Replay: The History of Video Games and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.99
  • Save: $3.87 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Used, acceptable condition book. Heavy cover wear. Pages may have writing, underlining, highlighting and/or notes. Pages and cover have minor tears, bends & folds. Text is not obscured and remains legible. Exactly as pictured. Fast shipping from Amazon's fulfillment warehouse!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Replay: The History of Video Games Paperback – April 20, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0956507204 ISBN-10: 0956507204

Buy New
Price: $16.12
29 New from $14.63 18 Used from $8.26
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.12
$14.63 $8.26
Year-End%20Deals%20in%20Books

Frequently Bought Together

Replay: The History of Video Games + The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World + Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation
Price for all three: $52.98

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Ant (April 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956507204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956507204
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"While other history books have covered the topic, Tristan Donovan's 500-page tome is the most wide-ranging history I've read." --Wired

"An amazing work. Comprehensive and wide ranging - yet engrossing and splendidly entertaining. If you read only one history of video games - Replay is it." --Eugene Jarvis, creator of Defender, Narc and Smash TV

"Tons of interviews with creators, a window into early US and Europe PC industry stuff I'd never read about before at all... very enjoyable and informative reading." --Christian Nutt, Gamasutra

"Tristan Donovan's account is the most comprehensive thus far...He details with great insight the people and events that led to what is the most powerful creative field today." --Richard Garriott (aka Lord British), designer of the Ultima series

I cant think of a reason that you shouldnt go and order a copy of it immediately...If you enjoy reading about games, theres absolutely no way that youre not going to find spending quality time with this rewarding.  --Kieron Gillen, Rock Paper Shotgun

Whether you grew up with your eyes glued to Adventure or Super Mario Bros, with your hand around a joystick or inside a Nintendo Power Glove, this is one history lesson worth its weight in quarters.  --Rob Lott, Bookgasm

Striking a near-perfect balance between art and commerce, Replay is the most comprehensive history of videogames so far.  --Edge

Essential reading  --GamesTM

About the Author

Tristan Donovan has written about video games for The Guardian, Edge, Game Developer, Stuff, The Gadget Show, GamesTM and many other publications. He lives in East Sussex, UK.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Very well researched and written.
Shawn Butler
In addition, like the cover, the pictures in the book are atrocious in quality and all black & white.
Tabe
It's a cliche, I know...but if you only buy one video game history book, Replay should be that book.
David Ellis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By ICUH8N on January 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying this book is thoroughly researched, well-written and often contains a narrative style that feels more fiction than non-fiction lending to a smooth, easy and immediately informative read.

The book discusses the formation of the gaming industry and starts by providing an in-depth, chronologically based look at the popular gaming consoles, business landscape and fads from 1965 to 1995 and focuses mostly on the associated hardware, initial formation of video games, formats (PC, Mac, cartridge, CD-Rom) and creation of genres rather than each individual title. Additionally, this book contains a ton of information about the global state of gaming, most notably what was going on in the UK, Europe and USSR/Russia during the 80s as well as China and South Korea during the late 90s and 2000s and features some incredibly gripping summaries of the 1983 gaming collapse and challenges creators of Ultimata Online faced in navigating a completely new open-world game design. If you're interested in the early years of gaming, this book is an absolute must-buy.

Where the book loses focus is in its discussion of the 1990s. After about 250 pages, the tightly woven, chronological narrative gives way to an unfocused mess of random games and ideas, such as Beat Mania, The Sims, and girl gaming culture. While these items are important to the overall history of gaming, it would've been nice to have them follow the structure that made the earlier chapters so enjoyable to read rather than jumping from 7th Guest and Doom to Rock Band in the span of about 40 pages without even introducing the PS2, let alone Xbox 360/Wii/PS3.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Ellis on September 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read every book on video game history and, so far, this is the best of the bunch. Before I finished the introduction, I had already learned two things I had not previously known about video game history!

The scope of the book is both geographically and chronologically impressive. It covers more than just the usual US and Japanese game history--the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, and other parts of the world also receive attention. Their role in the history of video games is extremely interesting because the development of games both culturally and technologically followed very different paths. These are games and game developers we don't often hear about. And as for the chronological scope, the book covers everything from the early predecessors of video games in the 1940s to games that hit the shelves as recently as early 2010.

It's a cliche, I know...but if you only buy one video game history book, Replay should be that book.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Melante on February 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Replay" is definitely a worthy addition to the video game history catalog and deserves all your attention... still, it's far from perfect.
Ok, I'm aware I have started in a similar way quite a few of my latest reviews, though I trust I always pointed out some good reasons for my criticism! Maybe I'm getting a grumpy old man but it really annoys me to see excellent ideas stop just a few steps away before achieving greatness. Unfortunately, "Replay" does the same too.

The book starts perfectly: it covers the first years on the industry very well. It's well documented and gives an international perspective on the subject but, as it progresses, it completely loses focus and lacks a coherent structure: from chapters dedicated to groundbreaking events that changed the industry, we suddenly switch to new chapters dedicated to specific game genres and so on.
Maybe this is due to the interview-driven nature of the book (I guess different people talked of completely different things) or, maybe, Mr. Donovan wanted to improve on both Kent's "Ultimate History" and on Barton's/Loguidice's "Vintage Games"... but I'm afraid the mix didn't really work as well as expected. In any case, this is definitely a worth reading addition to the game history genre, though I would have preferred something with a more logical theme spanning across the whole book and driving the player from chapter to chapter.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tabe on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Featuring what has to be one of the worst covers of any book - ever - "Replay" easily overcomes that misstep by bringing forth a wealth of fantastic information. Even if you're already very familiar with the history of computers and video games, you'll find this book entertaining - and informative. Thanks to its UK origins, coverage of that region is plentiful, which is quite the change from the US slant seen in most books.

There are some criticisms to be had despite the 5-star rating I've given: the writing is, at times, awkward, even allowing for differences in UK English vs US English. It definitely could have used another read-through by an editor in places. In addition, like the cover, the pictures in the book are atrocious in quality and all black & white. This is a subject that cries out for quality photos and lots of color.

Still, these are minor quibbles. Pick this up today!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Rodgers on May 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While by no means a comprehensive history, this offers some a nice chronology and many interesting tales about the birth and maturity of gaming.

The best asset is that it's not Americentric, and offers a great history of the European market, in particular. I found the details about the European hardware market, along with the history of European software developers (French Adventure gaming, for example) fascinating. Much of the European stuff was completely new material to me. The descriptions of the type of innovation or idiosyncrasies each nation tended to bring to gaming was also fascinating, since it shows how the different cultures contributed along the way.

Finally, for something being published in 2010, the book ends abruptly in the early 1990's. It's kind of jarring, because there are a lot of pages left and stories to tell. Unfortunately, the last 200+ (of 500 some) pages are not-very-interesting mind map of games and the hardware to play them. It's a shame, because two or three more chapters would have really rounded the book out.

Still, video games are embedded into our culture and there is room for many accounts of the first 50 years of this nascent art. This is definitely a worthwhile read, but probably not the ideal choice for someone looking for the 'comprehensive history' condensed into one book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews