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Top 10 'Most Influential' Amiga Games

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the they-all-were-in-their-own-way dept.

Amiga 192

stacybro writes "There is an article on Wired about the Top 10 most influential Amiga games. As someone who actually programmed on the Amiga way back when, I can attest to how far they were ahead of the clones when it came to graphics and audio hardware. I often wonder where the PC world would be if Amiga or Apple had had the marketing smarts (or maybe it was cut throat attitude) of Microsoft. 'Defender of the Crown (Cinemaware, 1986): Way before the Hollywood-ization of the game industry, Cinemaware evoked the era of classic movies with this game and others, such as Wings and the classic B-movie tribute It Came From the Desert. Cinemaware titles were definitely precursors of the CD-ROM era of flashy titles such as Myst and The 7th Guest. More importantly, they brought strong and realistic characterization and depiction to the world of computer games. Cinemaware is still alive today and currently working on an update of Defender of the Crown.'"

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apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708559)

and may even took them over when Amiga when down.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (3, Interesting)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708805)

You know what the really sad thing is? All of the games listed there that I've played, save two (Pinball Dreams and Lemmings), I played on other platforms (NES, SNES, Genesis, PC).

Oh, and where the hell is Populous/Populous 2? Those games alone would have made me run out and get an Amiga if I'd had the cash. Talk about addictive.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708893)

Oh, and where the hell is Populous/Populous 2? Those games alone would have made me run out and get an Amiga if I'd had the cash. Talk about addictive.

I was going to raise the same objection, but then I looked it up and Wikipedia claims that it was out for Atari ST and PC before Amiga.

I don't think that's true, exactly; I think it was out for Atari ST, then Amiga, then PC. But I don't have a cite, and I could well be wrong.

Certainly the game was best on the Amiga.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (1)

goatpunch (668594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709097)

Certainly the game [Populous] was best on the Amiga.
It was better on the ST- if you system linked an ST to an Amiga with a NULL modem cable the ST and let the CPUs battle, the won due to it's slightly faster CPU speed (8MHz compared to 7.09MHz (PAL)).

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709185)

It was better on the ST- if you system linked an ST to an Amiga with a NULL modem cable the ST and let the CPUs battle, the won due to it's slightly faster CPU speed (8MHz compared to 7.09MHz (PAL)).

I used to have a 68020 accelerator in an Amiga 500... :)

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18710285)

Crikey, that must have done all of 14Mhz? Would any games run correctly with that, most programmers made lots of assumptions about clock speed in those days? Would have been great for GFA Raytrace though, would have only had to wait 10 hours to render that ball on a checkerboard instead of 20. The biggest performance boost I got was installing a 2MB ram upgrade, and then copying Protext's dictionaries to a ramdisk. Hithertoo unknown spellchecking rates were acheived.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709739)

It was better on the ST- if you system linked an ST to an Amiga with a NULL modem cable the ST and let the CPUs battle, the won due to it's slightly faster CPU speed (8MHz compared to 7.09MHz (PAL)).
That may have been true on computationally-intense games, but the Amiga's custom sound and graphics hardware would have more than compensated in most cases due to them taking the load off the CPU. The ST lacked in those departments. In particular it used a variant of the same off-the-shelf sound chip [wikipedia.org] as found in many 8-bit computers; the Amstrad CPC [wikipedia.org] , the later ZX Spectrums [wikipedia.org] (128K models) and even the Oric 1(!) [wikipedia.org] .

It *could* do sampled sound, but the chip itself didn't specifically support this, so I assume it was necessary to keep "feeding" the chip, putting a load on the CPU; whereas the Amiga could just point the sound chip to the right section of memory and let it get on with it. This was- I assume- why ST games didn't normally feature impressive sound; also, its natively chip-generated sound wasn't even as good as the Amiga's.

We can probably apply similar arguments to the graphics.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (1)

goatpunch (668594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710129)

That may have been true on computationally-intense games


We were discussing a computationally intensive game, Populous. The increase in CPU speed also gave the ST a small edge in 3D graphics, which the Amiga's custom hardware couldn't help with. The ST's sound chip was humbled by the C64, let alone the Amiga.

