Nintendo's 'Playing with Power' book provides retrospective on classic NES games

The hardcover will be published alongside Nintendo's NES Classic Edition this November, and is already available for pre-order.


Nintendo has signed off on Playing with Power,an official hardcover book offering retrospectives on classic games such as The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. 3 (via IGN).

Published by Prima Games, Playing with Power will be published this November and is already up for pre-order. The book comes in an NES Game Pak-style slipcover and includes developer interviews, game retrospectives, "vintage advertising," and excerpts from the company's defunct Nintendo Power magazine.

Other insertions span hand-drawn maps—the way players used to chart their way through dungeons before minimaps became a thing—and artwork depicting game levels.

Playing with Power complements Nintendo's NES Classic Edition console, a plug-and-play unit boasting 30 built-in games.

The book appears to be Nintendo's attempt to staunch the tide of unofficial books looking back on old-school games. Bitmap Books' NES/Famicom book vanished from Kickstarter, resurfaced for a day, and then wilted after Nintendo issued a DMCA notice due to inserting official Nintendo artwork.

Perhaps Nintendo has realized it was leaving money on the table and finally decided to capitalize on nostalgia for its products.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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