Bitmap Books, a UK based publisher, did it again. The recently released The Games That Weren’t is an excellent book about video games that failed from the ‘70s to today, covering four decades. It will please both audiences, the gamers, and retro-computer fans. Although I belong to the latter group, I appreciated cherry-picking and learning about more modern games’ ill fates.
This coffee table book is exceptionally well made – as all of the Bitmap Books I bought up to now – and has a reasonable size that makes it pleasant to read (170 mm x 210 mm). Even the shipping packaging looks good, besides perfectly protecting the 644-page tome. Frank Gasking reviews a little less than a hundred games (counted 95) and shares with us their backstories and the reasons for their failures. I learned a lot, even about systems I thought I knew well. It is not the first book dedicated to failed or bad video games, but the breadth and depth of the author’s knowledge makes a huge difference and leaves the competition in the dust. To highlight the content of a book, the creative team did a fantastic job—hat off to Sam Dyer, Trevor Storey, and Adam Rufino. You can buy The Games That Weren’t here for ~$40.
Note: last five pictures are by Bitmap Books.