I’ve been an avid video game player for many years now, since I used to have to stand on a milk crate to play Space Invaders and Asteroids, and therefore tend to listen to a number of podcasts about games. These days with limited time I tend to be more interested in the history of games or how they are created rather than actually playing them, although the games I do play tend to be retro titles, with the occasional recent game.
With that in mind these are the current 5 gaming podcasts I like best, all are worth checking out.
I have been listening to this for years and it’s great because it’s by people in the industry. For those who don’t know 8-4 are a studio in Tokyo who translate games from Japanese to English and vice-versa, so they have an in depth knowledge of the game making process, as well as a unique view on the current Japanese game market. They’ve translated games such as Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Fire Emblem Awakening, as well as many others. They can be quite opinionated, and have little time for Microsoft or current western gaming trends, but it’s often amusing and can include stories about retro game shopping in Japan, special guests and various information about Japan.
This is another long term listen for me and they have recently celebrated 10 years of podcasts, which is impressive. Fairly obviously given the name they focus on retro games, from all platforms although given it’s a US show it does tend to look at things from that point of view meaning the experience of the presenters can be quite different from those of us in the UK and Europe. That said they have had in depth discussion about all manner of retro game topics, from looking at single games like Mario or Castlevania to talks about game preservation and the hardware to run old games authentically. Again they often have guests, especially if they are an expert on the game in question, this is a great place to start if you want to learn about game history.
This podcast again focuses on retro gaming although this time from a UK perspective, so it gives a quite different take from Retronauts. One of the most impressive parts of this podcast is both the amount of episodes put out, somewhere around 3 a week and the amount of presenters, I think there are 10 or more different ones who swap in and out, someone (I think Shaun Holley) referred to them as the So Solid Crew or gaming. One downside of so many episodes and presenters is the quality can vary somewhat, and they do tend to focus on some areas I have little interest in like 8-bit Computer games, but it’s easy enough to pick and choose the ones you want to listen to.
A recent addition to my podcast listening, but this is a unique show about gaming where Lauran, who has worked in the UK game industry for a number of years, interviews people from all parts of the game development process. It’s great to listen to their stories about how they got into the industry and various goings on at studios, as well as the types of games that have influenced them. A must listen for anyone looking to work in game development.
One of my favourite topics in gaming is arcade games and this is my favourite podcast about them. Every fortnight Vic and Shaun go through what they have recently picked up, events they have been to and features on particular board types or home repairs on machines. Possibly the best feature is each podcast they choose a game for a challenge, which anyone can participate in using #10pScore, and the following podcast they give an in depth review as well as going through the scores. It’s a very British podcast with much talk of tea and biscuits, it’s a little Vic and Bob at times and all the better for it. Be warned though, some of the players are extremely good, it’s going to take me some time to win a scoring challenge!
There are many others worth having a look at including Diary of an Arcade Employee, Maximum Power Up, Hardcore Gaming 101, Retro Asylum, The Dreamcast Junkyard DreamPod, Pie Factory and The Galloping Ghost Arcade. Let me know if you have any you particularly recommend, I’m always looking for good ones to listen to.