Computer and video games aficionado Jerry Ellis casts a nostalgic look back at some of the titles that helped to define the golden age of 8-bit computer gaming. As well as an essential selection of ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 games not featured in either of the first two books, The 8-Bit Book 1981 to 199x investigates some of the landmark BBC Micro, Apple II, Atari 400/800, Oric-1/Atmos, Dragon 32, TRS-80 Color Computer, VIC-20, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 128, Acorn Electron, Commodore 16/Plus/4, TI-99/4A and MSX efforts that provided players with the prehistory of today s global gaming industry.
Individual chapters focus on every year from 1981 to 1989, while a final chapter covering the early 90s pays tribute to some of the 8-bit games that simply refused to accept that their humble host machines time in the sun was at an end. Though the main thrust of each chapter is a page-by-page analysis of many of the most memorable titles of the age, an introductory overview of each year s most pivotal events and developments is also included, as is a foreword from none other than David Braben, co-creator of Acornsoft s legendary BBC Micro space-trading epic, Elite.
Each of the two hundred and thirty-three games covered is given a full-page review, accompanied by a selection of screen shots and the game s original cover artwork. Featured titles include such indisputable classics as 3D Monster Maze, Miner 2049er, Twin Kingdom Valley, Bomberman, Robotron: 2084, Elite, The Perils of Willy, Repton, Theatre Europe, Vampire Killer, Turbo Esprit, Metal Gear, Exile, Snatcher, Prince of Persia, Final Fantasy and many, many more. As with the first two books in the series, a fascinating assortment of less familiar titles has also been chosen by the author, each of which holds a unique place in the history of 8-bit gaming and has its own curious story to tell.
Jerry Ellis first discovered the joys of video gaming at the tender age of five, when his father bought him a 1978 Hanimex 8881 Electronic Colour TV Game for Christmas. A Grandstand Munchman tabletop game and a Donkey Kong Game & Watch soon followed, before the VIC-20 became the first computer to infiltrate the Ellis household in 1982. Jerry later moved on to the Acorn Electron and the Commodore 64 before temporarily turning his back on gaming in disgust as the 8-bit era drew to a close. His favourite game is Firebird s Gauntlet clone, Druid, which he once completed in an all-night session with his cousin. The fact that he was always forced to play as the Golem still rankles.
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