I should probably start by saying, I am not a book person. I don’t have a collection, I have around 10 books in total and they are mainly fiction/non-fiction. However, for a long time now I have been perusing the virtual bookstores, more specifically gaming related books. Whether that be books around lore in the games we play, to books that put the visuals we all used to see on the screens over 20 years ago in print.
Putting Your Memories In Print
There has always been one place that comes to mind when thinking of these books. That place is non-other than Bitmap Books. The number of times I have visited their site or scrolled through their socials is uncountable. However, the looking is over and the owning is here – The SNES Pixel Book.
Most people who follow gaming, nerd culture or retro nostalgists know of Bitmap Books. However, what most people do not know is that they have been in our lives since 2014. With their first release in 2014 of Commodore 64: a visual Compendium and they now have an extensive backlog of game books that are quite simply boss-level.
Bitmap Books live by there values to bring the best possible quality of a book to your coffee table. This, however, is not just in the content they provide, but also in the fabrication of the book itself. From the packaging all the way down, there is not one element they haven’t thought about. I have to admit, I felt guilty opening it! Everything was packed so nicely and the materials used made this package feel extra premium. Safe to say I did open it, keep reading to find out more.
The SNES Pixel Book was created in collaboration with the German Publisher Elektrospieler. Originally published in German it has been fully translated enabling more to enjoy what this book has to offer. With over 250 pages of 16-bit nostalgia, this is a must-have for any Nintendo/SNES fan or collector. The book itself comes in a slipcase to ensure it’s protected when pulling it on and off the shelf.
On first opening the book you are greeted with a simple yet stunning introduction followed by a contents page. I don’t think I have ever looked at a contents page as long before. Perusing down, talking to myself about what I owned, what I had played and what I have outstanding. The list of titles goes on, admittedly some I had never come across before. The book then kicks off with the foreword by Jan “Poki” Müller-Michaelis (Daedalic Entertainment) and what an introduction it is.
The SNES Pixel Book is stunningly curated from cover to cover, with everything from screenshots of the games to maps. I can not put into words how fascinating the images look. Obviously, the imagery plays a big part in books like this, as many people will buy them as “coffee table books”. You will find your mates who visit, picking it up and having a flick through taking in the nostalgia. However, the work done by the writers is next level. Bringing in everything from design and facts about the assets used, to trends used in the industry. There really is a plethora of content available for anyone who picks The SNES Pixel Book up.
I think it goes without saying I now have a list of books on my to-buy list from Bitmap Books. They have something for every type of gamer (they even have a couple of non-gaming-related titles). Everything from the Arcade to Neo Geo.
The SNES for me was my second console, my first was the NES. However, a lot of my first gaming memories, that mean something personal to me, came about when I first opened my Super Nintendo. I think I can still remember the smell – Plastic. The SNES Pixel Book brought these memories flooding back to me, page after page. Not only that, but so much more vividly, the print quality is absolutely unreal and really brings to life the games we all know and love from that era. I award The SNES Pixel Book a Thumb Culture Platinum Award.
Disclaimer: A sample was received in order to write this review.