As much as we'd all like to, and as much as phone games and Nintendo try, we can't play games all the time. Distractions such as eating and sleep get in the way, and our eyes will eventually tire themselves out on even the mildest of narrative focused adventures. From what I can tell, this is why books exist, to let us indulge our all consuming hobby even when we're away from the controller. StoryBundle has a long history of bundling the best video game related books out there as well as seeking out authors to pen exclusive works about subjects they've been dying to write about. It's that time of year again, and the StoryBundle Video Game Bundle has launched with a Summer Smash.
Included in the initial pay what you want selection is HG101 Presents: Sega Arcade Classics Vol. 2, Critical Hits (Exclusive), and Once Upon a Point & Click. Pay $15 or more for the bundle and you'll receive a larger collection, including exclusives like Fallen Down - Heartache & Compassion in Undertale, the Kingdom Hearts 2 entry in the Boss Fight Books series and more!
If you've never sampled their wares before, Hardcore Gaming 101 is a constantly updating database of in-depth retrospectives on everything from beloved gaming classics to obscure novelty consoles. It's legitimately one of the great bastions of writing about games nowadays, and that's why their work translates so well into book form. If Vol. 2 lives up to Vol. 1 (which is also included here as a bonus), that collection might be worth the asking price alone if you're interested in SEGA history.
Prefer newer games? You probably like Undertale, hopefully as much as I do. Fallen Down author and fellow games writer Joel Couture was kind enough to offer me an advance copy of the book in the weeks leading up to the bundle, and I was happy to find that he successfully captured and analyzed the same intense feelings that I felt a year ago reviewing the game. For a game that is hard to replay if you dig the narrative, an Undertale novel like Fallen Down can help players relive and understand the experience from the comfort of their reading chair.
The full Summer Smash bundle can be found here. The StoryBundle Video Game bundle will run for the next three weeks, and purchasers can choose how much of their money goes to the authors and how much goes to StoryBundle. In addition, an optional charitable donation of 10% from every sale goes to Frank Cifaldi and the fine folks over at the Video Game History Foundation. For those not in the know about that, the foundation is dedicated to preserving everything about the game industry, including old press kits and in-progress builds of games that would otherwise be lost to time.
A copy of Fallen Down - Heartache & Compassion in Undertale was provided by the author ahead of the bundle's release.