For some, 'High Score' will be a welcome trip down memory lane and colour in some of the gaps in gaming history. For others, it'll be a crash-course in just how gaming has come to dominate popular culture.
Narrated by Charles Martinent - a prolific voice actor who's voiced everything from Mario to the elder dragon Paarthunax in 'The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim' - the documentary charts the early years of the video game industry through talking-head interviews with some of the people who played a role in it, and with the use of pixellated animation and archival footage.
The first episode, 'Boom & Bust', covers the meteoric rise and fall of Atari and the well-trodden story of 'ET' and how it came to collapse the industry, just as it was beginning. Interestingly, the episode also covers those who may not have had their due and proper recognition, such as Jerry Lawson, the African-American electronic engineer who invented cartridge gaming as we know it today.
The second episode, 'Comeback Kid', tracks how Nintendo managed to revitalise the games industry in the US with a plucky little plumber called Mario, a games magazine called Nintendo Power, and a crazy idea to pit players against one another in an event called the Nintendo World Championships, which then feeds into an exploration of esports and competitive gaming as we know it today.
The later episodes follow different events and changes, such as charting the rise of multiplayer gaming, featuring interviews with some of the people most responsible. Galway resident John Romero, the co-creator of 'Wolfenstein 3D', 'Doom', and the father of modern first-person shooters as we know them today, features prominently in one such episode.
Again, for anyone who has a knowledge of gaming history, this is all pretty familiar stuff - but for anyone who's been remotely interested in how popular gaming is and why it's become that way, 'High Score' provides for an illuminating and entertaining trip through the greatest hits of the industry.
There are some major holes in the story, of course. For one, the darker side of gaming - be it GamerGate, the rampant sexism and harassment in the industry, microtransactions - are all conveniently ignored in order to keep up the bright, vibrant tone and allow for everyone to smile and talk about how positive gaming is. It's true, gaming can be positive and a recurring interviewee talks about how gaming helped her come to terms with her transition, while another gaming developer talks about the simple realities of putting a black player in an American football game.
'High Score' isn't the complete tome of knowledge of the gaming industry, but it's the greatest hits distilled into six episodes that are easily digestible and fun to watch.