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Jumping for Joy: The History of Platform Video Games (Hardback)

Including Every Mario and Sonic Platformer

Colour Books Hobbies & Lifestyle > Gaming Photographic Books

By Chris Scullion
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 168
Illustrations: 100 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781526790132
Published: 28th July 2022

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The platformer is one of the most well-loved video game genres ever, having entertained players for over 40 years. Jumping For Joy is a celebration of everything platform games have to offer, spanning their entire history. The first part of the book is a complete guide to every platform game starring Mario, Nintendo’s mascot and the most popular video game character of all time. With nearly 80 games featured in this section, it’s the definitive history of a true gaming hero. There are always two sides to every story, though, so the second part of the book focuses on every one of the 50+ platformers starring Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario’s former rival. After this it’s the book’s main course: a huge 100-page section detailing 50 other iconic and notable platform games covering the entire history of gaming, from the days of the Atari 2600 and ZX Spectrum all the way up to the Nintendo Switch, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. Whether you’re a long-time veteran of platform gaming or a newcomer who wants to learn more about one of the most entertaining genres in video games, this is the perfect book for you. And there are some bad jokes in there too, if that’s your thing.

A really good book to read, but then I did spend endless years as a teenager playing many online platform games on various computers. This book as I said was like trawling back through those teenage years. Some I remember quite clearly, others I had completely forgotten about. Now Sonic the Hedgehog and the Super Mario Bros were the two main big hitters in the platform world, and I would like to make a special mention to Donkey Kong. Half of the book does reveal all the games I played, and the second half then reveals the games I know much less well and probably when I had to grow up and be sensible and get a job. The book is very comprehensive and I didn’t realise how many games were related to such few characters. The book is full of info and I loved all the facts throughout.

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The History Fella

It’s definitely a book for enthusiasts of the genre, but as a casual reader, I enjoyed the random bits of information. If you want to get into platform video games it’s probably a decent gazetteer of the genre and a starting point for exploring. The writing is decent, informative and amusing.

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Everything is Better with Dragons

As featured in Nintendo Life ''Jumping For Joy' Leaps Into Platforming History, With Plenty For Nintendo Fans To Enjoy'

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Nintendo Life

Jumping for Joy is a terrific and exhaustive celebration of a game genre that’s older than its writer, and continues to live on in wonderful ways. Scullion’s friendly writing style draws you in, and his love for his subject leaps off the page onto a higher platform, then does it again and again until it reaches the flag. A joyous recommendation.

Read the full review here!

Finger Guns

As featured in

The Yorkshire Reporter, June 2022

About Chris Scullion

Chris Scullion is a Scottish video game journalist with more than 15 years of experience writing about games professionally. He’s been playing games since the early ‘80s and is the author of the NESSNES and Mega Drive Encyclopedias for Pen and Sword Books / White Owl Books. Although he’s best known for his six years at the UK’s Official Nintendo Magazine, he’s also written for the likes of Computer & Video GamesOfficial Xbox MagazineOfficial PlayStation MagazineNintendo Life and Retro Gamer. Chris is currently the Features Editor for Video Games Chronicle (VGC).

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