Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-Playing Games by Matt Barton – A Review

I grew up in the early 80’s.  I was born in 82.  And I grew up gaming on the PC.

One thing I love now, and I have loved since the day I played Betrayal at Krondor, are Computer RPGs.  I cut my teeth on the likes of Baldurs Gate, Lands of Lore, Icewind Dale, and Neverwinter Nights.  Curious about the games I might have missed growing up, I found this book and picked it up.

The early parts pre 2000 were very well done but after that the book shows its age very obviously.  It goes over in great detail the Ultima series, Wizardry, Might and Magic, and the other Pre 2000 RPGs.  However, he makes mention at one point of PC Gaming dying (Which has been proven wrong) as well as having very little real info on anything in the last 6 years or so.  The book is great for the history of the old pre 2000 games, but anything more recent is rather sparse.  But I can understand that.

I would pick this up and read it ONLY for the early information.  He also frequently dives into Adventure games rather then sticking to RPGs, as he feels that is necessary to understand.  I disagree, but I understand the usage of it.

I would have also liked to see more interviews with the game developers.

This is a solid 3/5.  Good for gaming history buffs but anyone else should not really bother.

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2 thoughts on “Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-Playing Games by Matt Barton – A Review

  1. William Spear

    Ah, “the death of PC gaming”…the opposite side of the coin to “the year of the Linux desktop”.

    Thanks for this review – I’ve been slowly doing research on older adventure and RPG games for a few personal projects, so I’m glad that this popped up.

    Liked by 1 person

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