GamePro Hot Tips: Adventure Games
Length: 206 pages
From: The Editors of GamePro Magazine/IDG Books, 1990

Ad copy: "Over 120 of the best games with dazzling full color screen shots are inside this book - with hundreds of winning strategies, tons of tips, Secret Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.), and valuable game-ending passwords! Tips guaranteed to blast you out of the game-playing doldrums and into super-action stardom! Don't buy this book if you can't stand to win!"

The truth: Ok, ok, ok.. admittedly this book does cover Genesis and TurboGrafx-16 games alongside our beloved system (at least they didn't bother with Sega Master System crap). However, it's too good to resist as unlike the magazine, it's a fairly useful book.

Each game selected has several screen shots, a review that lasts a page or so and a selection of "Hot ProTips" that form anything from a quick list of generic hints to a detailed walkthrough of the game. At the end of the book is the obligatory list of random passwords, and some ads for back issues of GamePro. As any NES fan who could read back then knows, GamePro, while a very good magazine I'm sure at the heart, was written toward a... shall we say... rather young audience. Requiring even less brain cells to read than Nintendo Power, the mag offered hard-to-read text on lavish, loud backgrounds, reviews that went on and on about graphics without bothering to get to gameplay, codes in their S.W.A.T. section that worked after one or two corrections printed in next month's issue, and the classic "have the ad for the game right next to the review praising the game to high heaven" tactic that all gamers know and love. In short, it was the prototype for the magazine scene of today.

Which is why this book isn't really what you'd expect - every single page has black text printed on plain white background! What a miracle! I'm sure the editors really ached over that limitation (too bad Wired wasn't invented back then to give them true graphic design inspiration). The reviews, while in the well-known early GamePro style of endless praise, are useful to give you a general idea of the game, and the tips for each game are well written and concise. Even if this book was all text, it would have put Rovin's near-unreadable efforts to shame. The passwords inside all work too, in another departure from the magazine.

Even with the toning down of graphic mayhem, this book (and its companion Hot Tips: Sports Games) is one of the flashier of the NES-era tip books around, and it's worth a look at least for that fact. Even beyond that, though, it's useful for its content.