Everything from old electromechanical machines to modern-day dot-matrix machines are covered in this great hard-cover book. Each and every page is splattered with colorful, detailed photos of cabinet exteriors, playfields, flyers, undersides, and more. I had a great time just thumbing through the book and spotting the games I remembered seeing in the arcade as a kid. You know what I’m talking about – games like Space Invaders with that “infinity box” lighting (the only game to feature that I think).
All of the games are thoroughly indexed in the back. The index is one of the best features as it will send you to extreme close-ups and shots of the entire machine. There is also a date-sorted list of machines so you can spot when a particular machine was released. It actually reminds me of a database but in book form!
Oh yeah – the writing – that stuff you usually find in books! The commentary that the author provides is enjoyable to read and informative. He talks about design history behind some of the machines and gadgets as well as some of the quirks involved in playing certain machines well. Overall, the writing strongly supports the many beautiful photos and will bring you back after you view all of the photos.
The pages are thick, glossy-print and very high quality. The one complaint I have about this book, at least in the copies I’ve seen, is that the binding is very weak. It’s not uncommon to find the pages loosening after only minor amounts of reading. However, it’s still one of the best sources for a complete history of pinball available in my opinion. This is a wonderful coffee-table style book and always one that you should put-out when you have fellow pinheads over for a bit of game-time!