Type Book
Date 1991
Pages 72
Tags games, nonfiction

Nintendo Action Games

It's incredible that not so long ago a book such as this could be published. There's nothing wrong with the idea of it--brief reviews and miniature strategy guides was also the format of Jeff Rovin's excellent How to Win at Nintendo Games series, after all--but there are only twelve games included in the book, and the entries are far from thorough.

The average entry contains one full-page screenshot and about two pages of text, half of which is a description and review, and half tips, passwords, and trivia. The reviews are brief sketches at best. The tips are often useless, too; for Tetris, Lampton offers:

The rows that you fill in don't have to be at the bottom of the screen. They can be anywhere in the pile. If there are holes you can't reach because of the pieces on top of them, see if you can't remove the rows that are in your way.

Another tip informs us that the line piece, though rare, is useful. Gee, thanks.

The 'Fascinating Factoids' are no better. From the entry for Ninja Gaiden:

The Japanese word gaiden means "telegram" or "message." At the beginning of the game, the Ninja Ryu receives a message from his late father telling him to go to America. Hence, the title means, roughly, "Ninja message."

Nice story. It'd be nicer if it were true. The gaiden (外伝) in the title means, roughly, 'side story'. There is a word gaiden (外電) meaning telegram, but it's not the one that is used in the game's title. Better luck next time.

In the future, I'll take a look at Rovin's work for an example of this kind of book done right. As for this one--well, don't trust it more than any random blog on the internet, I suppose.

Name Role
Christopher Lampton


Relation Sources
  • Bubble Bobble (1987-10-30)
  • Contra (1988-02-09)
  • Super Mario USA (1988-10-09)
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988-10-23)
  • Ninja Gaiden (1988-12-09)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989-05-12)
  • 1943: The Battle of Midway (1989-06-20)
  • DuckTales (1989-09)
  • Tetris (1989-11)
  • Batman: The Video Game (1989-12-22)
  • Double Dragon II: The Revenge (1989-12-22)
  • Adventures of Lolo 2 (1990-03)