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Game manuals need to come back


Gold Member
I never read them when they came packed with a game. Instead I would just start playing and slam my controller into the floor when I didn't know how to play the game.


One of the reasons I love Limited Run games is art on both sides of the cover (or at least an alternate cover) and a manual.


Gold Member
PC game manuals were the best back in the 90s.

I'm not talking about all the pages about installing or troubleshooting or keyboard shortcuts. But for you console only gamers back then, since the PC boxes were so big and games trended to strategy games or sims, the manuals would have tons of detailed info, fancy throw ins like maps for RPGs (Ultima cloth maps), cheat sheet reference cards (unit details for strategy games), and the production values could be good.

Console games at best had thin and colourful paper booklets. But nowhere close to PC games.


I'm more on the eco-friendly side and I don't really mind trees being saved to cut back on promotional items like magazines and manuals, but if they found a way to incorporate digital manuals into games like Elden Ring did; that would also be a good consolation for the fans that want more supplemental material and lore in their purchase.


Most game manuals was a waste of paper. The only game manuals i remember apreciating during the PS3 gen, was the MGS4 one because of the artwork used, and the SF4 cuz you could see on the manual how to perform the special moves of each character (the ones available at launch).

BTW, the physical version of Cyberpunk comes with alot of paper goodies that i look at them one time.


Gold Member
Hate this take. This lead us down the path of the first 1-2 hours of every AAA game these days having unskippable tutorials, aimed seemingly at a person who has never played a videogame before. I remember games like King's Field because they didn't tell you anything. Here's an island to explore, there's a bad thing happening here, good luck! 30 seconds later you're getting one shot by an 8ft-tall land squid. Fuck me - that sticks with you.

If a developer is adamant about explaining everything to you, why not put it in the manual? Read the manual if you want every mechanic explained in detail, otherwise, let me people get straight to the good stuff.
Unskippable tutorials are a plague.
And you are right that many games are plastered with them.
Especially AAA, because AAA aims at casuals, and apparently casuals have never played games before (idk devs' reasoning, either, it's weird).

But the solution here is not to go back to the times of the Ancients with external manuals.
The solution is skippable tutorials and other in-game means.
Some games like Civilization do this exceptionally well by having what is essentially an in-game wiki as well as in-game advisors (optional and unintrusive) to guide you.

Now, you could say that an in-game wiki isn't really much different from a manual...
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Drunken Prophet
same page. literally. love manuals and dont understand how they got rid of it. its not about saving trees, it is more about lying to the consumers and stuffing the pockets of greedy publishers and shareholders.
Manuals were much more than just telling you what the controls were/how to play the game. They often contained world lore, character bios, beautiful artwork etc. It always brought a smile to my face when I bought a game, opened it up and was greeted with a thick, colour manual. Games that had these were always and without exception quality experiences, good times.


Manuals? Never read them never needed one, man up gaymers.

( I played Resident Evil back in the day and only realised there was a run button half way through, if only id have read the manual eh?)


Jim Ryan Fanclub's #1 Member
I recently bought a copy of Half Life for the PS2 and really enjoyed reading through the manual. I never knew Gordon Freeman was 27 in the first game. Always felt like he's 43 or something.
I thought I was 45 years old.

looks old Gordon Freeman


One of the green rats
Yeah only Nintendo made great manuals after the 8 bit era. Maybe square.

They were cool though. Don’t really need them back.
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