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Game, joystick and match

Here?s all you ever wanted to know about the video games you?ve played and those you haven?t.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2006 13:40 IST

Game On!: From Pong To Oblivion — The Greatest Video Games Of All Times
Simon Byron, Ste Curran & David McCarthy
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 256
Price: £14.99

Why is it that whenever someone tries to build a ‘Top Stuff ’ list of the coolest, the hottest, or the best of anything, they start with a disclaimer? Well, quite simple! Most of these lists are subjective, and what I like may not be the same as what you like, and at times most of these lists end up being biased.

This attempt to build a ‘Top 50 Video Games Of All Times’ coffee-table book is by two gaming journalists and a game developer. So it’s a lot more balanced than some crazed fanatic’s favourite games, and a lot more versatile as a book, as each author’s distinctive style and perspective complements the other’s sheer depth of knowledge.

The book covers games across genres — everything from Racing to Massively Multi-player Online Games — and across platforms, all the way from the first coin-operated Pong to the latest XBOX titles. This gives it an impressive and interesting spread.

The pages are filled with some rare game screen-shots, more recent high resolution game art that you otherwise only find in the game publisher’s private docket and a whole lot of trivia about games you may, or may not, have played. A nifty little feature spread across the book, called ‘Play It Now’, lets you figure out which of the games are still available out there on some or the other platform for your twiddling pleasure.

MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT: A screen shot from Oblivion, the latest sensation on the gaming circuit

Visually balanced and richly graphical, as all coffee-table books should be, this captures the essence of gaming in full glory, from the first video game ever (Pong) to the latest sensation (Oblivion).

Sure, there may be a few factual inaccuracies and shortfalls hardcore game fans are bound to notice (like the fact that the authors, at many points, forget to mention that a particular game was available on more than one platform). But all in all, it’s a nice and informative read, and a good trip down memory lane for those of you who have been playing video games since the days of Atari.

Varun Singh is Editor, Personal Technology, CNBC TV18

First Published: Dec 28, 2006 13:40 IST