it's unlicensed, but it doesn't need to be"
At the request of Konami, the review-packed book Hardcore Gaming 101 Presents: Castlevania by Kurt Kalata has been removed from sale. The full colour book was only released two months ago on September 13th, and not only includes overviews of nearly every Castlevania title, but also...
To be this good takes AGES
Back in the early '90s Sega and Nintendo were hostile enemies, and this rivalry trickled down to the people who played their products. Anyone old enough to have experienced this period will no doubt recall the heated playground debates about which console was best, and the splintered friendships caused by something as...
A bloody good read
Castlevania is one of those franchises which will always be inexorably linked with Nintendo. The series became a household name thanks to its well-received NES outings, and in the days of the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS it strengthened this connection with six excellent "Metroidvania" releases. Although its future may well...
For how unique it is compared to other games in the Mario line, it’s amazing how easily Super Mario Bros. 2 is taken at face value or glossed over entirely. Many fans are happy to share the fact that the game is actually a reskin of Japanese title Doki Doki Panic after the original Super Mario Bros. sequel was deemed too difficult...
Charting a golden era
When journalist and novelist John Szczepaniak launched his Kickstarter campaign back in 2013 to record the hitherto undocumented story of Japan's game development community, there were a few raised eyebrows around the web. His funding goal was a lofty one, and the task seemed almost herculean in scope — he planned to travel...
Physical and digital versions available now
Remember Sega Arcade Classics Volume 1? Well Hardcore Gaming 101 founder Kurt Kalata is taking a break before starting Volume 2 and has put together another fine tome in the form of Hardcore Gaming 101 Presents: Castlevania. Kalata will be famous among seasoned Castlevania fans as the man behind The...
Update: Kickstarter now cancelled
Update: The Kickstarter has now been cancelled for the reasons explained by Stuart here: Hey folks. Firstly, I’d like to say a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported this Kickstarter project. I’ve had a whirlwind of a weekend with my inbox literally breaking with messages of support from fans...
Sega of America does what Sega of Japandon't.
Blake J. Harris presents the two contenders A couple weeks ago we reviewed Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation by New York City-based author Blake J. Harris, about the bitter rivalry between Sega and Nintendo in the early 1990s through the eyes of Sega of America head...
Bad writing for a good cause
If you'll remember, way back in October we covered the news that Worlds of Power, the legendarily awful series of video game novelisations, was being given new life. By...uh...me. The idea was to assemble a motley collection of writers and have them each produce their own terrible, unfaithful, barely recognisable...
By an author who knows the score
The 33 1/3 book series offers individual, journalistic studies of influential albums by performers ranging from James Brown to Radiohead. In a departure from their standard venues, an upcoming book is going to focus on a smaller but no less memorable collection of work. Super Mario Bros. - Koji Kondo has been...
Dissecting the hunter
If you want to make enemies, insult Super Metroid. It's arguably the most beloved entry in one of Nintendo's biggest franchises, and is still praised as a masterclass in game design even 20 years after its initial release. There's enough intricacy and detail to every mechanic that you could write a book about it, and that's...
There's more than one way to revisit the past
It's difficult to write about video games. Believe us, we know. The medium is, strictly speaking, a compound one. Whereas writing about works of art in most media entails a relatively straightforward discussion of how well or poorly the work in question used the tools available to that medium, writing...
US developers on-board for the definitive history of Sega's 16-bitter
We recently reported on the Kickstarter campaign for Sega Mega Drive / Genesis: Collected Works, and are happy to report that the project has already passed its initial funding goal of £30,000. However, Read-Only Memory founder Darren Wall has gotten in
Or the Genesis, if you're American
We recently investigated Read-Only Memory's excellent Sensible Software 1986–1999, a book which uncovers the history of one of Britain's most iconic games studios. Now, the publisher is back with another Kickstarter campaign, and this time it's Sega's legendary 16-bit console which is the main focus.
Nintendo Life's Philip Reed is taking a trip down memory lane
Young gamers growing up in the early 90s no doubt remember Worlds of Power. It was a series of youth-oriented novelisations of classic NES games...and the books have become legendarily awful. They were inaccurate, inept, and very poorly written. While their ostensible mission was to...
Little-known SNES outing is detailed in new book celebrating the UK studio
Sensible Software is a company which is perhaps more famous in the UK than the rest of the world. Founded in 1986 by Jon "Jovial Jops" Hare and Chris "Cuddly Krix" Yates, it produced titles for 8 and 16-bit computers, many of which were ported to consoles such as the Sega...
