What are the best Amiga games?

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Jeff

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Edited By Jeff  Staff

I want to take a longer look at the Amiga and what sets it apart today, but it’s hard to be impressed by what people seem to claim as the “best” Amiga games at this point, mostly because a lot of those games are ports and better or equal versions of the game were available elsewhere.

So if you care about the Amiga, I’m curious to know: what’s worth looking at in 2015? Are there versions of games that are historically significant? I see people talk about the quality of the Marble Madness port or Mortal Kombat II, but considering how easy it’s become since then to simply play the original versions of those games, the ports fall a bit flat. I owned an Amiga 500, but didn’t have access to a ton of games at the time.

So, then, I ask you: what are the best Amiga games? What should I definitely be looking at?

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csl316

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#1  Edited By csl316  Online

Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge is so good that I did a cover of the title theme (a quick cover).

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Imsorrymsjackson

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Ruff n Tumble

Magic Pockets

Yolanda (strange game, makes no sense)

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whitegreyblack

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I remember my Amiga-owning friend being completely blown away by Thexder. Granted, this was back in the late 80s / early 90s - so take that as you will.

Loading Video...

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ThatAintFalco

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#4  Edited By ThatAintFalco

What the hell... moonlight sonata for a sci-fi action game from japan? huh

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GunstarRed

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#5  Edited By GunstarRed

I know you've been kinda indifferent about it in the past, but the Chaos Engine and most of the other Bitmap Brothers games. Flashback, although I assume a lot of games like this you got on the PC. Ruff N Tumble was a cool platformer. I don't think it was super great, but I thought its visuals were far superior to the Snes/Mega Drive platformers at the time.

Banshee and Super Stardust bere cool spaceship shooters and Dreamweb was a kind of top down cyberpunk game I assume you'd be way into. I remember getting really stuck in that.

Oh, also you should look at Body Blows, the Amiga's Street Fighter killer...

It's fuckin TERRIBLE!

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Shindig

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@csl316 said:

Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge is so good that I did a cover of the title theme (a quick cover).

Yes. They made three of those games. All with monster soundtracks. I also remember playing Vroom! a lot but was never good or old enough to decide whether the game was good.

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GordonDaniels

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While not really a classic, I have a serious fondness for the Killing Game Show. (Also released on the Genesis as Fatal Rewind.) This game was really hard. I don't think I ever beat the third stage. But the game's playback mechanic absolutely blew my mind back then.

The problem with asking about Amiga games specifically is that most of the games were ported to many other computers/consoles, and as such chances are that you've already played many of them. In fairness though the Amiga ports often had the best music.

Also while its probably well known by now you can plug old Genesis controllers into the Amiga as a joystick. This was a huge discovery for me back in the 90's as all of the Amiga controllers I had sucked.

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71Ranchero

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I have heard great(terrible) things about a fighting game called "Human Killing Machine".

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Mento

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#9  Edited By Mento  Moderator

Damn, what a question. A list of good Amiga games is something I've been working towards for June, since that's when Amiga/Atari ST turn 30.

The first thing is that any sort of action game and especially ports of Arcade stuff is bound to fall short. The system's joysticks had one button apiece, so most games either had to get creative with the controls or simply leave things out.

What the Amiga/ST excelled at instead were PC games before the PC was really a thing. In a sense, the Amiga/ST are similar to the consoles of today, in that they made PC games super accessible to folk who didn't want to worry about graphics cards and any number of weird hardware conflicts. The Amiga/ST had a couple of "upgraded" versions apiece (sort of like the RAM upgrades the TG16/Duo got) and that was largely it for fucking around with hardware. Because they had two-button mouse support, you were almost always better off with its mouse-driven games.

