There’s something soothing about printed 16-bit art. The way the page captures the colour and composition of pixels, capturing a moment of gaming in time. Flipping through UK-based Bitmap Books’ SNES Pixel Book provides that good feeling in page after page of Super Nintendo history.
When we play older video games (or watch others play) the pixels flicker and flash across the screen. Even when paused, on-screen images feel fleeting, ready to fade to nothing with the press of a button. The SNES Pixel Book, originally authored in German by Robert Bannert and Christine Bauer and translated into English by Thomas Nickel, grants these images a comforting permanence.
Some images in the SNES Pixel Book are screenshots, captured moments from some of the Super Nintendo’s greatest games. Others are sprawling overworld maps, giant, multi-screen bosses, or compiled collections of character sprites. Along with tens of thousands of images carefully captured and curated specifically for this volume, the book also features in-depth articles about the games and genres that defined the SNES era.
The SNES Pixel Book covers many major Super Nintendo games, including Street Fighter II, Super Mario World, Super Castlevania IV, Axelay, Chrono Trigger, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Final Fantasy VI. Games are broken down into different classifications, exploring the evolution of genres like shooters, platforming adventures, and role-playing games through graphic design trends. It’s a fascinating read.
The SNES Pixel Book is also impressively put together. The 272-page, £29.99 hardback (around $40 USD ($58)) features a sewn binding, a spot-varnished cover, and comes secure inside its own beefy slipcase. Bitmap Books continues to impress with how well it puts books together.
Check out The SNES Pixel Book’s official page for many more peeks inside one of the most impressive collections of static pixel art I’ve perused.