The Crash Bandicoot Files: How Willy the Wombat Sparked Marsupial Mania – Jason Rubin & Andy Gavin (Dark Horse)

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Having been a fairly big gamer for all of my life and considering that I spent a large portion of my 80’s childhood on my Spectrum 48K roaming around various islands with an egg on legs, Crash Bandicoot was a revelation for me. It was like Sonic The Hedgehog, but it wasn’t a side scroller. Mind blown, as Owen Wilson would say in those annoying sofa adverts. I’m not sure that today’s gaming kids  take to a cartoon bandicoot that spins around, as much as the Playstation era kids of the mid 90’s did. These days the youth want Fortnite and Roblox and demand more realism from their games. But to a certain generation Crash represented an altogether superior alternative to Sonic and helped the original Playstation achieve worldwide success.

Having spawned several other titles and off course still going strong on the Playstation 4, we can now see how Crash and the crew, including of course the evil Dr Neo Cortex, were conceived with the release of The Crash Bandicoot Files. Dark Horse has put together a beautiful book that documents the creation of the game by reproducing the journals and original design documents provided  by Naughty Dog,  the company formed by Crash creators Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin, who in the foreword to this book provide an incredible insight into how much of a labour of love this was for them.

At 220 pages long this book is stuffed full of gorgeous glossy prints that any fan of the genre will drool over, indeed anybody with an ounce of interest in game design should take a look at this, just to marvel at the sheer amount of effort required to write and design a successful gaming franchise. A great idea for a book and a very interesting read, I’d love to see more like this… Chris Andrews

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