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Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-Playing Games

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Computer role-playing games (CRPGs) are a special genre of computer games that bring the tabletop role-playing experience of games such as Dungeons & Dragons to the computer screen. This genre includes classics such as Ultima and The Bard's Tale as well as more modern games such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. Written in an engaging style for both the computer game en Computer role-playing games (CRPGs) are a special genre of computer games that bring the tabletop role-playing experience of games such as Dungeons & Dragons to the computer screen. This genre includes classics such as Ultima and The Bard's Tale as well as more modern games such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. Written in an engaging style for both the computer game enthusiast and the more casual computer game player, this book explores the history of the genre by telling the stories of the developers, games, and gamers who created it.


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Computer role-playing games (CRPGs) are a special genre of computer games that bring the tabletop role-playing experience of games such as Dungeons & Dragons to the computer screen. This genre includes classics such as Ultima and The Bard's Tale as well as more modern games such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. Written in an engaging style for both the computer game en Computer role-playing games (CRPGs) are a special genre of computer games that bring the tabletop role-playing experience of games such as Dungeons & Dragons to the computer screen. This genre includes classics such as Ultima and The Bard's Tale as well as more modern games such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. Written in an engaging style for both the computer game enthusiast and the more casual computer game player, this book explores the history of the genre by telling the stories of the developers, games, and gamers who created it.

30 review for Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-Playing Games

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Scott

    I bought Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-playing Games Kindle Edition by mistake. I wanted to read Dungeons and Dreamers and did not check the title while clicking ok on my Kindle. I was in for a good treat! Matt Barton's monumental survey of Computer Role-Playing Games (CRPGs) is a significant improvement over the printed edition, covering almost twice as much material (and, thus, games). CRPGs are perhaps less known to the gamer audience, partly because they have been eclip I bought Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-playing Games Kindle Edition by mistake. I wanted to read Dungeons and Dreamers and did not check the title while clicking ok on my Kindle. I was in for a good treat! Matt Barton's monumental survey of Computer Role-Playing Games (CRPGs) is a significant improvement over the printed edition, covering almost twice as much material (and, thus, games). CRPGs are perhaps less known to the gamer audience, partly because they have been eclipsed by the hack-and-slash sub-genre (World of Warcraft, anyone?), partly because a new generation of gamers have been attracted by casual games (FarmVille or Mafia Wars ring a bell?) The story covers all of the games I've played, most of what you would expect, and more, much more. Barton covers many series, fashions a chrono-impact ordering, explains the technologies behind the games. His analysis is interesting, albeit a bit off (see the negatives paragraph); among the nice (yet well-known) findings is that CRPG players are more interested in the long run in the social rather than the leveling/skilling aspects of the game (Richard Bartle made one of the first studies in this direction, almost a decade ago). Unfortunately, not all is ball with this book. From the beginning, Barton warns the reader that this is going to be a biased book. And biased it is, from his attempt to "say some positive things about [CRPGs]" to the analysis of the demise of CRPGs in recent years. There's a feeling of repetition as you turn the 200th consecutive page with similar material (the 1990s fill this much with pretty similar games). Most importantly, Barton's understanding of technology is not always accurate; his discussion of the distributed systems that form the infrastructure of modern Massively Multiplayer Online Games is rudimentary at best and plain wrong in parts. Thus, his analysis of the market and his predictions based on it seem at least a bit off. Overall, I liked this survey/history of CRPGs, and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in CRPGs.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Thom

    A good survey of computer RPGs, though a few were missed, including my favorite, Demise. Screen shots are nearly pointless, small and greyscale. Actually 443 pages.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Belanger

