The people at Matrix Games think video game instruction manuals are cool. Forgive them for not knowing any better.
Well, no one gave the Matrix people a memo, so here we are with an awkward piece of hype from Matrix Games and their friends:
"Slitherine, Matrix Games and Wastelands Interactive are thrilled to release a sneak peek at the Time of Fury manual to give gamers a feel for the intuitive yet realistic and engaging game mechanics that power this WWII grand strategy powerhouse!"
Man, it looks like Slitherine and Wastelands Interactive didn't get the memo either that instruction manuals are not worth getting excited about. They're offering people a sneak peek at their game's instruction manual.
The manual for Matrix Games' Time of Fury is 79 pages long. At least it's digital, though — download-only. These people aren't completely out of touch with the idea that video game manuals are a thing of the past.
Here's their manual teaser.
Oh, but what's this?
A Matrix Games public relations person named Sean tells me that their customers like instruction manuals. "It's actually a major selling point in our niche market," he told me, when I asked him if he realised how unusual it is for a video game company to be proud of their manuals.
He pointed me to this other manual for the Admiral Edition of a game called War in the Pacific. He told me that the game ships with a giant full-colour manual.
"Yes you pay a premium for the title but that tactile satisfaction from touching and flipping through a beautiful glossy manual is some serious value-added for many of our customers who come from board gaming backgrounds. For these guys, seeing the board on the table and moving the pieces around are a significant component to the enjoyment. A game this complex typically attracts the old school boardgamers who are not scared of a multi-100 page manual to begin with."
So people have to pay "a premium" for these fancy manuals, huh? One man's premium is another man's $US64. Not too bad.
Video game instruction manuals are not dead yet.