on 7 July 2014
Many of Britains greats have started out as hobbyists and enthusiasts working for nothing more than beer and a passion for probing into the unknown. It's no surprise to learn that the video games industry in Great Britain started out exactly the same way. A very entertaining read about the heyday of British gaming and the pioneering and witty spirit of Mel Croucher and the Automata team. I was too young to enjoy the game the first time round, but that certainly didn't stop me enjoying the story. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys video games of any generation.
on 5 January 2015
This is a fantastic and heart-warming book, which will be enjoyed by everyone who wants to understand how computer games became a form of mass entertainment. Mel Croucher vividly paints a picture of the 1980's Cambrian explosion of artistic, technical and commercial possibilities, where the early creators defined every modern computer game genre that we know today. In this context, Croucher gives us a funny, honest and moving account, full of personal details and insight, of his pioneering attempt to redefine the boundaries of computer games in the early to mid 1980's. Mel Croucher comes across as a true original -- both entrepreneur, trickster and social critic. A few different rolls of the die and he'd be a household name. But his pioneering game was a commercial disaster, "the best game you never played in your life". As Croucher says, he's just a "footnote" -- but what a footnote! I was sad when the book ended, and was left wanting more.
on 29 May 2014
I backed the project when it was still on Kickstarter and have been eagerly awaiting the arrival ever since, the game was/is great and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book in which Mel tells a potted history of Automata and the UK gaming industry from its very humble beginnings.
Full of humour and insider stories; if you're of a certain age and know what a Spectrum and C64 is then this book is for you, if you don't then give this a read and learn how it all happened.
on 29 May 2014
I first heard about this book on Kickstarter, so I thought I'd take a look. Delighted that I did! Deus Ex Machina made me laugh or smile - and often both - on almost every page, It's extremely well written, brutally honest and very, very funny.
If you've ever played a computer game, or lived with someone who can't tear their eyes away from a screen, you're going to love this book. It starts with the true story of the very first video games and then continues all the way up to the present day. . . and into the future.
Author Mel Croucher doesn't pull any punches. He also manages to kick himself in the teeth while he's at it! Highly recommended,
on 17 April 2014
I found this to be a great read and would recommend it to anyone, everyone, but especially serious gamers and computer nerds.
It is extremely informative, very interesting, humorous and strangely moving.
Enjoyed it immensely!