Wizard Week: Finale
Sandwich Islands Publishing had two more volumes in its Awesome strategy guide series that I’ve neglected to cover until now. As much as I hate to end Wizard Week on a downer, the full story must be told.
I know what you’re asking yourself right now: “What are these? Are they video game strategy guides? They claim to offer all the latest strategies and hottest cheats, but if that’s true, where are the wizards?”
Faced with declining interest in 16-bit consoles, Sandwich Islands Publishing’s cover designers resorted to drastic changes for Awesome Sega Genesis Secrets 5 and Awesome Super Nintendo Secrets 4. These changes included the elimination of its cover mascots.
Predictably, without a wizard, dragon, or sorceress to guide their purchasing decisions, gamers were confused as to whether these guides offered awesome secrets or not, and they sold very poorly. It should go without saying that these two books were the last volumes in both series.
Prima’s conservative approach to cover design was ultimately the more prudent choice. The company remains a popular name in video game strategy guides to this day.
Sandwich Islands Publishing is no more. The last book to be published at SIP by Awesome series author J. Douglas Arnold was — seriously — this:
Awesome Sega Genesis Secrets cover artist Richard Fields went on to enjoy a storied art career. Thanks to his experience with wizards, he soon mastered the art of drawing human facial hair. Behold his magnum opus — a haunting look at the thousands of tiny dolphins that live inside Neptune’s beard:
Disillusioned by Sandwich Islands Publishing’s fate, Bantam Books was last seen riding a surfboard guitar into outer space, vowing only to return when our planet had reestablished its faith in wizards.
That day is still yet to come.