Spiffing Reads: Amstrad Action, Super Mario Run and a Racist Video Game

I was going to post this on Friday, but then the whole Nintendo Switch reveal got me all hot under the collar and I had to write a lengthy diatribe about it. I’m sure further thoughts will be forthcoming… Anyway, we’ve had some cracking gaming articles over the past couple of weeks, now that the December end-of-year list-a-thon is behind us. Here are a few of my favourite Spiffing Reads.


Seven reasons why grown ups should play more video games (The Guardian)

An impassioned and well-written argument by The Guardian’s Keith Stuart on why video games should be regarded as more than a ‘guilty pleasure’. It certainly made me think a bit more about why we play games, something I wrote about myself a while back. One day, perhaps there won’t even be a need for defences like this – you don’t see articles on seven reasons why grown-ups should watch football, after all.


How Amstrad Action changed my life (Eurogamer)

Another brilliant article from the wonderful Ellie Gibson. I could probably write a similar feature about how Amiga Power changed my life.  I haven’t, yet, but I did do a podcast on it.

Gaming’s big trends to keep an eye on in 2017 (GamesIndustry.biz)

An intriguing look at what’s in store for the year ahead – the points about mobile gaming and VR are interesting, but the section on harassment at the end really made me think.



A thoughtful look at how, in extreme cases, games can become a substitute for socialisation. Well worth a read. I’ve certainly used video games to comfort myself when feeling lonely before, and I’m sure most of us have done it at some point.


Super Mario Run is hardcore as shit if you give it a chance (Tired Old Hack)

An excellent review of what makes Super Mario Run so gosh darned good. Toad Rally really is where the Baby Marios get sorted from the Bowsers.


Developer Says Publisher Sabotaged His Game (Kotaku UK)

There’s been an ugly/cringeworthy online spat going on between Poncho developer Danny Hayes and publisher Rising Star Games. Hayes complains that he hasn’t made any money from the game thanks to the publisher, and Rising Star Games claims that he didn’t hit any of his development milestones. Watching the two air their dirty linen in public is fascinating, if a little lurid and voyeuristic.

How We Accidentally Made a Racist Videogame (Kotaku UK)

A great read about the dangers of ignoring diversity, however innocently it’s done. I had to read the last part between parted fingers of embarrassment on behalf of the protagonist.

Spiffing Reads is a regular feature where we pick out the best gaming articles of the week. If you’ve read anything interesting, please let us know in the comments.