Zen Arcade: Classic Video Game Reviews

140 reviews of classic video games for Nintendo Entertainment System, Super NES, Nintendo 64, NEC Turbografx-16, Sega Genesis and SNK Neo-Geo.

434 pages. Release Date: 12/2/2017

Buy This Book:

Do you love to classic video games? Zen Arcade collects 140 reviews of video games across six classic platforms: NES, Super NES, Nintendo 64, NEC Turbografx-16, Sega Genesis, and SNK Neo-Geo. Author Daniel Thomas MacInnes, guides you through this living history with warmth, humor and sharp wit. Zen Arcade is a celebration of the vitality and power of classic video games to inspire and entertain. 

Writer and artist Daniel Thomas MacInnes has written about video games for over 20 years, living through the medium’s defining eras. Now with Zen Arcade: Classic Video Game Reviews, he brings readers on a journey of history and discovery through the golden age of arcade thrills and console wars.

Zen Arcade collects 140 essays of games from the 1980s and 1990s, originally released on six systems and now available on today’s digital platforms. MacInnes weaves through this rich history with joy and keen insight, never afraid to sing praises or heap scorn where necessary. Many lost gems are discovered, many sacred cows skewered, and many surprises made along the way.

Illuminating, sharply satirical and wickedly funny, Zen Arcade is a treasure trove for diehard and casual players of all ages, and a celebration of the medium’s vitality and magic. It is a defining text for the genre, a new standard in video game criticism and journalism.

Chapters and topics in Zen Arcade include the following:

NES: Adventure Island; Bubble Bobble; Donkey Kong; Galaga; Ice Hockey; The Legend of Zelda; Mega Man; Metroid; NES Play Action Football; Ninja Gaiden; Super Mario Brothers; Tennis; Xevious; and more.

Super NES: ActRaiser; Castlevania 4; Donkey Kong Country; F-Zero; Final Fight; Gradius 3; The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past; Pilotwings; SimCity; Street Fighter 2 Turbo; Super Mario World; Super Metroid; and more.

Nintendo 64: Cruis’n USA; Mario Kart 64; Super Mario 64; Wave Race 64; and more.

Sega Genesis: Altered Beast; Columns; Ecco the Dolphin; Ghouls ‘N Ghosts; Golden Axe; Space Harrier 2; Sonic the Hedgehog; Streets of Rage 3; Toejam and Earl; and more.

NEC Turbografx-16: Alien Crush; Bonk’s Adventure; Bomberman ’93; Devil’s Crush; Dragon Spirit; Dungeon Explorer; Military Madness; Neutopia; R-Type; Super Star Soldier; World Class Baseball; and more.

SNK Neo-Geo: Art of Fighting; Baseball Stars 2; Fatal Fury; The King of Fighters ’94; Magician Lord; Neo Turf Masters; Samurai Shodown; World Heroes; and more.


“Zen Arcade: Classic Video Game Reviews┬áis a very nice collection of video game reviews that looks at 140 titles across six platforms. If you are a fan of retro gaming or just looking to try some classic games out, then this may be the book for you.”

– BioGamer Girl