‘Jumping For Joy’ Leaps Into Platforming History, With Plenty For Nintendo Fans To Enjoy

Image: Nintendo Life / Damien McFerran

If you’re looking to explore the history of Nintendo and its games, Chris Scullion, video games journalist extraordinaire and Nintendo Life contributor no less, is a go-to expert in the field. Having worked at Official Nintendo Magazine back in the day, he’s already got several tomes’ worth of facts and figures for you to peruse in his encyclopedia series covering the NES and SNES, with a new N64 encyclopedia coming later this year.

Not content with cornering the Nintendo market, yer man Scullion has expanded plans for encyclopedic domination with several projects in the works covering other systems, too. He’s already got the Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Encyclopedia under his belt, but before we enjoy his take on the Dreamcast library and beyond, his latest book, Jumping For Joy: The History Of Platform Games, is perhaps the perfect stepping stone for Nintendo fans who might want to expand their knowledge of games on those aforementioned other platforms.

Given Nintendo’s mastery of this particular genre, there’s an appropriately generous helping of Mario throughout Jumping For Joy’s 167 pages, which — as you might expect given the title — chart the course of the humble platform game from its origins to the present day. Shot through with Scullion’s trademark humour, the book’s largest section follows a similar format to the encyclopedias, with breakout facts accompanying entries for a whole bunch of notable works spanning over four decades of platform games.

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In addition, you’ll find a massive Mario section covering every one of the plumber’s platforming appearances to date, as well as the other side of that console wars coin — a corresponding zone exploring every Sonic the Hedgehog platformer. As you’d expect, Scullion’s immense knowledge and passion for games (Nintendo and otherwise) is showcased throughout, and if you’re familiar with his writing, you’ll know his enthusiasm is infectious.

Jumping For Joy is available to buy (or order) from all the usual retailers, with an RRP of £25, or $32.95 in the US. If you’ve ever enjoyed a platform game — and as a reader of Nintendo Life, we’d hazard a guess that’s probably the case — you’ll probably want to check this out.

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