If we need help these days, on a subject, skill or hobby, all we have to do is reach for the internet. The world wide web can help us enjoy all our entertainment and hobbies. If we have old toys from the 80s that have seen better days there are some great tutorials for how to customise and repair toys. If you happen to be stuck on a video game, there are multitudes of walkthroughs and tutorials that can not only help you get past your challenge but also optimise your skill or improve your time. If you’re learning a new skill in real life, like skateboarding, there is a ridiculous amount of online videos to help you, that just weren’t available before. There are cashback website that help you get money back after buying things like video consoles and games. And if you unwind with some online gaming such as bingo or jackpot games, there are sites such as jackpotjoy that offer promo codes and bonuses. All of these are examples of how the internet can help us enjoy our online entertainment experience. But before the internet appeared, things were a bit different. 

If we were stuck on a video game in the late 80s and early 90s, we didn’t have many options. We could ask our mates, in case they had experienced the same issue and had worked out how to do it themselves; we could watch GamesMaster on Channel 4 and hope that Sir Patrick Moore’s character happened to pick your particular game and challenge to give a tip on that week; or you could read a magazine as they often had hints and tips within their pages.

My favourite magazine for the ZX Spectrum was Your Sinclair. I just loved the humour in it, as well as some of the interesting articles and sections they included in the mag. One great section was the tips section, which had multiple names over the years. But one year, in 1990, they released this Tipshop Tiptionary, a stand-alone book which contained a plethora of hints, tips and pokes for Speccy games, some of which came from the magazine archives, mixed in with some great new material.

I really acquired a copy of the Tipshop Tiptionary and it’s pretty great.

One of the best bits about the books was the jokes section at the back. Some good jokes in there and some also slightly risque!

All in all, this book is a great resource for game tips, and also a relic of a different time. It’s been great to take a closer look at the Your Spectrum magazine over the last year so, and now it’s even better to add this memorabilia for Your Spectrum’s follow-on magazine, Your Sinclair.