Most Video Game history books follow a very defined path. Early Computing to SPACEWAR! to Ralph Baer to Atari to Nintendo. Sega, Sony, and all the other hardware players are thrown in there. I picked up Replay on a whim because I couldn’t decide on anything else with my Audible credit, and I was delighted to find it wasn’t of quite the same mold. Sure, the hall of fame players are there, but rather than a focus on the hardware as the framework of the story, Tristan Donovan emphasizes telling stories of the software, both well-known and not-so-well known.
Another refreshing take is the Euro-centric portions that take the focus off Japan and the US and give portraits of video game design in England, France, Italy, and others. Most of these stories I’ve never even heard of because they don’t cross paths with Atari or Nintendo, and their games were never released here.
I’ve had this book on Kindle for a long time, but the title and cover never stood out enough to catch my interest. It seemed just another history and I’ve already done that many times. It’s a shame, really, because I wish I’d gotten to this book sooner. It’s a joy and I recommend it.
An aside, I love the narrator, Gary Furlong. Irish voices are amazing.