    Dungeons and Desktops is a great overview of computer role-playing games from the beginning of the era all the way to when the book was published in 2008. The research required for these summaries must have been staggering, although I'd guess it was fun "research" since the author actually played at least most of the games. One thing the author does repeatedly that sometimes confused me is referring to games by their subtitles. For instance, he'll make a reference to "The Black Gate" instead of u Dungeons and Desktops is a great overview of computer role-playing games from the beginning of the era all the way to when the book was published in 2008. The research required for these summaries must have been staggering, although I'd guess it was fun "research" since the author actually played at least most of the games. One thing the author does repeatedly that sometimes confused me is referring to games by their subtitles. For instance, he'll make a reference to "The Black Gate" instead of using the full title, "Ultima VII: The Black Gate." When he does this for games I know and have played (like The Black Gate), that's fine. But when he does it for games and series with which I'm not familiar, it's disorienting. I have to either shrug and keep reading, or flip back a few dozen pages and try to figure out what game he's talking about. Beyond that, there were only two things he mentioned that I believe are incorrect. First, when he reviews the Spelljammer game, he refers to it as Steampunk (ugh, no, it's AD&D in space, not some techno-magic mashup... although it is possible the game just presented the universe wrong). Second, when talking about Ultima Underworld, he compares it to id Software's Wolfenstein 3D. Actually, a better comparison would be id's Catacomb Abyss 3D, which featured the same type of realtime graphics, but was released a full year before Wolf (not to mention Hovertank, Interphase, or MechWarrior--all of which preceded even Catacomb 3D). Wolf 3D was a landmark, sure, but it was not the first game with realtime 3D graphics. The book never mentions GOG.com (granted, I think GOG started in the same year the book was released), but I wanted to mention it in this review. Many of the games mentioned in the book can be purchased, legally, from GOG.com, and every game on there has been updated with emulation so that it will run on your modern computer. Many of the classic series like Ultima, Neverwinter Nights, and Might and Magic can be purchased, some are even available in multi-game packages and a few are totally free. Obtaining and playing most of these games on modern machines should be trivial. If you want the Apple IIe, C64, NES, or Amiga versions of the games, you're on your own. But you can definitely find a lot of the DOS games on GOG. Overall, this book was an enjoyable read, one that had me making many notes to search for older classics I never played (but should). Not only that, but reading this book has gotten me thinking and excited about making my own RPG. My obscure 1994 CRPG that four people on the planet have played is just begging for a sequel. I might even make the sequel using more than four colors, wheee!

  4. 5 out of 5

    William McDuff

    What this book comes down to is a list of games. I think the first part of the book is the most useful, as the mainframe games of the 70s and the like are not well known, and it's good of the author to make a record of them before they get completely forgotten. However, I didn't find the book particularly well written. It has an arrogant tone at times, defining the reader as someone who has most certainly read Lord of the Rings (nope, didn't get through the slow open of that), must be well aware What this book comes down to is a list of games. I think the first part of the book is the most useful, as the mainframe games of the 70s and the like are not well known, and it's good of the author to make a record of them before they get completely forgotten. However, I didn't find the book particularly well written. It has an arrogant tone at times, defining the reader as someone who has most certainly read Lord of the Rings (nope, didn't get through the slow open of that), must be well aware of Star Wars (eh, seen the original trilology and Episode I, but I wouldn't consider myself a fan) amoung other things. This dates the book, for one thing, and alienates readers who don't match the author's mental image. The other problem is that as a list it doesn't have much of a narrative arc; it might have worked better, after the first chapter with the earliest games, to follow companies from creation to dissolution, perhaps. Still, an interesting book, sure to point out a few RPGs you've missed, and worthwhile for studying games that simply aren't available any more, but I wouldn't recommend it as a whole.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    I enjoyed this history of the CRPG genre, especially the coverage of older games. Despite their rudimentary graphics and interfaces, some of the old games featured surprisingly sophisticated mechanics! Also mentioned are quite a few games which, despite being good and innovative, didn't manage to achieve success in their time. They are waiting to be rediscovered, or at least mined for inspiration. Here's a quote from the book describing a complex and deliberate game: "This game [...] takes players I enjoyed this history of the CRPG genre, especially the coverage of older games. Despite their rudimentary graphics and interfaces, some of the old games featured surprisingly sophisticated mechanics! Also mentioned are quite a few games which, despite being good and innovative, didn't manage to achieve success in their time. They are waiting to be rediscovered, or at least mined for inspiration. Here's a quote from the book describing a complex and deliberate game: "This game [...] takes players about as far from instant gratification as they can get without joining a monastery." The author concludes with an apologia for the single-player CRPG in this time of apparent decline of the genre.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    This book is great when it discusses trends, contrasts games, and looks beyond the superficial. Unfortunately, that only consists of about a third of this book. The rest is largely a listing of games with brief summaries of somewhat dubious value (although it did remind me of some great games I haven’t thought of for years, like The Summoning and Star Trail). These sorts of lists are a dime a dozen on the internet and Barton doesn’t bring any particular insight or wit to push this one above the This book is great when it discusses trends, contrasts games, and looks beyond the superficial. Unfortunately, that only consists of about a third of this book. The rest is largely a listing of games with brief summaries of somewhat dubious value (although it did remind me of some great games I haven’t thought of for years, like The Summoning and Star Trail). These sorts of lists are a dime a dozen on the internet and Barton doesn’t bring any particular insight or wit to push this one above the rest. The tone of the writing is often very arrogant and smug, and there were more than a few obvious copyediting problems in my copy. Verdict: Interesting in parts but not essential.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ondrej Sykora