Here's a few suggestions:

  • Any early Sierra or LucasFilm game got a decent Amiga/ST port. Games like Secret of Monkey Island (though watch out for disk swapping), Maniac Mansion, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade/Fate of Atlantis, Zak McCracken, Loom, etc. The ST/Amiga also had the best versions of the MacVenture games IMO, since they actually had color and weren't nearly as hamstrung by poor controls as the Japan-made NES versions. There were a lot of less known point and clicks that wouldn't make it to PC, but you're on your own with most of that.
  • Dungeon Master and Chaos Strikes Back are classics of the real-time dungeon crawling genre, and were more or less the originators of that specific sub-genre. Legend of Grimrock was very deliberately based on DM. The system saw a lot of imitators too, like Bloodwych, Captive and Knightmare (the latter of which was actually based on that goofy green-screen LARP kids show from the UK).
  • Other semi-decent CRPGs: Drakkhen (some weird shit, don't walk into signposts), Cadaver (thanks to Rare, or Ultimate Play the Game as they were known back then, the system had a lot of isometric puzzle games like this), Gold Box/Bard's Tale (if you wanna go further back) and the HeroQuest and Space Crusade board game adaptations from Gremlin.
  • Lemmings/Lemmings 2 were built for the Amiga, and that's a perennial puzzle favorite. Lots of ports, of course, but this was the origin point. Ditto with Cannon Fodder.
  • Arkanoid 2 is one of the rare Arcade ports that works because of the mouse. The system had a lot of BreakOut clones if I recall. Magazines used to feature a separate "bat and ball" genre designation because there were so many.
  • The Dizzy games were perhaps one of those time and place things, but you didn't really see adventure platformer games like that before or since. Try Fantasy World Dizzy or Magicland Dizzy with an infinite lives cheat enabled (it's kinda bullshit to get an hour into one of those and fluff a tricky jump).
  • A lot of C64 ports looked a lot better on the Amiga/ST, not to mention loaded in a fraction of the time. Wizball, for instance. Trouble was, you were usually trading off its excellent SID music.

I seriously have hundreds more of these. These were the systems I grew up with. Hopefully you find a few games to turn you around on that old thing.

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MattyFTM

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#10  Edited By MattyFTM  Moderator

I'd highly recommend checking out Defender of the Crown. It was available on plenty of other platforms, but the Amiga version was the first one, and the definitive one. The core game is just Risk, but the side side stuff is pretty cool. And graphically, it is incredibly impressive for a game that came out in 1986. It amazes me when I see that game that it came out when 8-bit graphics were the standard.

Elite also seems like something worth checking out, especially considering the recent release of Elite Dangerous. Again, it was on plenty of other platforms but the Amiga version was one of the best, and it isn't a game that has been ported to tons of modern systems so you probably haven't encountered it much.

Aside from that, I don't know what else to suggest. I could rattle off names of games I played for the Amiga, but I last played that system when I was a kid, I'm not sure what was actually good. I remember North & South being great. I enjoyed Zool but in hindsight I'm pretty sure it was actually an average game. The Great Giana Sisters is somewhat historically notable but you've looked at that in Giant Bomb content in the past.

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Shindig

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It has the definite version of Interational Karate +. So much so that they ported it to the Playstation to provide one of the spaciest CDs ever.

Loading Video...

You planning on an Amiga live stream, @jeff?

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FinalDasa

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#12 FinalDasa  Moderator  Online

A friend of mine from elementary school had an older brother who would let us watch him play some Amiga games. He didn't have many but I remember being blown away with how complicated and in-depth these games were. Most of the ones I remember came out in the early 90s and tend to be simulation or strategy games for what it's worth.

The Settlers

Dune II

Civilization

Ambermoon

North & South

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szlifier

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GunstarRed

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#14  Edited By GunstarRed

@mento: I remember Fate of Atlantis being on 11 or 12 disks and taking 20-40 minutes to load the game in full. There was a lot of that back then. The port or Mortal Kombat was ridiculous and required so much swapping between Disk 2 and 3 between single fights. But the worst of these was Beneath a Steel Sky. That game took aaaaages to load up.

