Well this could have been a pile of rubbish, really. Author and possible twisted genius Nate Crowley offered to dream up an imaginary video game for every like he got on twitter and found himself doing over a thousand. From that came this book, which has been lovingly put together with glorious fake box art and screenshots to illustrate some of the funniest video game ideas around, many of which you can imagine being made by money grabbing gits with no idea about video games.
The bar is set straight away with "Look, Are You Coming In or Not", a 1980 game for the Coomodore PET (it sez here) in which you play a cosmonaut on a rather leaky space station trying to stop all the air leahing out. The problem is that there's also a cat on the station who constantly wants you to open the closed doors to let it out, then of course wants to come back in again. It's a brilliantly silly idea. and this level of inspired lunacy carries on through the book. How about "Beastenders" (Mega Drive 1992), where an alien carrier ship full of bioweapons crashes in Walford and it's down to Phil Mitchell to clean things up armed only with a claw hammer and a 'face like a cross thumb'. If either of these made you chuckle then this is the book for you.
Each game is given a detailed, and funny, description on one page, with the opposite one presenting some cool box art or a screenshot. The amount of bonkers detail Crowley goes into with some games is quite staggering, and it's quite clear this is a man who delights in the details. Fake software houses are invented, new genre mash ups explored, and cliches stood on their heads, like the fact that the game "First Person Shooter" (PC, XBox One, PS4 - 2014) is about a time traveller who goes back to shoot the first ever person. If you think that's mad, then "Dance Dance Industrial Revolution" (Arcade, PS2 - 2010) will blow your mind.
"100 Best Video Games (That Never Existed)" really is a joy to read, best consumed in small doses, ideally on the bog. Obviously aimed at video game fans, the more you know about the industry the funnier you will find it, although Nobby Noobpants will still find plenty to chuckle about. It's not all gold, as a few barely raise a smile, but considering the sheer volume contained within, Crowley's hit rate is extremely impressive. The biggest problem is that I now REALLY want to play "Judge Dredd's Windy Day" (NES, C64 - 1986), but I can't. Boo!