THE CRPG BOOK, from the UK’s Bitmap Books, is the culmination of years of work by over a hundred contributors. It’s one of the most comprehensive histories of CRPGs ever written, and features in-depth review-style writeups of over 400 games, along with essays on the ancient history of role-playing games (going all the way back to the Prussian Empire), the early days of MUDs (multi-user dungeons, the earliest online games), the archaic but impressive PLATO computer system, and the importance of paper manuals and hand-drawn maps.
THE UK-BASED Bitmap Books is steadily becoming one of the foremost chroniclers of everything that falls under the umbrella of “retro gaming”. Their exhaustive, full-color volumes trace various threads running through the history of videogames, and while the majority of their titles are dedicated to a specific console, other volumes cover everything from vintage arcade cabinets to the lost world of game box art.
THE UNIVERSE IN which the three Samorost games takes place is a heady blend of psychedelia, space-based sci-fi, and charming (if often dark) fable-like stories. Aesthetically, the games are like modernist Czech film posters come to life, pairing strange, twisted landscapes with archetypal, folkloric characters, all backgrounded by the blackness of space.
AS THE LINE between mobile and non-mobile gaming becomes increasingly blurred, there’s a tendency to qualify games that exist in both realms as being primarily part of the former, and only secondarily part of the latter.