Sensible Software 19861999

Book Review

Sensible Software 19861999

By: Read Only Memory

Buy for 25

Reviewed by Zapiy

Growing up during the late 80s to the early 90s I was what you would call an avid gamer. A fair few of the games I was playing during that period came from a developer called Sensible Software and I guess every gamer has heard of them! So its 2013 and new book has just been released chronicling the Sensible Software years from 1986 - 1999. The book is the idea of Read Only Memory founder, Darren Wall, who started a Kickstarter project to raise 24,000 to fund the book. Thankfully, for you, even though that has ended Darren has setup a website where people can still get hold of the book.

So onto the book itself and what a treat it is, the cover is simple but yet so effective, displaying loads of images from the Sensible Software archives. The pages are finished off in a nice quality paper and it feels well made.

Inside the book
It's a great read overall, a rags to riches story in many ways, the book is done in the form of interviews with the author Gary Penn asking the questions to such greats as Jon Hare, Ocean founder Gary Bracey, Stoo Cambridge and GamesMaster presenter Dominic Diamond amongst others.  This style of writing is new for me in terms of reading a book but it works very well indeed.

One minor issue for me is co-founder of Sensible Software Chris Yates, did not want to take any part in the book but that's hardly the fault of guys who have worked on the book, it would have been nicer to have read it from his point of view but i am sure they did all they could to get him onboard but anyway Jon seems to cover all the questions very well anyway.

There is a comprehensive run down of all the games made by Sensible Software with loads of interesting facts that I certainly never knew and it's interesting to be able to have a glimpse into the lives of the people behind the games that so many of us loved and have many fond memories of.

Is a fascinating and educating book all the way through. I could go on about how great this book is but I may reveal some spoilers about it and thus I would not want to ruin your reading time as I really hope you go and buy this, as it really is a fantastic read. If you're a retro gamer but more importantly a gamer then you really need to get this book!

RVG Stamp of Approval and highly recommended!

5 Sensifacts You Might Not Know

1. The contract for SWOS was signed on top of Jon Hare's car after a particularly heated golf game involving Mike Montgomery of The Bitmap Brothers.

2. Sensible co-founder Chris Yates once gave programmer Jools Jameson his salary in 5 and 10 notes poured over his head from a briefcase.

3. In 1991 four years before GTA made its first appearance Sensible abandoned plans for a road rampage drive 'em up called 'Mirror, Signal, Manslaughter'.

4. The initial tests for Sensible Soccer were built in the Mega Lo Mania engine, so the game began life as a kickabout between warring cavemen.

5. Jon Hare hasn't bought a Remembrance Day poppy since 1993, when Sensible had to pay the Royal British Legion 500 for using a familiar flower on the cover of Cannon Fodder.

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