I recently received a new retro/gaming related book to review, thanks to Anna and Dave from The Attic Bug, which was ideal timing for reading over the Christmas period.
Although the retro scene is awash with publications these days on specific platforms or subjects, ‘Game Machines 1972-2012’ is a encyclopaedia of consoles, handheld and home computers across most of the duration of the games industry. The book has been published by GamePlan and written by Winnie Forster, a very well reputed games journalist who has written for publications such as PowerPlay and VideoGames.
This is the second edition of the English book, expanded to include more recent and modern consoles. The first edition covered up to 2005. The book is printed in full colour, and is compact but packed full of information, including a section on the different storage media types and terminology section to give a comprehensive overview of classic and modern platforms.
Collectors will find the guide very useful indeed, with not only common platforms covered, but more obscure platforms too. There are details (where possible) of how many of each machine were sold, and a focus on some of the games that were popular. Though some may have wished to have seen a price guide included, no doubt such information would become obsolete quickly, so probably best not to be included.
More popular machines of the time (such as the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum) are given a bit more page coverage to give more background and history. Accompanying each write up are wonderful photos of each of the machines. Over 700 exclusive photos are included in the book overall.
Owners of the first edition book will find that the new edition has not only new content, but has been heavily edited, with large numbers of amendments and fixes fed back from the community and other sources. Others may have struggled to find the first edition, which sold out a few years ago – so now is a perfect opportunity to pick up a copy once more.
If you need a guide to all the different classic and modern consoles, handhelds and computers out there, then I would recommend grabbing a copy. Either as a collector or someone who just wishes to learn more, this is an easy to read and comprehensive guide worth checking out.