Last month Prima Games announced it would be releasing The Legend of Zelda Box Set in November, which contains official guides for several titles in the popular series. The books will naturally be enclosed in a treasure chest - though you'll need to perform the accompanying music yourself as you open it - and features a metallic...
300 titles expected at Japanese launch
According to a report by Japanese business publication Nikkei, Nintendo is getting ready to launch an eBook service on its 3DS console. The service will be limited to Japan initially, and is expected to cover around 300 titles — mainly aimed at children. There's no word on whether or not a similar approach...
Consulting the legendary tome
It’s amazing to think that a game which started out as a very basic action RPG on the NES has morphed into one of gaming’s most enduring and famous properties, sparking everything from emotional debate to hushed reverence whenever its name is uttered. The Legend of Zelda series - apparently inspired by creator...
Beating all the fad diet books
Throughout the day we have noticed that many of you have been receiving your precious copies of Hyrule Historia, the fantastic art book dedicated to The Legend of Zelda franchise. We've been swooning over it here at NLife towers the moment it arrived, and we're sure you have been too. It comes as no surprise that the...
More than just a stocking filler
The lucky citizens of Japan have been playing the epic 3DS title Fire Emblem: Awakening since April now, while in North America and Europe release details are still sketchy at best – sometime in 2013. As if gamers in Nintendo's homeland weren't fortunate enough, it’s now been revealed that Japan will be getting...
Will be turning pages in the near future
We reported last month that Librica was to launch a 3DS application - Bookstore Anywhere - for the 3DS this month in Japan. Sadly, it has since been confirmed that the service has been delayed. Librica has said the hold up is due to the team's desire to make further improvements to the app, and that a new...
In English, hurrah!
It's been a good month so far for Zelda fans. Not only has the monumental book, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, been translated and confirmed for the West next January, but this week we also had the smug satisfaction of knocking off E. L. James' infamous Fifty Shades of Grey from the top spot on amazon.com's best-sellers...
Start saving your rings
UDON Entertainment has revealed a huge History of Sonic hardback book for launch in North America this September. It's the same book as Pix'n Love Publishing announced for Europe, though it doesn't look like North America will get the cool embossed gold foil cover. The book itself spans nearly 300 pages and has been produced...
Or Rockman, to be precise
About a month ago we told you about the Mega Man Robot Master Field Guide from UDON Entertainment, which is packed with facts about the series and its characters. The blue bomber is famous in a lot of places, with a new book just released in Thailand to give fans in the region their own comprehensive tome on all things Mega...
It's good, too
Anyone who loves retro gaming might want to get their chops around Pixel Nation, a new quarterly magazine dedicated to the world of old-school digital entertainment. The first issue of the 100-page, full colour periodical includes articles on topics dear to many Nintendo hearts: famed composer Koji Kondo takes the spotlight, and the...
The second instalment in Pix'n Love Publishing's History of Nintendo book series is out today. The 200-page tome looks at the history of the Game & Watch, with reviews of every unit, over 1,500 pictures and exclusive documents too. If you've ever wanted to know more about Nintendo's 1980s portable games, this book should scratch that...
For real this time
We know we've reported several release dates for The History of Nintendo: Volume 2 — Game & Watch — the most recent being 15th December — but this time we're told it's definitely, definitely coming on 9th March. The follow-up to the rather good History of Nintendo: Volume 1 — 1889 - 1980: From playing-cards to Game...
Ocarina of Tune
Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda are arguably Nintendo's most prominent and famous franchises. With a shared history spanning 25 years and a lot of games, fans have been treated to some glorious music, whether it's been chip-tune or orchestral. Now, thanks to Alfred Music Publishing, musical gamers have the opportunity to play through some of these famous compositions themselves..
Cross your fingers
Our recent competitions gave you the chance to win a red Nintendo 3DS or one of five copies of Pix'n Love Publishing's excellent History of Nintendo — Volume 1. We've now drawn and contacted the lucky winners — if your name appears below we've emailed you with details of how to claim your prize. Here are the fortunate six. Red...
For Japan, so far
The hype is starting to build for Resident Evil: Revelations, not surprising as it's the first major release of the year on 3DS. With that in mind, it seems that Capcom is ready to go the extra mile to give fans of the series all of the content they need to get them excited. According to Andriasang, Capcom has announced a rather attractive 'Navigation and Art' book — or strategy..