    The book wants to be the history of computer role playing games (CRPGs), but it's only half-way there. Overall, the book is stuck somewhere between the possible ways how such a study could be performed: - the book is not a academic/historical study and review of the genre: it contains a lot of personal opinions, judgments and biases of the author. Some of them are introduced as such (which is OK), others are not (and it's not OK for such a study). The descriptions of most of the games are quite s The book wants to be the history of computer role playing games (CRPGs), but it's only half-way there. Overall, the book is stuck somewhere between the possible ways how such a study could be performed: - the book is not a academic/historical study and review of the genre: it contains a lot of personal opinions, judgments and biases of the author. Some of them are introduced as such (which is OK), others are not (and it's not OK for such a study). The descriptions of most of the games are quite shallow, and they speak mainly to people who already played the game. The book is also lacking a classification/framework within which the games would be studied, and the descriptions of different games often focus on different aspects of the game. - it's also not a personal (subjective) testimony about the era and the games. For that, the book is actually not personal enough and it is not clear whether the author played the games he writes about, or bases his descriptions only on third-party information. - it's also not a collection of such testimonies e.g. from the designers of the games. Apparently, the author based the book only on information available online, but did not make any attempts at contacting and interviewing the authors to fill any gaps and add the actual historical context. - and finally, it's not even a good catalog of the games, because of the chaotic organization of the book (the book is divided by "ages" or epochs of CRPG development, but these are fuzzy and overlap, so the book appears chronologically organized from a distance, but it really is not). Moreover, some important games on the fringes of the genre are missing (e.g. Deus Ex should, in my opinion, be included in the book), while others (Legend of Zelda, Dungeon Keeper) is not. This only adds to the feeling that the author wrote the book to justify his opinions of the genre, but not to catalogue and/or study it in its full breadth. Overall - this books has some nostalgic value. If you used to play the games, the descriptions might remind you of the games, and make you dream a bit. For everyone else, the CRPG book from https://crpgbook.wordpress.com/ might be a better choice (I still need to read that one in more detail).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joe Mirakian

    Let's get something straight: this is not a history book. This is two men gushing about their nostalgia for classic CRPGs through text. The claim that this contains "The History of Computer Roleplaying Games" is completely false; the text is littered with opinions presented as facts or simply the most widely held view, a lack of comprehensive coverage of many important parts of the CRPG industry after the turn of the century, lame jokes, and worst of all a heavy degree of arrogant PC elitism. Th Let's get something straight: this is not a history book. This is two men gushing about their nostalgia for classic CRPGs through text. The claim that this contains "The History of Computer Roleplaying Games" is completely false; the text is littered with opinions presented as facts or simply the most widely held view, a lack of comprehensive coverage of many important parts of the CRPG industry after the turn of the century, lame jokes, and worst of all a heavy degree of arrogant PC elitism. The authors fail to even stay true to their claimed purpose, wasting two entire sections of the book on the JRPG just so they can make antiquated arguments about its appeal to children in an attempt to dumb down their fans in the eyes of the reader. As someone who considers RPGs his favorite genre of video game, I was sorely disappointed in this misguided charade of history.

