A new Kickstarter campaign was launched last week. That fact alone isn’t really big news in the retrogaming scene anymore, or that it is a Nintendo book, again, or that it is from Bitmap Books, again. The news is that The unofficial SNES/Super Famicom: a visual compendium Kickstarter campaign might, if it keeps its momentum going, break through the £500,000 mark. So far, the campaign has rocketed past the rather excessive £25,000 goal with 3,343 backers, and is, as of writing, sitting at £142,872. That’s a massive amount–572% of the original goal–especially considering that there are still 24 days to go.
This is Bitmap Books’ fifth/sixth Kickstarter book in the ‘visual compendium’ series with their earlier titles covering the Commodore 64 (2014), Amiga (2015), ZX Spectrum (2015), Commodore 64 (again, 2016), and NES/Famicom (2016). So business is great for Bitmap Brothers (sorry… Books) at the moment.
As the Kickstarter campaign states, “the visuals are the main focus” here, so don’t expect much in the way of in-depth content. The book will cover the SNES across North America and Europe, and the Super Famicom in Japan. This includes “a visual snapshot” of SNES games, contributions from developers, game box art images and more “visual” delights. As the book title suggests–in its off-putting mix of lower and upper capitalization–this is a visual trip through Nintendo’s 16-bit videogame console.
And before anyone comments on the above video clip… Yes, we know. It’s intentional.
Following the legal wrangles over the
Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom: a visual compendium Unofficial NES/Famicom: a visual compendium book last year, Bitmap Books have wisely avoided any further trouble by adding the ‘Unofficial’ tag to the book title, choosing ‘SNES’ over ‘Super Nintendo’, avoiding the use of any logos too similar to Nintendo’s own ‘Seal of Approval’ logo, and increasing the word count slightly–probably 50 extra words per write-up for each game on top of the 150 words before.
There’s no doubt that there are some very talented people behind this book, but I just think more could have been done with that talent. There are also so many other interesting ways to present a book about retrogaming, and so many computers and consoles that have not been covered yet, but, of course, they would not be as successful as the Nintendo brand.
However, if you do like these ‘coffee table’ style retrogaming books—and there are obviously plenty of people who do–then this will be another one for you. The Kickstarter campaign looks to have something for–almost–everyone. Pledge levels range from £10 for the PDF edition to £30 for the hardback book itself. The higher end pledge levels such as the £245 ‘be a character in the book’ have proven surprisingly popular and have all gone–although, there were only five available. All the pledge levels come with a free bookmark, too. That’s not all, either, as there are plenty of stretch goals: 16 extra pages, 2 gatefold pages, 16 extra pages (again), 16 extra pages (once again), 2 gatefold pages (another two of them), 16 extra pages (another 16 once more), 16 extra pages (another 16 of them) 2 gatefold pages (some more), 16 extra pages (even more pages), 16 extra pages (and even more pages)… [all right, that’s enough stretching out the stretch goals – Ed.]