The Story of the Oliver Twins is another publication from the Fusion Retro stable of books, this time covering the complete history of the famous Oliver Twins, starting from the very beginning of their childhood where they learnt to program in their bedrooms right through to their days at Codemasters and Blitz Games.
The first few sections are a real introduction to both Philip and Andrew Oliver, from the foreword to photos of them both as children, you get to read about how it all started, a truely fascinating insight into how the boys began their love affair with gaming. As you read the book, you begin to realise the impact both have had on the gaming industry here in the UK, I suspect many people like me remember them for their Dizzy games but their catalogue of games is much larger than you initially think or remember, the majority of their games were produced whilst they worked at Codemasters, games like Pro BMX Simulator, Fruit Machine Simulator and Professional Ski Simulator were some of my favourites.
The book includes snippets of information of what it was like to work for Codemaster and the Darling Brothers in those days, I wish this coverage was a bigger part of the book, one can only hope Chris and the team at Fusion Retro expand on this in a future book. Every game that the Oliver Twins ever produced is covered, again using the tried and tested formula used in previous Fusion Retro Books, each game is spread across two pages with a summary of the game, and lovely crisp and bright in-game and title screen screenshots plus box-art images, the writing style is fantastic and really flowed in such a way that I simply could not put the book down.
Essentially you get to discover the highs and lows of one of the most prolific authors of Amstrad and Spectrum games, learning that they amassed 26 #1 bestsellers, 34 original games and around five million sales, and at one point representing over 15% of all UK games sales simply shows the impact they had on the gaming industry!
Chris Wilkins and Roger Kean have done a brilliant job yet again so the book gets a huge thumbs up from me. To cram this amount of detail into the book really shows the level the guys go to. Highly recommended for fans of retro gaming especially those interested in its history.
The Story of the Oliver Twins is a fantastic read and highly recommended.