  9. 5 out of 5

    TobyJK

    Can't remember where I got recommended this book from, probably a podcast, but it has sat on my shelf for a long time before I read it. Learnt quite a bit and picked up some good recommendations for games which I will likely end up playing. The author clearly knows his stuff, but reading through the plots of some early CRPGs melted my brain after a while... wizards, orbs, dragons... I think I would have enjoyed a history of CRPG design, instead of the history of the games themselves. A bit too r Can't remember where I got recommended this book from, probably a podcast, but it has sat on my shelf for a long time before I read it. Learnt quite a bit and picked up some good recommendations for games which I will likely end up playing. The author clearly knows his stuff, but reading through the plots of some early CRPGs melted my brain after a while... wizards, orbs, dragons... I think I would have enjoyed a history of CRPG design, instead of the history of the games themselves. A bit too repetitive, but still interesting overall.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris Aylott

    Interesting survey of computer RPGs from the early days of mainframes to the then-current day of 2008. A little too US-centric and prone to getting lost in the weeds of minor titles, but a nice summary of industry trends and full of ideas that could potentially be revived for future games.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Alvarez

    It was wonderful to revisit a bunch of games I played when I was younger. I can tell that Mr. Barton really loves computer role-playing games and this book is a wonderful testament to this genre.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Terminally

    Come check out my Book Blog for more fun stuff and reviews! I grew up in the early 80's. I was born in 82. And I grew up gaming on the PC. One thing I love now, and I have loved since the day I played Betrayal at Krondor, are Computer RPGs. I cut my teeth on the likes of Baldurs Gate, Lands of Lore, Icewind Dale, and Neverwinter Nights. Curious about the games I might have missed growing up, I found this book and picked it up. The early parts pre 2000 were very well done but after that the book sho Come check out my Book Blog for more fun stuff and reviews! I grew up in the early 80's. I was born in 82. And I grew up gaming on the PC. One thing I love now, and I have loved since the day I played Betrayal at Krondor, are Computer RPGs. I cut my teeth on the likes of Baldurs Gate, Lands of Lore, Icewind Dale, and Neverwinter Nights. Curious about the games I might have missed growing up, I found this book and picked it up. The early parts pre 2000 were very well done but after that the book shows its age very obviously. It goes over in great detail the Ultima series, Wizardry, Might and Magic, and the other Pre 2000 RPGs. However, he makes mention at one point of PC Gaming dying (Which has been proven wrong) as well as having very little real info on anything in the last 6 years or so. The book is great for the history of the old pre 2000 games, but anything more recent is rather sparse. But I can understand that. I would pick this up and read it ONLY for the early information. He also frequently dives into Adventure games rather then sticking to RPGs, as he feels that is necessary to understand. I disagree, but I understand the usage of it. I would have also liked to see more interviews with the game developers.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Well, it took me over 3 years to finish it - calling that up to a few complications in my life in the last few years, and that it's a physical copy, not digital that I could take with me wherever I went. That makes a difference. On the book itself: The author has a writing style which is easy, it at times somewhat dry, he's primarily providing compare and contrasts of every game, and his bias for (and against) some of the titles he is reviewing is quite apparent, though not necessarily a negative Well, it took me over 3 years to finish it - calling that up to a few complications in my life in the last few years, and that it's a physical copy, not digital that I could take with me wherever I went. That makes a difference. On the book itself: The author has a writing style which is easy, it at times somewhat dry, he's primarily providing compare and contrasts of every game, and his bias for (and against) some of the titles he is reviewing is quite apparent, though not necessarily a negative. It becomes more apparent as we get closer to the "modern area" - keeping in mind, this edition was written as the Xbox 360/PS3 generation was just getting started; Fallout 3 and Mass Effect, while mentioned, are not fully understood, and it's likely die to the just not having been out long enough. All in all, it's a decent read for anyone who's interested in the history of the genre, and it's good background for that part of the industry, which is why I snagged it from the shelf. Always fun to learn who developed/published what in the decade before I started gaming myself! Just take it for what it is, and forgive the slight edge of the "PC master race" that the author gives off - after all, it is a book on the history of the Computer RPG, that's somewhat to be expected!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Drop this down to 3 *'s if you're not a complete computer/D & D fanatic. What info is here is good but there's nothing BUT information here; the entire book is basically nothing but one long chronological list of computer role playing games listed by release date. For someone like myself who grew up playing each and every one of these games, this book was like a sentimental trip through my childhood and beyond. As Barton ticked off title by title, I could remember exactly where I was in my life Drop this down to 3 *'s if you're not a complete computer/D & D fanatic. What info is here is good but there's nothing BUT information here; the entire book is basically nothing but one long chronological list of computer role playing games listed by release date. For someone like myself who grew up playing each and every one of these games, this book was like a sentimental trip through my childhood and beyond. As Barton ticked off title by title, I could remember exactly where I was in my life with every release. For every game, light details are given. Why something was or wasn't important, what breakthrough a title may have made and when different features and options and techniques first appeared are sometimes noted but this isn't really the book for someone who's looking for complete histories on either these games or companies. This is mostly a light overview on the entire genre, from it's start to today's modern incarnations. What's here is a great, easy read but for a dork like myself, the book could easily have been four times as long and I would have been ten times as happy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jlawrence

