Most of the links below are to PDF files on, where you can download them.  Here is my MASTER BOOK LISTING.

Be A Home Videogame Superstar - Secrets To The Best Games For Your Atari VCS

By Ernest Zavisca and Gary Beltowski

This illustrated tome covers strategies, hints and solutions for Atari VCS/2600 games from Atari, Activision, Apollo, Imagic, and Spectravision.

The Book Of Atari Software 1983

By Jeffrey Stanton, Robert P. Wells, and Sandra Rochowansky

An excellent book that reviews software for the Atari 8-bit computers as well as 52 games for the VCS, controllers, and peripherals.

The Book Of Atari Software 1984

By Jeffrey Stanton, Robert P. Wells, and Sandra Rochowansky

An excellent book that reviews software for the Atari 8-bit computers as well as 52 games for the VCS, controllers, and peripherals.

Break A Million! At Pac-Man

By Ernest Zavisca and Gary Beltowski

Republished in hard cover as Win at Pac-Man.

The Complete History of Computer and Video Games

By Paul Glancey

From Computer and Video Games magazine.  History of video games, as told from a European perspective.

Guide to the Video Arcade Games

By David Lubar and Owen Linzmayer

Covers various classic arcade games from the “golden” era. This is the same person (Lubar) that programmed several Atari VCS/2600 games!  See my interview with David Lubar.

How To Beat Atari, Intellivision, and Other Home Video Games

By Michael Blanchet

Illustrated (very poorly) by R.B. Backhaus.  Also contains a chapter on converting the Atari joystick for left-handed use.  See my interview with Michael Blanchet.

How To Beat The Video Games

By Michael Blanchet

Includes basic information and playing strategies for 20 arcade games, from video game wizard and tournament champion Michael Blanchet.  See my interview with Michael Blanchet.

How To Master Home Video Games

By Tom Hirschfeld

Covers 30 different arcade games, with credit to several notable players such as Leo Daniels. Each game is presented with a B&W illustration of the board with pointers to what each part of the screen represents and then has the following sections in outline format: controls, scoring, dangers, observations, and strategies. The following Atari VCS/2600 games also have a game variation matrix (in case you lose your manual, I guess): Asteroids, Combat, Missile Command, Space Invaders, and Warlords. Also includes sections on high scores, clubs, exact instructions on how to find the secret room in Adventure, some arcade games, and manufacturer addresses. Hirschfeld was 19 years old at the time when he wrote this, and the book went on to sell 650,000 copies.

How To Master The Video Games

By Tom Hirschfeld

Covers 30 different arcade games, with credit to several notable players such as Leo Daniels.

How To Win At E.T. The Video Game (version 1)

By Consumer Guide

Everything you need to know on how to get the little guy safely back home.  The authors are Scott and Todd "the Fraud" Rogers, and the editor was Jim Gorzelany.

How To Win At E.T. The Video Game (version 2)

By Consumer Guide

This is a condensed version of the original (in both size and information) that came out the following year.

How To Win At Home Video Games

By Consumer Guide

Covers 70 games for the Intellivision, Colecovision, Odyssey 2, and especially the Atari VCS/2600.  Strategies and tips were provided from several top gamers at the time.  Also available in a beautiful spiral-bound form.  The author is Suzan D. Prince, who also did several reviews for Electronic Fun with Computers & Games.

How To Win At Pac-Man

By Consumer Guide

One of many strategy guides for Pac-Man.  Midway considered this one too good and unsuccessfully tried to sue Pocket Books in an attempt to ban it.  Includes a section on VCS Pac-Man.

How To Win At Video Games: A Complete Guide

By George Sullivan

To emphasize the importance of Pac-Man on classic video games, Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man are each covered in their own chapters. It also covers the Atari VCS/2600 and Coleco table-top versions. Each game is described with a B&W illustration (not to scale), a brief description, and sections on the controls, scoring, and strategy & tactics.  There's also a chapter on home systems, listing "the five companies that offer home video games" (Atari VCS/2600, Intellivision, Odyssey^2, ActiVision [sic], and Channel F).  Another on handheld and table-model games, and finally "Great Dates in Video Games", which includes the "Arkie" awards up to 1982 (first 3 years), and a brief glimpse of the future.

How To Win At Video Games: Complete Strategies for Top Arcade Games

By Consumer Guide

Covers 17 arcade games, most with great color pictures, plus tricks and settings sections. Everything is reprinted exactly as it appeared in various issues of JoyStik magazine!  Also includes photos of Tad Perry and Eric Ginner, who provided all the advanced tricks and strategies.

