I purchased Supercade: A Visual History of the Video Game Age last week through Amazon.ca, and figured I’d put up a short mini-review. Supercade is, as the title suggests, very visual. You won’t find deep, indepth accounts of gaming in that era. There are short blurbs here and there talking about the makings of some early games, some old systems, the birth of the arcade, and so on, but the focus of Supercade is undoubtedly the aesthetics of the games. As such, the large, glossy pages really highlight the minute pixel details of this long ago single-digit bit era. If you can imagine a shot of Mario Bros. spread across two pages, blown up to such proportions where a single pixel is about as large as a single letter of the accompanying text — then you will have a general idea of how the rest of the book is like.
If you like the giant “content-less” design shop books, where the content is strictly visual, and if you have nostalgia for pre 16-bit days, then I highly recommend Supercade.
As an aside, I was really impressed with Amazon.ca. The order came in the same week I placed it, shipping was free, and since I ordered from .ca, there were no duty fees (as I would normally get from Amazon.com.) My only beef is that Amazon.ca has no wishlist functionality, so I still have to rely on the .com to keep track of things, and then switch over to actually make a purchase. It’s minor, but it’s a pain.