    An overview of the origins and development of computer RPGs (with a few sidesteps into the world of Japanese console RPGs), this book was a pretty fun read. Part of that is due to my interest in and fondness of old computer games in general - I think someone who's never experienced any of the earlier games might wish Barton had been more systematic, since he basically does a capsule review of each game as he moves from past to present, which makes the coverage somewhat rambling (though he does a An overview of the origins and development of computer RPGs (with a few sidesteps into the world of Japanese console RPGs), this book was a pretty fun read. Part of that is due to my interest in and fondness of old computer games in general - I think someone who's never experienced any of the earlier games might wish Barton had been more systematic, since he basically does a capsule review of each game as he moves from past to present, which makes the coverage somewhat rambling (though he does amusingly divide the history into five ages 'Dark, Bronze..etc'). He also provides some interesting analysis of the possible fate of modern CRPGs given the ascendancy of MMORPGs and console gaming. Recommended if you have an interest in these kind of games, and strongly recommended if you're into retrogaming.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mjhancock

    Barton provides an incredibly detailed list of the many games fitting in the CRPG genre. It's an impressively exhaustive list, though a little tedious at times if you're not coming into the book with a reasonable acquaintance with the games at hand. The history he crafts is interesting enough, beginning with the proto-adventure games, leading into the mainframe Rogue-era, and the early pangs of the genre before seguing into long-lasting series such as Ultima and Wizardry, and finally concluding Barton provides an incredibly detailed list of the many games fitting in the CRPG genre. It's an impressively exhaustive list, though a little tedious at times if you're not coming into the book with a reasonable acquaintance with the games at hand. The history he crafts is interesting enough, beginning with the proto-adventure games, leading into the mainframe Rogue-era, and the early pangs of the genre before seguing into long-lasting series such as Ultima and Wizardry, and finally concluding with current giants like Bioware and the MMOs. I often preferred Barton's comments on the genre at large rather than the individual games; his theories on the influence of JRPGs, the drive of new technology, and the importance of 3D gaming are all interesting parts of the book. Ultimately, it's an essential resource for someone looking at the genre as a whole.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Davia Finch

    Dungeons and Desktops is more of a survey of dozens of early CRPGs than a history. It is interesting to follow the development of CRPG game mechanics over the decades, and to read about games that I knew little or nothing about, but it would have been nice to see a little more 'behind the curtains' stuff. Overall, I enjoyed reading Barton's book, despite the occasional editing issue. If you're new to the genre, Dungeons and Desktops serves as an excellent primer, though it only covers up to the Dungeons and Desktops is more of a survey of dozens of early CRPGs than a history. It is interesting to follow the development of CRPG game mechanics over the decades, and to read about games that I knew little or nothing about, but it would have been nice to see a little more 'behind the curtains' stuff. Overall, I enjoyed reading Barton's book, despite the occasional editing issue. If you're new to the genre, Dungeons and Desktops serves as an excellent primer, though it only covers up to the start of 2007, and the focus is on Western CRPGS (he only discusses a couple of JRPGs).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    This book reads like a wikipedia entry. Just the facts, a little bit of opinion, and not much else. if you're not interested in the history of CRPGs, pass. On the other hand, if you're like me and grew up playing these games from the 80s and 90s, its a very nice stroll down memory lane. I have played way more of these games than I'd like to admit, and can now remember lots of fond moments from many of these games (a good number I had forgotten about). If you're a fan, this is definitely a decent This book reads like a wikipedia entry. Just the facts, a little bit of opinion, and not much else. if you're not interested in the history of CRPGs, pass. On the other hand, if you're like me and grew up playing these games from the 80s and 90s, its a very nice stroll down memory lane. I have played way more of these games than I'd like to admit, and can now remember lots of fond moments from many of these games (a good number I had forgotten about). If you're a fan, this is definitely a decent read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    The book does a very good job of extensively crawling through every major computer roleplaying game ever, with brief stops with MUDs and MMORPGs. It does a little less of a good job of actually being interesting. The dig-through-every-game bit tends to occasionally result in page after page of dross, which might have been useful in an encyclopedia, but not a historical book. The methodology also sometimes manages to obscure the first-movers by talking so much about everything else.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Grant Laird

