By Al Giovetti


The History of Hint Books, Strategy Guides, and Cheat Codes

by Al Giovetti

I co-authored a hint book with Shay Addams that was published by Origin Systems in 1988 called Quest for Clues. Quest for Clues books were publised by a variety of publishers over the years, until Shay Addams became disgusted with the game hints and cheats field and left it it several years ago. Shay Addams and his QuestBusters published books that were very similar if not identical to the strategy guides that are published by Prima, Brady, and other strategy book companies, today... In 1988, Strategic Simulations Incorporated, SSI, published their first hint book on Pool of Radiance. The book was called a Strategy Guide. The book was about 80 pages long and contained every encounter in the game, full maps for every level and area, and item lists for each magic item in the game. The book also described the non-player characters and their conversations. QuestBusters was also the name to a monthly newsletter also published by Shay Addams that contained walkthroughs and FAQs of games. QuestBusters was published from the early 1980s. We would like to add to this history and bring it up to date. Email us to help us make this a complete and accurate history of the genre.


  1. From: Julie Asbury julie@primapub.com
    Hi Al - I don't know of any articles or books published on the subject, but I can tell you that Prima created the industry in 1990 with its "Secrets of the Games" imprint and has been the market leader ever since. I'm not sure what specific information you need, but I will be glad to help in any way I can. Sincerely, Julie

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