My copy of The Bitmap Brothers: Universe, an exhaustive (and gorgeous) history of the British studio behind games like Speedball and The Chaos Engine, arrived last week. And it’s awesome.

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While serving primarily as an account of the company’s life and death—which is fascinating, since they were one of the first studios to produce genuinely “cool” games, many of which have gone on to become cult classics—there’s also a load of art in there, from concept sketches of Speedball players to beautifully grainy screenshots of Z.

The book was written by Duncan Harris (of Dead End Thrills fame), and in addition to telling us about games we did get to play, also covers in interviews with (among others) company founder Mike Montgomery and lead artist Dan Malone some of the studio’s unreleased projects.

It’s £30 ($USD37) from the publisher’s site, and if you know anyone who is into video game history, would make a pretty neat Christmas present. Unless that person is you, in which case it would make a pretty neat conventional online transaction.