The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses by Jesse Schell.
I am normally reluctant to review actual “game design” titles. Such texts have proliferated in the last decade with a lot of “3D Game Design for Dummies” titles being churned out. I confess that I do not think very highly of most of these books. Many are not about game design at all, but about game programming, which is a different issue. Of those that do address design issues, most of them still leave me dissatisfied. They usually contain a lot of practical wisdom for particular genres of games, but without an overarching vision. As a result they often end up feeling scrappy and incomplete. Game design has not found its Newton or Einstein and perhaps it never will.