Review: Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of, by Stuart Ashen
Regrettably this book is
non-fiction. As utterly preposterous and
nonsensical as it seems, SQIJ! For the ZX Spectrum is an actual thing that
actually happened and manages to beat out even Barbie Dreamhouse Party in sheer
I was introduced to Ashen’s
YouTube channel quite recently.
Basically about the same time I started showing people my own tat and
then heard there was a guy on YouTube who makes videos about it. Ashens is someone who is, to quote the book ‘obsessed
with old video games and things that aren’t quite good enough for their
intended purpose’. On his channel he
reviews old video game systems, rubbish from Poundland (like Dollar stores in
the USA), and all kinds of junk basically.
And somehow he manages to just talk about these things and makes them
Then I found out that he’d
written a book, ‘Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Of’, and I do like it
when a title tells you exactly what to expect inside. These are all games that were commercially
released for home computers between 1980 and 1995, so chances are most of you
won’t have ever heard of them, and they are all terrible. These were the days when a commercial game
could be written by just one or two people in an office or at home and were
often just rushed out in shameless cash grabs.
Modern games of course typically require a team of people to work on
them, so that’s changed at least.
Ashens discusses each terrible
game and the histories behind each title with his usual dry humour, accompanied
by colour screenshots (when the games actually had colours in them), and
contributions from other Youtubers and industry insiders. (Autocorrect is trying to tell me that ‘youtubers’
isn’t a word, but I think it is so f*** you Word; I’m adding it to your
dictionary). My only complaint is that
it felt short, as I’d read the whole book in just a few hours.
Other than the games themselves,
the main thing I took away from it is that I want to write a Choose Your Own
Anyway, this title is available in Hardcover and