It’s been a tremendous year for newly published retro books, especially the sort you are proud to have on your coffee table when guests are round. With the Sega Megadrive/Genesis: Collected Works (see review here), the overdue but awesome looking ARTCADE book and Bitmap Books second Visual Commpendium title on the Amiga still to come, we are certainly having it good my friends.
Inside the Commpendium
Originally funded by a Kickstarter campaign but now available exclusively from funstock.co.uk, The Commodore 64: A Visual Commpendium is exactly what the title suggests it is, page on page of luscious Commodore 64 graphics with very little in the way of text content. Several stretch goals were met during the campaign which was 178% funded and the book ended up with an extra 32 pages and a dust jacket (more about that below). Designed by Sam Dyer, Edited by Steve Jarratt and published by Bitmap Books (bitmapbooks.co.uk), the publication’s main strength is that very simple premise. A book full of stunning visual memories of a classic gaming machine. Like looking through a photo album full of pictures of 80s gaming joy.
The 232 page book is printed to the highest quality and comes complete with its beautiful spot varnished dust jacket that just enhances it’s position on top of your pile of retro books. The foreword by Stoo Cambridge (Sensible Software) lists a few of his abiding memories of a childhood spent with his C64 and leads straight into the screenshots, each with a short memory of each featured game written by games designers, artists and pundits of the era.
If you owned a Commodore 64 and enjoy having your gaming memories stirred, this is a masterpiece of a book, wonderfully constructed and beautifully produced. A worthy addition to any retro gamers book shelf (or coffee table) and a bargain at £24.99.