Minion: So who crowned you The King of Grabs?
The King of Grabs: I did. Because I am the arguably the best at grabbing. Not the best games-player in the world, but you don’t need to be the best games-player to get the best grabs. So I am the self-appointed King of Grabs I guess… And also because it was a nickname given to me at PC Zone magazine when I worked there. Which was fun.
Minion: Are you a bad King?
The King of Grabs: No, I am a harsh but fair King.
Minion: Sorry, Sire, but what don’t you tolerate?
The King of Grabs: I don’t tolerate shoddy quality. Poor quality grabs are of no use to me or anyone else for that matter! And grabs that have been ruined by a cack-handed conversion make me weep… As you can tell: I do not suffer fools lightly.
Minion: No. What makes your heart soar? In grabbing terms?
The King of Grabs: Glorious symmetry, humour, vivid colours, startling contrast, poetry, space, and atmospherics. It depends. Older games tend to be cuter, more modern games tend to be darker. I love modern retro too. Some great grabs going on in modern retro.
Minion: Do you think Steam is good for the art of grabbing?
The King of Grabs: Of course! Steam has revolutionised grabbing and I’m glad to be a part of it. I love seeing other people’s grabs. There are some great shots out there. Some great galleries.
Minion: Why have you made this blog?
The King of Grabs: For a number of reasons. To show off some of my grabs collection to the world. To create a small database of fully-searchable grabs based on games/companies/systems/years etc. To maybe spark the enthusiasm of someone to go find and play a game. To show off some old grabs I’d collected during the course of my past work for the first time. To discuss gaming in general. Both retro and modern. I’ve just bought six new games in the Steam winter sale.
Minion: Good for you. What did you buy?
The King of Grabs: System Shock Enhanced. Sunless Sea, Drunken Robot Pornography, This War of Mine, and Crimson Clover.
Minion: Nice. A mix of 3D RPG, with overhead 2D, side-on 3D, and a bullet hell shooter…
The King of Grabs: I like to vary my gaming. I could do with more driving games though. I have a craving for Ultimate Race Pro right now. An early Windows game by MicroProse, I think. I need to grab that next…
Minion: How do you decide what to grab next?
The King of Grabs: Whatever direction providence hast set me.
Minion: Pardon me?
The King of Grabs: Pure luck.
Minion: Oh, okay. What about recently played games that you grabbed?
The King of Grabs: Had some fun with Quake II again recently. I remember grabbing it quite a lot when it first came out in 1997, and I still have those grabs. But they don’t show the game off at its best, so I re-grabbed it recently. Using the Steam version. It was a lot of fun. Still is. I’m still playing it. And still grabbing it. That one’s coming up. Quake II in the best light…
Minion: Is that the aim, then? To show every game in the best light?
The King of Grabs: Good question. Were you a journalist in a past life? In answer to your question: I guess so. To distil it down to just the very, very, VERY best grabs. Of my favourite games.
Minion: So you’re not going to feature any crap games?
The King of Grabs: I’m planning to write about a number of themes, and show a load of grabs based on particular subjects. Crap games is an idea that I want to include, sure. Have you ever played Grange Hill on the ZX Spectrum? I have. For the sake of grabbing posterity…
Minion: What are you going to do with all your grabs?
The King of Grabs: I want to write a book about the history of grabbing, and whaffle out a few stories about past grabbing achievements, and make it as visual as possible, so there’s that. More info about that will be coming soon. And I am also working on another related project that is online based. More about that later…
Minion: Okay. One last question for now. What is your ultimate grabbing tip?
The King of Grabs: Mmm. Depends what type of game you’re playing. If you’re playing a simple 2D retro game then get as much colour variation between your shots as possible. If you’re playing a modern 3D game then vary close-up versus far away, and vary lighting conditions. Then choose just enough grabs to give a good overall impression of the game.
This has been A. Minion, reporting for The King of Grabs
Janurary 7th 2018