Here we have another fine example of how to produce a fantastic looking book ZX Spectrum: A Visual Compendium from Bitmap Books, if you have been living under a rock is the company that Sam Dyer founded from his previous books reviewed here Commodore 64: A Visual Compendium Book & Commodore Amiga: A Visual Compendium Book.
The book front the outside looks amazing with it’s spot varnished cover and dust jacket but it’s inside where all the magic happens. Each game is represented by a selected screenshot or loading page, printed full-bleed on high-quality paper and, for the first time in a Visual Compendium, using special fluorescent inks to capture the vibrant look of ZX Spectrum palette and then created as the beautiful book you see using Lithographic printing. .
This is the third book in the Compendium series, 100 classic Spectrum games are covered across the books 304 pages including interviews with some of the more famous Developers and Artists, like the other two books this is a celebration of what made the ZX Spectrum such a great computer based gaming system. Each game has a brief description or anecdotes from those involved in the making of the games, from the coders to the designers, such people like the Stamper Brothers, Dave Perry, Matthew Smith, Andrew Hewson and many more. .
What amazes me is the amazing clarity of the images even after they have been blown up to the sizes they are for the book, kudos must go to Sam here for the level of work and detail he puts in to his books, you can clearly see the love and attention this guy has in his books.
The whole point of the book is to show of what the ZX Spectrum could do with its limited resources and wow does it do that, game after game you are taken back to the times when gaming was available for the mouth watering pocket money achieving price of £1.99, we can all remember those days I suspect and I loved recalling those moments. The interviews are spread out in the book, so as not to make you read about the games all at once, this is a nice change of pace for those that will read this from start to finish in one sitting.
Overall if your a Speccy fan you will probably already have this book, those that are retroheads and are debating purchasing this, don’t its a must own celebration of one of gaming’s finest moments.
Retro head and key holder of RVG.