The Commodore Amiga: A Visual Commpendium
Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it — paraphrasing this cliche we will update it to “those who weren’t around in the past don’t get to have all the fun that we who were there at that point in time were. That’s a bit of a long winded way of saying in the computer world, the unveiling of the Commodore Amiga computer was pretty special. Sure there were PCs out there and even Apple and Atari (all of which strived to kill this upstart), but the appearance of this graphic-intensive, fun to use (and even affordable) computer was pretty special. I know, I had one. And had the joy of not just playing games that were head and tails above what was out there (remember, video game consoles were pretty blah then), but also using its abilities to go into areas we now find commonplace — music, sound effects, digitizing and more. Okay it all sounds great, you say — but one person’s reminisces leaves much to be desired. That’s why there’s there’s Funstock.co.uk’s Commodore Amiga: A Visual Commpendium — to remind those of us who were there just how great a gaming machine this was. And to show those who weren’t there the same.
Thick and printed with the kind of care that bespeaks an “art” book (make that “art pixel book”), there’s over 400 pages with detailed descriptions of the games that made the top of the list (and the bottom in some cases depending on your personal point of view) — with information on the developers, mini reviews, quotes, historical notes and more. What really makes the book special is that it goes all the way back to the early games — which in some cases burned their ways into gamer’s retinas because the graphics were so unlike what had come before.
Consider please that it’s not only about the resolution which back then couldn’t compete with today’s computers or consoles, but about how the games all came together to be played. That means not just what was seen, but also what was heard and the mechanics that was used to make them function. But again it’s what was seen that is the overall reason for opening this book: to view the visuals. There’s page after page of what made the Amiga the eye-popper that it was. And the fact that the book is so well printed and dense in color is to be expected but it could have been more cheaply produced. Thankfully that wasn’t the case and a dust jacket is accompanied by a slipcover so that it becomes a valued addition to one’s library because, yes, people still read and not only on LCD screens. Funstock even adds in a set of postcards (which, if not being sent or displayed on their own fits nicely into the slipcover for safety between viewing).
So for those interesting in revisiting the graphic past as well as those looking to see what came before and why it was great, say hello to that bouncing Amiga ball and Marble Madness and Cinemaware’s “movies” and so much more about the Amiga 1000. Enjoy