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|Title:||Speccy Nation: A Tribute to the Golden Age of British Gaming|
|Rating:||4 out of 5|
My first reaction to Speccy Nation, by Dan Whitehead, was to wish it was much thicker. Despite being a fan of "bigger is better", I was pleasantly surprised at the vast amount of information presented in Speccy Nation. It explores the ZX Spectrum computer through pivotal games that defined British gaming in the 1980s.
I'd done my homework before ordering a copy online and was eagerly anticipating it's arrival. For all the good things I'd hear about this book I assumed it was a massive tome of ZX Spectrum info. At 120 pages, Speccy Nation packs a lot of great info humor and charm into a book I highly recommend!
We've read several books alleging to be informational and lightly humorous. What makes this format work well for Speccy Nation is Whitehead's ability to inject a healthy dose of "clever" into the mix. Video games are fun and a book of this sort should be fun to read.
The balance of good information, written in a fun manner is no simple task. From the GOTO statements used on the contents page to the wonderful introduction, written by Whitehead (titled Crap), you get the impression that this is going to be a great read.
Unlike a game console like the Atari 2600, the ZX Spectrum has crossed that line and was a computer that used cassette tape as a storage medium and ran it own version of BASIC. Thus, when a kid became enchanted by the games available to the Spectrum, he/she could use the same device to create their own games. That was an amazingly powerful advance in the early 80s.
Imagine if those infatuated with game consoles like the 2600 could use it to create their own games. The ZX Spectrum was a game changer. Part of its allure was it's newness in an era where boundaries and guidelines were scant at best. As the British gaming industry evolved, the 1980s and the ZX Spectrum's accessibility shaped a memorable era of defiantly original games that couldn't have existed in any other era of gaming.
Speccy Nation: A Tribute to the Golden Age of British Gaming takes the reader through this golden age with examples of games defining stages of this marvelous time.
• The Classics - games that set the standard
• The Pioneers - games that broke the mould
• The Greats -standing the test of time
• The Dark Horses - better than you think
• Never Again - game that would never be made today