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  1. #1
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    A Handheld History by RetroDodo

    I've just received my latest retro gaming coffee table book.

    This one is called A Handheld History by RetroDodo.

    20240201_104443.jpg

    RetroDodo started out as a Youtube channel created by Brendon Saltalamacchia. I started to follow this channel as it took off during lockdown. He obtains and reviews every new handheld gaming device from commercial to retro. Systems like the Steam Deck to older systems such as the Gameboy and PSP, and goes into detail on every new retro system being released from companies such as Anbernic and Ayn. Good site also contains a very useful wiki giving setup details for many of the systems.

    He announced last year that he was creating his first book about the history of Handheld gaming. Many retro content creators have been doing this in recent years. Some can be very hit and miss in both quality and content. Thankfully with this book Brendon didn't try to go out alone and instead collaborated with a lot of others on this book, with them all collaborating on the content. This gives a far more balance opinion and overview.

    I received the book earlier this week and am very happy with it quality and content. It's feel is similar to books published by Bitmap books, so if you have every bought one of those you will know what to expect. I would say the printing is probably not quite as high quaility as some of their books, but it's close. The paper used is noticeably thicker and more matt which might be why it doesn't quite have thy same quailty feel, but it's not bad. One omission is a built in ribbon bookmark. For thick books like this they always come in handy.

    As for content. You can tell he is a big Nintendo fan as a me of the first part of the book is dedicated to Ninteno's handhelds. Although as the most popular and successful handheld maker it is expected anyway. It goes into detail right from the Game and Watch devices up to the current Switch. But it also goes into detail about every other known system from the Sega Gamegear to the Wonderswan and even more obscure systems. Even looking at devices such as the Dreamcast VMU.

    The only thing that might date the book a bit in the future is the inclusion of a few current releases such as the Retroid Pocket 2+, but it's a good snapshot of the current market, although I know he picked that one as it's a personal favouite of his. Others he features such as the Steam Deck are of more historically significant as Valve did achieve something special with their handheld, that triggered other manufacturer to try and get in on the game, much like happened with the iPhone came out. But it wasn't just the hardware of the Steam Deck worth mentioning. As he states in this book, it was what Valve above with the Linux based OS, making it possible to install and play PC games with a completely console based experience.

    One thing I'm pleased about is he didn't include smartphone gaming other then the nGage. He could easily have done so as smartphones are definitely a handheld and contain a huge gaming marketplace, but they are not dedicated gaming devices, so I'm glad he stuck to only focusing on gaming specific hardware.

    If you have an interest in handheld gaming is a great book to get hold of. A lot of time has gone into creating it. It's a bit cheaper then RRP on Amazon at the moment too.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  2. #2
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    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  3. #3
    C64 addict Staff Moderator
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    I'm reading the news there from time to time and also know about the book since its release but didn't order it as I wasn't that much interested.

  4. #4
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    I had a fondness for some of those handheld or even table top LCD games (like the Tiger branded ones) even though they were kinda crap really.

    I remember looking through the catalogues (Argos, Index, sometimes even Littlewoods) and enjoying reading the descriptions. Some of the Tomy-Tronic 3D ones were pretty rad too, like Thundering Turbos.

    Screenshot 2024-02-06 at 9.48.38 am.pngScreenshot 2024-02-06 at 9.48.38 am.png
    Screenshot 2024-02-06 at 9.42.25 am.png
    Screenshot 2024-02-06 at 9.42.49 am.png
    Screenshot 2024-02-06 at 9.43.34 am.png

    Ooh, there's a longplay of the double dragon one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=brWRLPrq8-Q) - I'll watch that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ohh and there were these funny shaped Konami ones too

    Screenshot 2024-02-06 at 10.02.11 am.png

  5. #5
    Retro Addict Administrator
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    The Tron 3D one was quite cool. I remember having to move around the room to fund enough might to see what was going on. Never owned one but a friebd used to have loads of the standalone Tomy and Game and Watch games.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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