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ff3366

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MikeW1980UK

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#16  Edited By MikeW1980UK

Shadow of the Beast 2 was a very hard game, but the intro was outstanding for the time.

Also check out Benefactor, Alien Breed (probably 2 or Tower Assault), Super Cars and of course, the intro song of Chuck Rock.

Edit: as a fan of digital pinball, look for Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies, Pinball Illusions (all pre-Battlefield Dice Games) and probably the best Amiga pinball game, Slamtilt.

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Mento

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#17 Mento  Moderator

@mattyftm: I'll second Elite and North & South. Great versions of those games. I think I spent hundreds of hours on Elite.

Here's a few more:

  • Coktel's Gobliins series (you can get the PC versions on GOG easily enough, though, as is true for many other RPG and adventure games)
  • Wizkid (Wizball's "sequel" and friggin' bizarre. You'd need a guide to figure out the logic behind its puzzles)
  • BSS Jane Seymour (a tense sci-fi dungeon crawler where fixing the ship's life support was your number one priority)
  • Lords of Chaos (one of those games I wish I could've figured out. Felt very like X-COM, but with bears you could summon)
  • Mega lo Mania (like Populous, with an emphasis on procuring Civilization-style technological superiority. I actually preferred this to Populous).
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Kub

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From the top of my head, the games I loved on Amiga:

Another World.

Flashback.

Sensible World Of Soccer.

Universe.

Beneath A Steel Sky.

Moto Racer.

It would be good to take a look at Delphine Software games in general, these guys were killing it on Amiga.

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Rebel_Scum

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Overlander was awesome. I had it on the Atari 520st but I'm sure it was great on the Amiga 500.

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me3639

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I still remember there was an actual Amiga demonstration at my school at the time and nothing came close when we saw Larry Bird vs Dr J One on One. Commodore ruled in its day.

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MikeW1980UK

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#21  Edited By MikeW1980UK

@jeff If you were to play these on some sort of Live Stream, you should show us Amiga fans quality with some real hot bangers, like The Speris Legacy, Quake (yes, the best FPS) and Rise of the Robots.

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Zeg

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I was the AtariST half of the Amiga/Atari pairing with my friend, but there were a few that I liked enough to remember. Though, I can't say anything to the quality or 'historical significance' of these... they were more just the dumb, fun games we enjoyed in our youth:

Transplant - reminds me now of Spheres of Chaos in some ways... less completely eye destroying glowiness though.

Base Jumpers - really, really dumb... but damn hilarious. Also, what a concept for a platformer: breaking and entering followed by suicidally dangerous base jumping.

Super Skidmarks - for when you can't play Ivan "Iron Man" Stewart's Super Off Road.

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dprotp

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What about Turrican? Never played it myself, but damn if that title screen music isn't bomb.

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Fishdingo5

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#24  Edited By Fishdingo5

I have to go with Sid Meier's Pirates. I think I had it on the Amiga 2000 but I am pretty sure I played it on the 500 too.

Compared to the NES or Dos version (maybe until the gold version) it was way ahead in graphics and music.

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fisk0

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#25  Edited By fisk0  Moderator
No Caption Provided
  • Perihelion is a really fascinating game to me. It's a dark sci-fi dungeon crawler with an amazing art style.

The graphics artist, Edvard Toth who worked on that game has made it freely available on his website, I recommend you check it out (it's got a ridiculously lengthy intro sequence spanning two floppies though). You can grab it here: http://edvardtoth.com/games/perihelion/

  • I'm also really fond of the FPS Gloom. It was called a Doom clone back in the day, but it's more of a Rise of the Triad clone, with an Wolfenstein 3-D-ish engine, unlimited ammo and ridiculous amounts of gore.
  • I think you absolutely should check out a couple of the Horrorsoft/Adventuresoft games. I think the Elvira games (based on the Elvira's Movie Macabre 80's TV show - whose titular character Elvira also appeared at Wrestlemania 2) are the most highly regarded, particularly Elvira II: Jaws of Cerberus. Waxworks is also pretty infamous for it's graphic death scenes.
  • Thexder is rad, but it was available on all the home computers of that era, and I think the TRS-Coco 3 version may be the best version of that game.

