The revenge of the video game manual (
from to on 20 Jan 2024 21:57

Instruction manuals died out as video games introduced tutorials instead. But now games such as Tunic and The Banished Vault are bringing them back

#retrogaming on 20 Jan 2024 22:11 next collapse

I remember Ultima IV had a map, a metal ankh, a spellbook, and like a 160 page manual. on 21 Jan 2024 10:39 next collapse

I think Ultime IV also came with a prequel novelization of the original trilogy, or at least a decently detailed summary. PC games used to be packed it seems. on 21 Jan 2024 11:27 collapse

I still have my Ultima VI Compendium and Map, all of the details in them and the game lore added so much. on 20 Jan 2024 22:22 next collapse

Tunic uses the idea of a video game manual in such a wonderful way. Its not just a “hey this is what the buttons are, the interface is and a couple of character bios” kind of manual. The devs have made it a core part of the games experience as it guides you through literally the whole game and its secrets without even telling you that’s what it’s doing.

If you’ve not played it you need to experience it for yourself, it’s brilliant. on 21 Jan 2024 00:21 collapse

It’s pretty much the only game where saying how to play, beyond basic movement and attacking, is spoilers because of how they implemented it. Definitely worth the play on 21 Jan 2024 00:55 collapse

The game is so unique, and its puzzles so novel, I don’t it could be replicated successfully. on 20 Jan 2024 23:16 next collapse

I found this random indie steam game that had a PDF for a video Game manual, something that looked really time consuming to make. But the game had like 20 steam reviews and wasn’t rated very well.

Definitely seemed like a passion project. on 21 Jan 2024 09:48 next collapse

Which game is it? on 31 Jan 18:35 collapse

We want the name! on 21 Jan 2024 00:28 next collapse

Back in the 8bit home micro days, we used to read the manuals all the time. Mainly because the games took so long to load from cassette.

I distinctly remember the Microprose manuals for their simulation games when I had a 16bit computer, I felt like I could master the real vehicle after looking through those. on 21 Jan 2024 11:24 collapse

Would’ve loved if Horizon Zero Dawn on PC came with a manual I could read while it compiled shaders… on 21 Jan 2024 03:38 collapse

I miss gaming manuals. Yeah a lot of them were just sets of instructions and pretty forgettable, but every so often there was one that stuck out because someone had put the extra effort into it. Like the original Jak and Daxter game manual that had a map that detailed the entire route you took through the game. Or the Zelda Gameboy manuals that had these great illustrations every other page. Now the only reading materials games come with is the TOS and the Privacy Policy. Still, it's nice to see some games using them again, even if they are very niche. I really like the idea of a game that requires a physical manual in order to play it, almost as part of the gameplay. Like the article says it would be a very niche thing, but it would be a great experience.