Armada is the story of a high school nerd whos talent at videogames thrusts him into a life–changing adventure full of old pop culture references. If this sounds like the same components that made made up Ernest Cline’s first novel, Ready Player One, it’s because it is. Of course being a near carbon copy of a great book certainly has its merits, but at the same time Armada often ends up highlighting its own flaws by referencing and borrowing from both Cline’s debut and other works so eagerly.
It’s 1990. Videogames are a $3 billion industry and Nintendo owns 90% of it. The other 10% is made up of wannabes that include SEGA, who in the next three years will transform themselves from obscurity into the market leader. This is the story of Console Wars, and Blake J Harris retells the greatest battle in videogame history in an exciting, detailed, and ever-so-slightly biased way.
‘Three hidden keys open three secret gates. Wherein the errant will be tested for worthy traits.’ This is the first riddle presented to Ready Player One’s protagonist, Wade Watts, and it effectively sums up the immense competition at the heart of Ernest Cline’s novel. The worthy traits referred to is a vast knowledge of 1980s videogame history and pop culture, as in 2044 there’s no better way to spend your time than to study how good everything use to be. Ready Player One has a unique premise, and tells the story of a terrifying future where the real world is so terrible that everyone spends as much time as possible inside a virtual reality simulation known as the OASIS.
I don’t usually write book reviews, but I’ve recently read some really great stuff I’d like to share with everyone. All the books I’ll be talking about focus on videogames in some way, so should hopefully be the kind of thing readers of Dracula’s Cave will be interested in. I’ve currently got plans for three reviews, and this is a mix of fiction and non-fiction. First one will be up later today, and please look forward to the following two I’ll be publishing in the upcoming weeks!