Hyrule history translated
The Legend of Zelda art book we told you about last week has now made it to Japan, and according to one fan translation it reveals the official series timeline for the first time. Previously Nintendo has kept the Zelda timeline secret so we're not sure if this is a definitive timeline or simply one interpretation of it, but...
Cover to covet
We might be two weeks from 2012 but the Legend of Zelda 25th anniversary festivities aren't over just yet. Nintendo Japan is to release a Legend of Zelda art book on 22nd December for ¥3255 (£27/$41/€32). At 274 pages long it's a seriously weighty tome, with character and location concept art taken from Zelda's quarter-century. According to Zelda Universe the book also deals..
Now we're talking
After the excellent History of Nintendo: Volume 1 book, publisher Pix'n Love is expanding its catalogue to Nintendo's great rival and its legendary mascot. Early 2012 sees the release of The History of Sonic, a 300 page guide to the genesis and development of SEGA's greatest hero, including concept sketches and developer interviews...
The History of Nintendo: Volume 1 spanned the company's beginnings up until the creation of the Game & Watch, setting things up nicely for the second volume, which deals exclusively with Gunpei Yokoi's LCD wonder. The History of Nintendo: Volume 2 — 1980-1991: The Game & Watch games, an amazing invention to give its rather lengthy title, has just been given a 15th December..
Turning over a new leaf
Pix'n Love Publishing, the company behind the rather good History of Nintendo: Volume 1, has just overhauled its website and put up a stack of new books to pre-order. Top of the list is the next issue in the series, titled The History of Nintendo: Volume 2 — Game & Watch, which goes through the development of Nintendo's classic LCD gaming devices. If it's half as good..
You might consider yourself a Nintendo expert, with innumerable facts and figures at your disposal, but even the most knowledgeable follower of the Kyoto company will find hitherto unknown realms of information in The History of Nintendo: Volume 1 — 1889 - 1980: From playing-cards to Game & Watch. The book made waves last year in...
Know your roots
Pix'n Love Publishing's book The History of Nintendo was until now only available in French, but after a pre-order run last year it's now available to buy. The 240-page book spans Nintendo's humble beginnings in 1889 until the early 1980s, with more than 2,000 exclusive pictures illustrating the story along the way. The book costs...
The first volume is available for pre-order
Even if you've never had an interest in history, this upcoming book will surely find its way onto your to-buy list. Penned by Florent Gorges in collaboration with Isao Yamazaki, a prolific voice-actor over in Japan with many roles in video games, The History of Nintendo: Volume 1 has been translated into English so you'd better pre-order yours now because..
Capcom teams up with Chronicle Books to tell the history behind the popular beat 'em up series
We're sure many of you can remember where you played your first game of Street Fighter. For me, it was the house of a distant relative that shared a similar enthusiasm for gaming as myself in my childhood. It's a series that stretches back to the mid '80s and continues to produce games even 'til this day..
Secret influence revealed!
It's practically raining Spirit Tracks stories today, but this story actually pre-dates Link's latest - it's the children's book that inspired Nintendo to create Spirit Tracks. Called "The Tracks Go On", it's a story where cute kids build the tracks for a train as it explores the land, with cutesy animals and all sorts of steam-based shenanigans along the way..
A coffee table classic that every dedicated gamer should own
Following on from our review of the superb Game Over, we've got another literary classic to bring to your attention. The Video Game Manual is published by UK firm Haynes (famed for its automotive help guides) and is penned by João Diniz Sanches, former editor of Future's Edge magazine...
Game over man
You won’t find an abundance of book reviews here on Nintendo Life – we’re aimed squarely at providing you the best content from the world of interactive entertainment, after all – but anyone who considers themselves to be a fan of The Big N (or video gaming in general) should read David’s Sheff’s Game Over (or Game Over:...
It's all online, and it's all free.
Remember that fantastic fan-made Mother 3 guide a while back? Those of you with a marshmallow-soft spot for the series and $20 American to spare probably already have your copy sitting snugly on your shelf. The rest of us? Well, we can now read and download it (legally!) for free. Score one for the cheap-o's! It's a low-res version, but the entirety of the book..
The genius' behind the Guinness Book Of Records have compiled a gamer's edition containing a host of facts, figures and information about all your favourite games.
Written in the same style as the Guinness Book Of Records this volume contains hundreds upon thousands of facts and trivia related to the game industry. Did you know that Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy holds the record for..
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