Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4

September 21st, 2013


Buy Here – $7.99

From the press release:

Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 takes under-appreciated gaming gem, Wario Land 4 (2001) for the GameBoy Advance, and splays the meat and bones of videogame design and structure across nearly 600 print pages to understand their influence on player experience.

Author Daniel Johnson, in a radical departure from contemporary videogames discussion, examines Wario Land 4 in its totality—including mechanics, psychology, education, level design, and game feel—calling on evidence-based analysis to understand the player’s subjective reactions to videogames.

Says author Daniel Johnson:

“A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 is unusual in its approach as we begin to understand videogames through evidence-based analysis rather than socio-cultural critique. I’m hoping this book will push against the accepted norms of ‘games criticism’ and open up new avenues for analytical discussion.”

Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 is essential reading for fans of Nintendo, side-scrolling platformers and retro videogames, curious players looking to better understand the games they play, and provides games designers a new approach for discussing their craft.


Book Resources

Be Part of the Discussion

Enjoyed the book and want to discuss games critically with a group of like-minded individuals? Click here to send an expression of interest.

Online Reference

Contains all videos, images, and links referenced in the book.

Additional Material

Promotional stuff, corrections, bonus extras, articles that didn’t make the cut—they all go here.

Suggested Readings

Finished reading and looking for more? Here are some related links freshly culled from the interwebs.

Extended Glossary of Terms

A direct link to the Critical-Gaming blog, where you can find articles elaborating on key terms, with explanations, examples, images, and video.


Samples from the book.


Any comments, questions, or corrections? I’m also open for press and interviews.

Email –

Twitter – @danielprimed

Skype – danielprimed