21/11/2021

๐Ÿ• Pac-Man: Birth of an icon (by Arjan Terpstra & Tim Lapetino) | Book Review ๐Ÿ• @cookbeck #RetroGaming #PacMan

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https://www.cookandbecker.com/en/artwork/3012/pac-man-birth-of-an-icon-pac-man-bandai-namco.html

Few games are as iconic as the occasionally ghost-devouring, yellow dot-muncher, Pac-Man. In this 300+ page, full-colour tome, you’ll find everything that you could possibly want to know about this timeless classic. From origins to impact, legacy and beyond – all accompanied with crisp, high-definition images, insider commentary, well-researched information and vibrant artwork all presented through accessible writing.

Officially licensed by Bandai Namco and available in three editions:

Standard Hardcover Edition:

    • The PAC-MAN: Birth of an Icon book

    • 300+ pages of full-colour history, design, and imagery.

    • English text

    • Hardcover/dust jacket.

    • Contains a fascinating bonus text, the first English-language translation of PAC-MAN creator Toru Iwatani's memoir, PAC-MAN's Method.

Collector's Edition:

    • The PAC-MAN: Birth of an Icon book

    • A unique box and PAC-MAN shaped slipcase, celebrating the visual history of PAC-MAN.

    • Includes an exclusive PAC-MAN arcade token.

    • Includes a limited, brand-new 7” vinyl pressing of the 1981 smash hit "PAC-MAN Fever" by Buckner & Garcia!

    • Limited to 2,000 copies.

Collector's Edition (signed):

    • Everything included in the Collector's Edition.

    • Personally signed by PAC-MAN creator Toru Iwatani.

    • Limited to sixty (60) copies.

Pac-Man: Birth of an icon is very much the definitive book on this landmark title. I was sucked in not only by how much information is packed into each page but the sense of warmth that comes through from those involved – as well as some genuinely funny asides and comments involving key developers missing Allman Brothers concerts because they were in prison due to being caught breaking into warehouses that supposedly had knock-off arcade cabinets and Nolan Bushnell fobbing off the dangers of piracy presented to him by Namco, just because he had gotten overexcited the night before and thus was suffering from a hangover.

Beginning at the true start, with the inception of Namco as a company – before it was even known as Namco – the book is filled with titbits of information ranging from dispelled urban myths through to alternate versions of various segments of the game that almost came to be as well as more involved documentation, covering enemy movement logic and initial design documents – and all of this broken up into coverage and chapters that span the globe.

The book tells the Pac-Man story in chronological order, and I must admit that there are moments where the book – as it must – moves through various trans-continental licensing issues and chronicles the involvement of various companies and business leaders discussing the availability of certain components in building the machines - which can get a little dry in terms of reading - but these are imperative parts to the tale.

Towards the end of the book, there are some fantastic pictures of every possible piece of Pac-Man merchandise in accessories, cereals, games and clothing that you can imagine – it really drives home the impact that the game had across the world.

Pac-Man: Birth of an icon is a luxuriously-designed book with an energetic pizazz to the art and design, which is vibrant throughout. It’s written with a clear passion for the topic at hand and it’s that enthusiasm and thirst to pin down all possible threads of the Pac-Man tapestry that is infectious  and gives the book a re-readable feel, as well as looking pretty darn snazzy on your bookshelf. I recommend the collector’s edition, if you are eyeing it up - Pac-Man fever by Buckner and Garcia is what we in the music business call ‘a turkey-necker’. Good.

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