The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is one of my favorite consoles in gaming’s history. Its library includes many of the best games ever made, like Super Metroid, Yoshi’s Island, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Just going on a mental field trip through the console’s catalog of games make me happy. But now I have a giant book to help guide my nostalgic journey.
“The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A-M)” contains info on the first half (alphabetically speaking) of every game officially released for the system. That means the book contains info on over 350 games, and each title has at least on page dedicated to it. Even though it’s just a first volume, this is a giant book. I was able to check out a free copy via Schiffer Publishing.
The book gives you the basics on each game: year released, publisher, developer, and genre. You also get a short description and quotes of reviews from places like IGN. Some games even have developer insights, with the original creators sharing stories about development.
It’s comprehensive. I could become distracted for hours just by flipping through pages and searching for my favorite games. But even more than that, I love reading about the more obscure SNES titles. Most books will devote all of its resources to the classics, but this omnibus gives love to licensed games like Adventures of Yogi Bear. Do I want to play Adventures of Yogi Bear? Probably not. Do I want to read about it? You betcha.
This is also a great way to work on my gaming to-do list. Reading a bunch of entries on Wikipedia is boring, but it’s fun to go through this book and a make a note of any retro experience I think I need to play.
The omnibus comes from Brett Weiss, who has written similar books like “Classic Home Video Games 1989-1990: A Complete Guide to Sega Genesis, Neo Geo and Turbografx-16 Games.” He has experience with retro gaming, and it shows. But the book isn’t just informative, it’s also attractive. The cover is simple but bold, with a giant SNES controller taking center stage. The pages within are just as pleasant, and the red-and-black color scheme and simple fonts makes it easy to read.
It does just cover the games that start with the letters A through M, so this first volume is missing many of the major SNES releases. You won’t find Super Metroid, Super Mario World, or … well, any of the Super games. But even without them, this is an easy recommendation for SNES fans.
You can find the “The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A-M)” at Amazon for $50.
The RetroBeat is a weekly column that looks at gaming’s past, diving into classics, new retro titles, or looking at how old favorites — and their design techniques — inspire today’s market and experiences. If you have any retro-themed projects or scoops you’d like to send my way, please contact me.