How To Win Video Games

By Consumer Guide

Has a chapter on Vital Video Statistics, which ranks each game except Frogger, Missile Command, Ms. Pac-Man, and Turbo, in the following categories: Bonus, Popularity, Enemies, Approachability, Sex Appeal, Age Appeal, Skill vs. Strategy, Pros, and Cons.  Also contains a chapter on Up-and-Coming Games, which refers to Eliminator, Hyperball, Mousetrap, and Stargate.  Seems to be VERY similar, but not identical, to How to Win at Video Games (0-517-381192).

Inventing the Adventure Game: The Design of Adventure and Rocky's Boots

By Warren Robinett

An unpublished book manuscript from the dawn of the video-game age (written in 1983-84).

Mastering Pac-Man

By Ken Uston

The original edition gave a standard Pac-Man pattern that does not work on the 7th and 8th key boards on an 'easy' machine, because the red monster is too fast then and moves far enough ahead to break the pattern.  A later edition corrected this with what looked like an obviously hastily-added note.  There's also chapters (but no patterns) for Ms. Pac-Man, as well as 2 illegal Pac-Man knockoffs - Puc-One and Mazeman, and chapters for the Pac-Man handhelds by Coleco, Entex, and Tomytronics, and even a chapter (with patterns) for the Atari VCS/2600 version!  There are also copies (well, at least one) that say "special edition revised edition" on the cover.

The Player's Strategy Guide To Atari VCS Home Video Games

By Electronic Games

Arnie Katz wrote the reviews and "Video” Frank Tetro Jr. the playing strategies.  Other EG staffers who helped were Joyce Worley, Ross Chambelain, Bill Heineman, and Henry Cohen.  The book also had help from people at Atari, Activision, and Games by Apollo.  See my interview with Rebecca Heineman.

Playing Donkey Kong To Win

By Video Game Books, Inc.

Contents same as any other "how to" book.  How else would you play…. to lose?

Score! Beating the Top 16 Video Games

By Ken Uston

Has the following on each game: B&W illustrations of the controls and screen(s); basic objective; scenario; novice, good, and expert scores; controls; the board; characteristics, strategies, and other versions (if any at the time), which includes arcade sequels such as Space Invaders Part II and Asteroids Deluxe.  Also has a very brief section on home systems and table-tops.  This book is full of details on each game!

Video Fever: Entertainment? Education? or Addiction?

By Charles Beamer

Psychological & social study on video games and the effects on the kids who play them.

Video Games

By Daniel Cohen

Adolescent-level book that discusses how video games work and their history.  Contains lots of nice B&W photos of arcade games, home game consoles, some Intellivision screen shots (from before the games were officially named), and more.

Video Invaders

By Steve Bloom

Author was editor of Video Games magazine.  Discusses the immensely popular video game which resulted from the marriage of the computer and the television.  A few facts are incorrect (such as Donna Bailey’s contributions with Centipede), but overall a decent retrospective.

The Video Master's Guide to Centipede

By Ron Dubren

Many illustrations and great Centipede tricks and patterns!  Illustrations are all black and white, and many screenshots are on grid.

The Video Master's Guide to Defender

By Nick Broomis

Lots of hand-drawn B&W illustrations.

The Video Master's Guide to Donkey Kong

By Steve Sanders

Contains complete directions for beating Donkey Kong along with several drawn maps (Donkey Kong's depiction is HILARIOUS!) to help you on your quest. FYI Steve Sanders is also known for claiming a false high score for Donkey Kong with Twin Galaxies for years before being outed.

The Video Master's Guide to Pac-Man

By John Birkner & Jim Sykora


The Winners' Book Of Video Games

By Craig Kubey

Includes a smattering of B&W photos and illustrations.  This includes photos of the controls of Asteroids, Defender, Pac-Man, and Missile Command, plus a photo of the never-released Keyboard Component for the Intellivision I.  Be warned that some of the home games listed are brief reviews as opposed to playing tips.  Also includes sections on "Great Video Game Arcades in the United States and Canada," "Video Game Etiquette," "Video Songs" (songs to play by, not generally specifically about video games), "The Future," "Videomedicine," "Video Reform," history & status of the coin-op and home industries, and a "Glossary of Video Slang," some of which I've never heard.

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