Attack of the Flickering Skeletons

By Stuart Ashen

More Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Extras! Extras! Read much about them!


Attack of the Flickering Skeletons is very nearly complete - we've just finished checking over the first proofs, and it's looking both hunky and dory.  And I said this book would be bigger than the first and indeed it is - there are 25% more words, in fact. But what lurks inside these extra phrases?

Firstly there's Worst Magazine Score Corner, a series of mini-articles dotted around the book that look at the lowest review score given by a specific magazine of the time. Did you know that Amstrad Action gave the first ever officially licensed FIFA World Cup game 0%? Well you do now!

Then we've got the Commodore 64 Coin-Op Conversion Battle Royale, where I delve into the murky world of arcade games which had two distinct versions for the C64 - one European and one American. I find out which continent has the better version of each game, and try to avoid playing the USA version of Ikari Warriors ever again for any reason.

We stick with the coin-op conversion theme for Mentski's Arcade Hall of Shame, where the owner of the world's greatest face looks at some of the most disappointing ports of beloved games and some risible home-only sequels to beloved games. Did he pay money for the Atari ST version of Street Fighter II? Find out in the finished book! (Spoiler: Yes he did.)

You know all those YouTube videos showing really bad game covers, like Phalanx for the Super Nintendo and the American version of NES Mega Man? Well we've got Terrible Old Game Covers That You've Probably Never Seen Before, where I pick out some of the very worst images slapped on a game box. I deliberately avoided the hand-drawn-in-biro covers you sometimes got with early home produced mail order games, because... y'know... fish and barrels. (Although one does turn up in a game entry.)

There's also a massively expanded entry for the game(s) Hareraiser, which ends up more of an exposé of the events surrounding the creation of the game. I actually gave a presentation about this at the Norwich Gaming Festival this year which was based on an altered version of this chapter - there's a recorded version attached to this very update if you want a look.

And there are also another few little surprises, which will remain surprises as I'm not going to mention them here. So there.

Interestingly, despite there being 25% more words and considerably more pictures too, there are only 15 more pages than the first book. This is due to the larger physical format which obviously allows many more words per page, but tragically stops the book from sitting exactly alongside the first one on your bookshelf.

(If you were wondering, the reason for the larger format is twofold. Firstly, nobody seemed to like the small format except me. Secondly, we were caught off guard by the sheer amount of you lovely pledgers last time and as a result there were 30 pages in the back that listed names. This took up a bigger chunk of the book than expected and angered some humans. With bigger pages we've got that down to 10 this time round.)

...And that's all from this update. I should have some news on the covers of your beautiful collector's editions soon - we're going for something a bit odd, and if we can pull it off it's going to be spectacular.



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Ben Cockerill
 Ben Cockerill says:

Can't wait for this, good to hear some more about the content. I wanted you to sign my copy of TOGYPNHO at Beyond the Tube but I left it in my bag when I went on a sailing holiday and it got wet (and quite smelly). Will be nice to have something intact and odourless for you to sign if I see you live again.

posted 20th July 2017

John Adlington
 John Adlington says:

Looking forward to it!

posted 20th July 2017

Themistocles Papassilekas
 Themistocles Papassilekas says:

Actually,I loved the small format as well but I won't complain :)

posted 20th July 2017

Doug Hancox
 Doug Hancox says:

That Hareraiser video was amazing! It's like the UK equivalent of the Atari Swordquest contest, which was also left unsolved.

posted 20th July 2017

Julian Daugaard
 Julian Daugaard says:

That slightly bigger size migth provedifficult. The first one fist perfectly into where I sore my GBA ga,e boxes.

Oh well, as long as it's a good read.

posted 20th July 2017

Dominic Abbey
 Dominic Abbey says:

Superb this news makes me want to eat random food stuffs and read the book playing ambient techno 8bit music ;)

posted 20th July 2017

Martin Wakenell
 Martin Wakenell says:

hurry up lol when's larry jr coming out

posted 14th August 2017

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