    This book, published in 20008 which is little older, a lot of happening since 7-8 years later. Very details on many older games, many of them, I did not have an opportunity to play when I was teenage. I got married and started family when I was 18 years old. I did play a few more CRPG over years and catch up a few games by now, but plenty games I may never get to play forever. Who knows. Updated edition would be nice :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Morgane

    Doesn't really offer anything more than The CRPG Book Project, which also does a better job of describing some of these games. Kinda wild to me that someone can claim to love CRPGs and then barely write anything about Morrowind. Ultimately this book is just one guy's hot take on a bunch of games, rather than an objective look at CRPG history. Read The CRPG Book Project instead. Doesn't really offer anything more than The CRPG Book Project, which also does a better job of describing some of these games. Kinda wild to me that someone can claim to love CRPGs and then barely write anything about Morrowind. Ultimately this book is just one guy's hot take on a bunch of games, rather than an objective look at CRPG history. Read The CRPG Book Project instead.

  22. 4 out of 5

    John Carter McKnight

    Don't buy this book. It's not much of a history, but rather a tedious, exhaustive catalog written in a deeply annoying, self-absorbed fanboyish style. Literally every game ever gets a page, with perhaps a page or so of analysis of trends per chapter. If you really want a review of some obscure hack&slasher from 1987, look up the original reviews. Don't bother with this dead-tree doorstop. Don't buy this book. It's not much of a history, but rather a tedious, exhaustive catalog written in a deeply annoying, self-absorbed fanboyish style. Literally every game ever gets a page, with perhaps a page or so of analysis of trends per chapter. If you really want a review of some obscure hack&slasher from 1987, look up the original reviews. Don't bother with this dead-tree doorstop.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    While not always the greatest-written book, it's hard to argue with as thorough a review of CRPGs as this is. If you just want to hear about almost every CRPG since the dawn of time in some depth, this is the book for you. Just be aware that your enjoyment of the topic will be what carries you through some rougher patches. While not always the greatest-written book, it's hard to argue with as thorough a review of CRPGs as this is. If you just want to hear about almost every CRPG since the dawn of time in some depth, this is the book for you. Just be aware that your enjoyment of the topic will be what carries you through some rougher patches.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    The content worked, but many of the screenshots were practically blobs of black (understandable in b/w since the games are often dark to start with), and, less acceptably, the copy editing was atrocious.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Asher Riley

    Interesting, engaging and very informative, "Dungeons And Desktops" is one the richest books ever written about the history of videogames. Anyone who has a passion for old-school RPGs will really cherish this book. Interesting, engaging and very informative, "Dungeons And Desktops" is one the richest books ever written about the history of videogames. Anyone who has a passion for old-school RPGs will really cherish this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Itamar

    The first couple of chapters are the most interesting, aqs they uncovered what was to me a largely unknown era in CRPGs. Later chapters are mostly dry and list-like, but encountering unknown games and some loooking at industry trends made it wirth reading (in small chunks).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ben Turner

    part nostalgia, part education, a little dry in places and most of the pictures are lost to the black and white printing, but a good comprehensive coverage of a genre of game I grew up with, and like the author, have some concerns around the future of.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    If I didn't derive some pleasure from reliving the days of my youth, this book would be unforgivably bad. The author badly, very badly, needed an editor. If I didn't derive some pleasure from reliving the days of my youth, this book would be unforgivably bad. The author badly, very badly, needed an editor.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Schroeder

    This book has more information on the history of CRPGs than I thought possible. For those that played most of these games it is fun to read about their place in the history.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ben Leggett

    An astonishingly comprehensive overview of the beginnings of the CRPG in the West, with coverage of many interesting titles already in danger of being lost to time.

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