Sinclair ZX Spectrum: A Visual Compendium – Book Review
Follow Genre: Informative/Art
Publisher: Bitmap Books

Sinclair ZX Spectrum: A Visual Compendium – Book Review

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The ZX Spectrum saw the light in 1982 and is still widely loved by many retro enthusiasts, creating the perfect opportunity to bundle all of its different titles, at least the old ones, in one big beautiful book. Unlike the previous release from Bitmap Books we don’t get a ‘punny’ title, but simply a hardcore trip down memory lane, with all the graphic material one could desire. Slightly thinner in size than the previous one, but still the same quality. We hope you’ll enjoy the book as much as we did.


Those who own the previous part of the collection of visual compendiums will immediately notice that the size of this one has been trimmed down. Nonetheless, the creators still did a great job of bundling a lot of games, interviews and fun articles, offering you 304 pages of fun ZX Spectrum related content.

This third compendium also starts off with a basic introduction of what the console is before diving into the meat of this edition, namely the many different games, which are depicted with small bits of text in front of artwork that often spans over two pages at once. In-between the many summaries of the games, you’ll find an occasional article or interview to provide a fun change of pace and of course some extra information you might not have known yet.

Just like the other iterations, this book’s main focus is on the art that is presented to you. When flipping through the album you’ll see many of the original iconic games that made the ZX Spectrum the great console that still has many older fans intrigued. Even though the book itself is still rather thick and has a lot of interesting reading material, things are still kept light, at least for many of the games. The only short snippets of text will never get in the way of the artwork and will simply give you the need-to-know basis for you to either refresh your memory or to learn about the titles you might have missed while you were younger or in your current collection.


While the book might be a bit too much to run through in one go, you wouldn’t get bored if you did, as the content varies a lot, keeping things interesting. Not only does the pace change when an interview or an article gets thrown into the whirlpool of games, you’ll also have small details like the release date that provide for fun bits of extra information.

Art books often use thicker glossier paper in order to provide one with the best quality (as) possible. Bitmap Books chose for the same approach when designing their line of beautiful compendiums, making them even more pleasant to browse through. Of course, this sometimes makes flipping through the book a tad harder, but it’s still a good move to develop them in such a manner.


Sinclair ZX Spectrum: A Visual Compendium is not only a great way for longtime fans and collectors to amp up their collection, but also provides a great trip down memory lane for those who want to reminisce about the golden days of gaming. While the price might not be that attractive for many who haven’t had the chance to flip through the pages of this album, it’s certainly worth the investment if you’re a fan of this old, yet not forgotten console.


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Sinclair ZX Spectrum: A Visual Compendium - Book Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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