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Speccy Nation by [Whitehead, Dan]
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Speccy Nation Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product Description

About the Author

Dan Whitehead is a veteran video games journalist and author with over twenty years experience, covering every major gaming format from the Commodore Amiga through to Xbox 360. He currently writes for Eurogamer and runs the Word Play scriptwriting consultancy for video game developers.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 279 KB
  • Print Length: 124 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0096BFBSA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,495 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By JackJack HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 14 Jun. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this walk down memory lane. The format is simple, and works well. Each game is represented by a short essay. These are collected as chapters with different themes:

- The Classics (Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, Jetpac, Atic Atac, Ant Attack, Horace Goes Skiing, Wheelie, Alchemist, Chaos, Everyone's a Wally, Deathchase, Head Over Heels. You'll have played them all).

- The Pioneers (Games that were groundbreaking at the time: Skool Daze, Feud, The Hobbit, All or Nothing, Dark Sceptre, Redhawks, The Wild Bunch, Deus Ex Machina, iD, Slaine Driller).

- The Greats (Games that are still worth playing to this day: Where Time Stood Still, Cybernoid, Nodes of Yesod, Knight Tyme, Jack the Nipper, Zoids, Firefly, Thanatos, Turbo Esprit, Daley Thompson's Decathalon, They Stole A Million)

- The Dark Horses (Games I had never heard of, but which sound intriguing: Flunky, Survival, Agent X, Friday the 13th, Alien, Death Wish 3, How to be a complete B*stard)

- Never Again (Games that would never be made today: Trashman, Mrs Mopp, Mad Nurse, Death Star Interceptor, Starring Charlie Chaplin, Cannibal Island, The Rocky Horror Show, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Give my regards to Broad Street)

The writing is witty, breezy and fun to read. The selection of games is smart, and I am grateful to the authors for introducing me to some brilliant games that I'd never heard of before. If you enjoyed reading Crash and Your Sinclair all those years ago, then you simply must read this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
30 years. 30! Good grief. The time is certainly ripe for people to start writing about the history of the little black box with the silly rubber keys. The humble ZX Spectrum has a lot to answer for in my life. It is directly responsible for the fact that I now work in IT. Responsible for my life long love of computer games. And through the existence of the wonderful magazine Your Sinclair, responsible for shaping my sense of humour and expectations of what computer game journalism should be like. Speccy Nation seems to be coming from a similar background, being a 120 page love letter to the greatest computer of all times. It was never the best computer in terms of technical specification or hardware, yet there was something about it that caused people to write these bizarre, brilliant, and uniquely British games. Speccy Nation emphasises this perfectly. The book may be a little sloppily written, and at times it tends to just review games (I don't need a review of a game from 1985 that I played for hours and hours once upon a time), when the real strength of the book is Whitehead's interpretation of Speccy games and how they entwined with British culture of the time. It doesn't just pick the big names, but goes delving into the creativity, looking for those that inspired games that were to come 15+ years later on more modern formats. There are some fascinating thoughts on some very odd games that I never played, and some eulogies to other games that absorbed days of my youth, once upon a time.

Look, this isn't a work of art, much like the Speccy itself, but it is the work of someone who the Spectrum means an awful lot to. And for other people who are in that same boat, this is a brief read that you will very much appreciate.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a physical coffee table book with some glossy pictures this might have been much more enjoyable publication. Even the paper back version with pictures and wacky fonts looks like it would have been a quite a bit more fun. But for me, the plain formatting and lack of pictures in the Kindle edition makes it a bit of a failure.

Having said that, I enjoyed being reminded of the games I knew, but was a bit bored by the reviews of the games I didn't know.
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If you lived through the 70's and 80's and started using ZX80 or 81 and then got a Spectrum and then like me went to Sinclair QL and then to Atari ST (or Amiga) and finally to PC this is a great recollection of those days and makes compelling reading. If your my kids then it explains why I am the way I am around computers and programming!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lacks a number of notable games that should be in this little book.Combat Lynx is just one example.
Would have liked to see a few small screen shots from each game also.
Yes I was one of those right at the start of home gaming.We were laughed at for what was seen as a strange waste of time.
Music was still king of teenage pastimes back in the 80's.
Dan captures the feel of the times with a great little book.
Needs expanding;I hope it happens someday.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's an interesting read (when you ignore the typical type of humour you get in these types of books) and covers a good variety of games in a very informative way that just about justifies the low asking price.
For me it loses stars because it points out how limited the colour palette of the ZX Spectrum is then is filled with black and white screenshots and cover scans (paperback version).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A true trip down the blue rubber key lane . . .

A great read, and brought back a lot of memories about the simple games that I grew up with on the Speccy. The author is really witty, and you are able to enjoy the myriad of games that you don't remember, and games that should never have been made. Yes, the ZX Spectrum had its own version of the Atari's ET game.

The only issue was the lack of photos. It's not so bad for the games that you remember, but I had google for the games that were covered that I didn't remember.

This may be an issue with the eBook version that I read. Therefore, the rating remains at 5 stars, especially for the enjoyable read.
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