Many of them were multiplatform games, also available on PC, but up until 1991-92 or so, PC versions generally were vastly inferior to the Amiga versions, which had much better color depth and sound (PC games generally were still using 16 color EGA or even CGA back then, and while Adlib support had started appearing, most games didn't have digitized sound effects yet).

I guess the Cannon Fodder games and Sensible Soccer have already been covered on the site. But If I remember correctly, you've only played the PC version of Cannon Fodder, not the Amiga version which had lyrics in it's title song!

Loading Video...

And while this version of the cemetery music was never played in the game, it's really amazing:

Loading Video...

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Pete0r

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I've just dusted off my Amiga collection since I last played around with it 15 years ago. Pretty much my golden age of gaming corresponds with the Amiga and my introduction to adventure and role playing games or the great times I spent with friends or my brother playing coop or multiplayer.

Looking back the graphics aren't as hot as I remember them but holy cow the sound and music still remind me how primitive the pc was at the time, I can't speak for any console as I never had one back then.

I'm shocked nobody has mentioned Turrican II: The Final Fight

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If you happen to be 10 years old and having watched Aliens with your mates then Alien Breed will keep you going through many a weekend.

Both regular and cyber sports are accomodated with Sensible World of Soccer '96/'97 and Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe.

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TwoLines

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#27  Edited By TwoLines

Moonstone.

And uh... Moonstone.

And also Moonstone.

EDIT: Oh snap- I almost forgot about these other games: Cannon Fodder, Civilization, North and South and Moonstone.

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penguindust

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I had these on the Atari ST but since I know no one will ever do a retrospective of that home system, I'll mention them here since they came out on the Amiga, too.

I played a ton of Rainbird's Starglider back in the mid 80's. It had a nice fake vector graphics look to it. VIDEO

I also played a lot of Microprose's Gunship. I remember it you were hit you had to auto-rotate to land safely. VIDEO

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Lagites

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sparkysanxion

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I remember Heimdall being a lot of fun when I was a kid. A kind of isometric action puzzle platfom thing, with some cool minigames too.

Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge 2 (specifically 2) is probably the best sprite based racing game on the machine imo.

Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe is one of the best 2 player sports games. Followed closely by Kick Off 2 or Sensible Soccer.

Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies, Slam Tilt, Pinball Illusions are pretty much the best pinball games from the early 90's on any system.

There are a ton of cool adventure games on the system. I seem to remember liking the version of Blade Runner that came out.

Any of the Alien Breed games..but probably Tower Assault is the better of the 3 main ones.

Project-X (special edition 93 << they fixed up a few issues) is a great shooter, as is Super Stardust.

Also, as pointed out... Whizkid is great.....once you figure out wtf is going on!

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SuperVHS

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#31  Edited By SuperVHS

There's a game I used to play called Alien Fish Finger. The grunt sound effect for being shot was pretty good. You basically side-scrolled around shooting aliens in different areas.

Other than that everything else was super bootleg: Space Invasion, Puc-man, Line Runner, Super Bob Dylan etc

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betaband

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Sensible Soccer

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Rebel_Scum

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@kub said:

Another World.

Flashback.

Yeah those are really great games but there are better ports of those on the Megadrive. The Amiga 500 versions lacked the extra music that added to the atmosphere.

I played a ton of Rainbird's Starglider back in the mid 80's. It had a nice fake vector graphics look to it. VIDEO

Dunno if it was the version I had on my Atari 520st (with the powerpack I assume you also had?) but that game was damn near impossible to play. A lot of the enemies wouldn't die so you'd have to be content just flying about. I would rate the intro music as being one of the best ever though.

