As you may know, I’ve carved out a bit of a side career for myself with my series of video game encyclopedias.
While these will continue to be released on an annual basis (with the N64 Encyclopedia due later this year), I also spent the first half of 2021 writing a spin-off book dedicated to my favourite game genre, the platformer.
Jumping For Joy: The History of Platform Video Games is a 168-page hardback beauty that spans every era of the genre, from Pitfall! all the way up to Sonic Frontiers (though brilliantly, because of print run lengths, it’s still at the stage where it’s rumoured to be called Sonic Rangers).
And, as with my past couple of books, if you live in the UK you can pre-order a signed copy directly from yer man Scullion for a limited time. All you have to do is have the dedication to scroll through all my bullshit here and you’ll find full instructions at the bottom of this article, along with a link to order one.
The book consists of three main sections: the first covers every single Mario platformer ever released, from the arcade version of Donkey Kong all the way up to Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury on the Switch. And yes, this includes every Yoshi, Wario and Donkey Kong platformer too.
You can’t have a section about Mario in a book about platformers and pretend his long-running (literally) rival doesn’t exist, so the second section is all about Sonic games.
Again, every single Sonic platformer is covered here, from the original 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog all the way up to Sonic Colours Ultimate and the two as-yet unreleased titles, Sonic Origins and ‘Next-Gen Sonic’ (which we now know to be Sonic Frontiers.
Finally, it’s the main event: an enormous 100-page section dedicated to 50 other iconic or notable platformers throughout history.
To be clear, this isn’t a countdown of the 50 best platformers ever. It’s a chronological journey through the genre, told using games that stood out in a memorable way. Maybe they changed the genre in a unique way, maybe they were the shining example of a certain sub-genre, maybe they were just too bloody good to ignore.
Each of these 50 games gets a full two-page spread like this:
As with my previous books, Jumping For Joy will be available at all good book shops (and some rubbish ones too, probably).
At the moment it’s available on the official Pen & Sword website (the book’s publisher) – if you order from them you’ll get it first. You can also find it on Amazon UK and a number of other European Amazon stores.
As the book nears release and other book stores’ ISBN scraping shenanigans start kicking in, you’ll be able to buy it from your favourite store of choice, be that Amazon (all countries), Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Indigo Chapters, Walmart or what have you. Just search for ‘Chris Scullion’ on your site of choice and with any luck you’ll find it available to pre-order.
Signed copy pre-orders
Signed copies are sold out, sorry!
If you do decide to buy the book, whether you order a signed copy or order from somewhere else, thank you so much for doing so.
The Encyclopedias are slowly building up a dedicated following and I’m massively appreciative of that, but this spin-off book is more of a gamble so I’m really curious to see how it goes.
This one’s written more in my old ONM writing style, with more bad jokes, and I had a fun time writing it, so I really hope that shines through when reading it.