Having reviewed the The Story of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in Pixels Volume 1 HERE it is only right that I review Volume 2 and from the outset the book is a carbon copy of Volume 1 and why change a winning formula, the book starts with a fantastic feature about the lost art of loading screens by former Retro Gamer editor Martyn Carroll. Finding out little snippets of information, one being according to Ste Pickford, Tim Stamper used to design his loading screens using graph paper and felt tip pens.
Then there is a small section on some of the Spectrum’s peripherals before we get to what the book is all about, celebrating the huge catalogue of games that adorned the Spectrum during its heyday, the layout is across two pages, the main info about each game is on the left hand page such as the publisher, authors, and the date the game was released there is also an image of the game logo, box art and loading screen. The right hand page has a full page screenshot splashed across it with a write up about the game itself, its impressive work by Chris and his team as each image is gloriously reproduced and really captures what the games look like on the Spectrum.
The book is packed with 236 pages all told and I think its fair to say nearly two thirds of those are focusing on the games, what I love about books like these is not only the trip down memory lane but discovering new games to play, like Pud Pud from Ocean or Fred from Quicksilva, some of you might be thinking what rock have I been living under but lets face it there was a lot of games released for the Spectrum and we tend to stick to the games we had when we was younger so I am now using these books as a companion to exploring new games that this computer had to offer.
The final section of the book has 11 more well known programmers, artists and musicians giving their views on the Spectrum and how it helped launch their careers into gaming including Oliver Frey, Paul Hibbard, Ross Harris and Shaun McClure. I always find reading these memoirs fascinating and having them at the end of the book is perfect way to finish the book. Learning that Shaun had one upon a time ordered Melbourne Draw, copied it and returned it as damaged is some what amusing, had he not would we have access to some of the amazing games he created as it was Melbourne Draw that started him on the road of computer art.
So again, Fusion Retro Books hit the mark, Volume 2 is available for £19.99 from HERE, if you love all things retro why not take a look.
Retro head and key holder of RVG.