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csl316

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#34 csl316  Online

@shindig said:

@csl316 said:

Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge is so good that I did a cover of the title theme (a quick cover).

Yes. They made three of those games. All with monster soundtracks. I also remember playing Vroom! a lot but was never good or old enough to decide whether the game was good.

And from what I remember, the Lotus games were originally on Amiga and pretty fondly praised at the time technically. I know there was a Sega version but the sound chip couldn't do it justice!

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Sinusoidal

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They've probably already been mentioned, but Populous, Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, Star Control and any number of point and click adventures including the less well-known Neuromancer which is highly underrated and just as good as many of the old Sierra and Lucasarts games.

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fisk0

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#36 fisk0  Moderator

They've probably already been mentioned, but Populous, Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, Star Control and any number of point and click adventures including the less well-known Neuromancer which is highly underrated and just as good as many of the old Sierra and Lucasarts games.

These are all great, but I think Neuromancer was best on the C64 rather than the Amiga.

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BlackLagoon

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#37  Edited By BlackLagoon  Online

@gunstarred: Dreamweb is actually freeware now, and the PC CD-ROM version can be downloaded from the ScummVM website. (And Jeff, for point and click adventure games in general, ScummVM is probably a better option than Amiga emulation. A lot of them got enhanced DOS CD-ROM releases anyway.)

As for my suggestions, never had an Amiga myself. But a friend did, and I remember Battle Squadron being very impressive at the time. Midwinter was jawdropping as well, though that one was incredibly obtuse and hard to get into.

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@shindig said:

It has the definite version of Interational Karate +. So much so that they ported it to the Playstation to provide one of the spaciest CDs ever.

Loading Video...

You planning on an Amiga live stream, @jeff?

This. Pretty much this and the better versions of Cannon Fodder

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@blacklagoon: Dreamweb was LEGENDARY ! One of the best stories told in the history of games. So complex and weird, that I wonder where the idea came from ?? Playing it was pure pleasure .....

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Psykodoughboy

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#40  Edited By Psykodoughboy

Terrorpods

Fire and Ice

Agony

No second prize

Swiv

Gods

Pinball dreams

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BlackLagoon

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#41  Edited By BlackLagoon  Online
@rebel_scum said:
@kub said:

Another World.

Flashback.

Yeah those are really great games but there are better ports of those on the Megadrive. The Amiga 500 versions lacked the extra music that added to the atmosphere.

Eh, that seems quantity over quality to me. The tracker music on the Amiga is way higher quality than what the sound chip in the Mega Drive was capable of, so I'd still say the Amiga music is better.

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jacksukeru

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I grew up with an Amiga 500 and while I don't feel like particularly many of the games I played on it back in the day hold up now, these are the few that are standouts in my mind as possibly being interesting to look at.

Apprentice is a pretty simple platformer where you carry boxes around and chuck them at enemies or sometimes stack them to climb, or use them to cross water. Also there are brooms that can kick boxes back at you. It looks pretty good, has a pretty great amiga style sound and music from that Giana Sisters guy, Chris Hulsbeck.

Loading Video...

(Some of the music is absolutely fantastic)

Morph I played on the Amiga CD32, but there was a version for regular Amiga. It's a puzzle game where you change between 4 different states to get cogs and evade hazards. Pretty cool.

Superfrog from Team 17 is probably also noteworthy. It's pretty and moves quickly. Sort of too focused on mindless "point item" collecting to really hold up today, I feel.

Global Gladiators seems to have had a lot of versions, I thought the sound was best on the version I grew up with, naturally. In the game, you shoot gunk out of Super Soakers at slime and Ronald Mcdonald is there. Eventually you meet beavers.

