05/05/2021

๐Ÿ“˜ Bitmap Books – Game Boy: The Box Art Collection | Book Review By Britt | "an extremely tasty tome" ๐Ÿ“˜ @bitmap_books #RetroGaming #GameBoy

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I’ve heard nothing but good things about Bitmap Books’ prior releases and so was keen to get hips deep in this, their most recent project. The book definitely lived up to the weighty expectations and really feels of a high quality throughout its almost 400-page heft.

Things were off to a good start from the packaging alone, which was extremely robust and snug. It was great to see this extra care taken for postage purposes as the book itself is tastefully designed with ‘Nintendo grey’ colouring and a cover sporting a bold, minimalist presentation that almost lets the power of the familiar colour scheme speak for itself.

In terms of content, the book begins with a foreword by Gameboycameraman, an artist who utilises the Game Boy Camera peripheral for his portfolio. The two-page spread here covers his love for the accessory whilst also featuring some of his work. 

It’s interesting to see such clearly richly detailed buildings and images distilled through the eye of the Game Boy Camera, it reminded me of Neil Young’s 2000 album Silver and Gold, which was also taken using the Game Boy Camera, good old Neil.

Following this is a twelve-page article on the history of the Game Boy itself. I really enjoyed this as it packs a lot of information into these pages and feels very re-readable. Gunpei Yokoi was very much a talented and much-missed man and it’s always a pleasure to read about his skills and contributions to gaming.

The final introductory article before the meat of the book focuses on two separate collectors for the Game Boy system. It’s a nice mix in that one covers Western releases whilst the other prefers Japanese and they explain their reasons for each. as a collector myself, it’s always a pleasure to hear the passion of others!

Following this, the real heart of the book kicks in. Before I go into that though, I just want to mention the paper quality which is glossy and thick. Honestly, it’s so luxurious that I kept thinking that I’d turned multiple pages at once, good. This part of the book is the Game Boy Box Art: A-Z, as suggested, it is set out in alphabetical order and covers over 300 Game Boy games with a heavy focus on the cover artwork. 

The standard layout throughout is that each title is given a full page. A simple, bold colour that compliments the featured game acts as a background and the cover art is displayed in a high-quality, flawless image. 

It is stated which version of the cover art is used (East or West) and usually briefly mentions what the other cover version looks like, should there be noticeable differences. At the top of the page is accompanying information such as alternate / Japanese titles for the game in question as well as the year of release, developer, and genre.  

Below this, a relatively large paragraph gives you information and trivia on the game whilst a smaller, second paragraph specifically describes the cover art itself as well as any further titbits of information. 

The bottom of the page contains a series of in-game screenshots, showing the game in action. Again, these are clear and crisp. It’s a stylish setup that really allows you to drink in the art – naturally, the focus of the book – as well as learning about some of the more obscure Japanese releases and the like. Finally, there’s an index at the end of the book to assist with locating specific titles.

Bitmap Books’ Game Boy: The Box Art Collection is an extremely tasty tome that I can imagine would appeal to various types of gamer. For those who are driven by the visual arts, this is – as you’d expect - a great way to tuck into the best cover art available in the Game Boy library. 

That said, it really appealed to me as a collector through the information provided on each title, broadening my knowledge of Nintendo’s seminal system in a format that feels rich in content but also breezy at the same time.  


Finally, just on build quality alone, this would make a great gift for the gamers in your family, I really can’t imagine anyone being disappointed with this book.

As stated at the start of this article, I had only heard good things about Bitmap Books before receiving this for review and having read through it, I can clearly see why the books are in high demand and consistently sell out upon publication. 

There’s a lot here to appreciate and enjoy with a clear talent for design backing it all up. 

Game Boy: The Box Art Collection gets huge thumbs up from us here at GF.

Purchase from BITMAP BOOKS:

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