There’s a whole series of 1001 things to do before you die. Movies, places to visit, and even video games. 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die is edited by Tony Mott and has game summaries by a number of authors. It’s a hefty tome with color screenshots of nearly every game reviewed. It covers home and arcade video games from the 1970s up through 2010. All in all, it is a very impressive compilation – and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys retro gaming and current gaming. BUT, if you’re solely interested in Retro gaming, then this probably isn’t for you. Over 500 pages are dedicated to the last decade alone. Even if you figure there has been an explosion of game development, and so there are far more games available now than in the past, I still think the book is biased toward recent games.
Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of great retro games covered. But, many of my favorite classics were missing – including Berzerk and Kings Quest. No Vectrex games mentioned? No Pitfall or River Raid? I guess the editors could make a case that those games were popular (well, except for the Vectrex ones) but not necessarily landmark games. I might disagree. Especially when so many sequels (nearly every Resident Evil game gets an entry) are included. Of course, the controversy can be part of the fun. But, if you’re looking for a complete review of gaming prior to 2000, you may want to consider this as part of your collection, but not comprehensive in itself.