Zool is a pretty terrible game I'm sure, especially trying to play it on a single button joystick. Reading how it was hyped as a Sonic and Mario killer by amiga fans at the time is pretty funny. It was one of those games that had a crazy codewheel, that I actually kept around for a long time. It was neat. Also I like Zool's design.

You already know about Flashback.

Revenge of the Mutant Camels is a game I didn't know the name of until googling it for this thread (I probably couldn't read, much less read English when I first played it). Turns out that it's a game by Jeff Minter. That makes....too much sense in retrospect. Anyway it's a crazy co-op shooter where you play a camel and I want to say a cigarrette is a powerup.

aside from those, most of my experience with the Amiga came from a ton of small games and game demos that must have come with magazines my dad bought at some point. Some of the game demos, like those for Silly Putty, Yo! Joe! or Catch 'em, didn't seem to hold up as well as full games, as they did as the endlessly revisited demos of my childhood. But maybe they're still worth looking at.

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Moonstone is one of my absolute favorites from when I was a kid, has knights, monsters, tons of gore, loot, weapons, armor, usable items, you level up and choose stats to upgrade and get more durable and stronger etc.

It´s pretty great.

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penguindust

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#44  Edited By penguindust

I played a ton of Rainbird's Starglider back in the mid 80's. It had a nice fake vector graphics look to it. VIDEO

Dunno if it was the version I had on my Atari 520st (with the powerpack I assume you also had?) but that game was damn near impossible to play. A lot of the enemies wouldn't die so you'd have to be content just flying about. I would rate the intro music as being one of the best ever though.

I had an Atari 1040 ST, so maybe it ran a bit better on that beefier system. Eventually, I got an auxiliary floppy drive that enabled it to run some MS-DOS games.

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Jimbo

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There are a lot of classic Amiga games worth looking at, but I can't think of any which wouldn't also have been available and probably superior elsewhere. They're typically only considered to be 'classic Amiga games' due to the ubiquity of Amigas at the time (in certain countries). Also because the ridiculous ease of piracy on Amiga meant that any game which was any good immediately became a shared experience for everyone. I'd say that my legit to pirated game ratio at the time would have been about 1:100

The only things I can come up with are Sensible Massacre --which is barely even a real game but has a dumb and smirk-worthy story behind it-- and the fact that the Amiga version of the Hero Quest music is fucking amazing and I would have to imagine better than any other version.

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Mortuss_Zero

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I hear this Hot Gem is pretty fresh for amiga owners, only came out 2 years ago.

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redking56

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#47  Edited By redking56
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Lionheart MOTHERFUCKERS

I'm surprised no one has posted it yet.

Also Turrican. The Amiga version is actually the superioriest version. The Genesis/MegaDrive port wasn't a smooth transition and suffers from taking the controls which use UP for jump which causes many accidental jumps on a D-pad.

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Rebel_Scum

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@rebel_scum said:
@kub said:

Another World.

Flashback.

Yeah those are really great games but there are better ports of those on the Megadrive. The Amiga 500 versions lacked the extra music that added to the atmosphere.

Eh, that seems quantity over quality to me. The tracker music on the Amiga is way higher quality than what the sound chip in the Mega Drive was capable of, so I'd still say the Amiga music is better.

There was extra music added for the Megadrive version that wasn't in the Amiga 500 version. Well in Another World there was. I don't think that was the case with Flashback though so you're probably right about the quality. Those Megadrive ports were pretty damn good though.

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Guybrush

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Terrorpods

Fire and Ice

Agony

No second prize

Swiv

Gods

Pinball dreams

I second Fire and Ice, Agony and Gods.

I would also add Turrican 3. It was the only one I had, but it was great.

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Mean Arenas is a fun little obscure game that, as far as I can tell, only came out for Amiga. It's basically a Running Man themed version of Pac-Man O_o

I'd recommend the CD 32 version, since it contains some hilariously bad voice acting.

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Also that level complete "Marvelous!" sound seems suspiciously unoriginal...

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