The decision to get an ST for me was based on the available Hi-Res monitor which helped me justify it to my parents 'for school' (to be fair I did some pretty cool stuff with ProText and Calamus) and the fact that I knew a bunch of ST owners who supplied me with several 80-capacity disk boxes full of games.

A friend of mine who worked in a computer shop really did hook up an ST to an Amiga and get them to play Populous head to head.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (1)

snsr (917423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709569)

Woah! I hadn't thought about Populous in decades :) Thanks for that.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (1)

goatpunch (668594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710329)

Remember 'sprogging'? Raising a small section of land near your big buildings so that they'd shrink and create up a new person? They built it into Populous 2, I think you right-clicked on the house.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (2)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709175)

Are you kidding? Apple thought users only needed two colors and one mouse button. The only similarities between an Amiga and a Mac were the CPU.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (2, Insightful)

jddj (1085169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709535)

No. No, no, no.

I say this as a former Amiga owner/lover, and someone currently sitting at a desk with a Powerbook, a W2K, an XP and an Etch machine cranking away (very hot in here right now...). I coded multimedia apps on Amiga, recorded 3D to my PVR hard-disk-recorder, was heavily invested in my Amiga stuff.

But it became all-too-clear to me what was wrong when I showed the Amiga's NTSC-TV-resolution picture to a PC-using colleague and heard him go "oooh - gross!".

The standard Amigoid response is to explain how the flickering NTSC-resolution picture is somehow superior to the stable, higher-resolution and cheaper-to-buy progressive-scan image the PC guy is used to.

The response of smart marketing people is to figure out what the PC guy wants to buy and deliver that or something marginally better for a premium price.

The Amiga's hardware was so locked into the NTSC/PAL mindsets (and truly DID excel at these things) that moving to higher resolutions the market was starting to demand required abandoning the prized "Amiga hardware" that made the brand special. Without the "Amiga hardware", you had a commodity box with an "incompatible" processor, card bus and OS (in the mind of a consumer).

So while the "Amiga hardware" made the Amiga quite special, it also proved its undoing, particularly as Apple and eventually PC card makers provided the desired higher resolutions and as time went on, got smarter about providing tools for analog and eventually digital video (and sold them at QUITE a premium I might add. Geeks decry high prices for hardware, but a good profit margin keeps a company around. For how long has Apple been on the brink of bankruptcy now? Where is the Amiga?))

Yes, I realize that 3rd parties eventually grafted on solutions - beginning with high-res greyscale displays for the "Desktop Publishing" (remember that term?) software that (as a professional matter) never really arrived for the Amiga either. (voice of experience: I remember wanting to tear my eyes out after working with the first of the bezier-curve drawing apps for the Amiga for an hour on a 640x480 interlaced screen, black pixels on white background, AAAAAHHHH!. Meanwhile, my day job offered me the opportunity to work with Adobe Illustrator 88 on a 21" greyscale progressive-scan monitor. The writing was on the wall for the Amiga...).

Apple absolutely did the right thing for their brand by ignoring NTSC/PAL analog video resolution, focusing on higher-res, higher-refresh square-pixel displays and developing the QuickTime architecture for digital video. They knew where their bread was buttered.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (1)

GreggBz (777373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709971)

I've heard every obscure theory under the sun as to why the Amiga failed. Folks, it's simple really. Commodore went bankrupt because the ran a bad business. No fundamental change to the technology of the platform, nor a sweeping OSS movement of the operating system was needed. Jezz, they sold millions of A1200's and the 1200 was long after Amiga's heyday. I don't think beige cases, 15Khz video signals or the lack of business applications killed the golden goose that was the Amiga platform. The potato headed management and idiots in marketing at Commodore killed it. Much as a cunning CEO named Bill Gates has ruled the software business for decades. Read this [amazon.com] sometime.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (1)

jddj (1085169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710407)

Well, to dramatically shorten my above post:

"run[ning] a bad business" would consist of offering product the customer doesn't want at a higher price than product the customer wants more.

My original brief isn't really a technology assessment - it's about marketing, and when the customer doesn't understand what the custom chips in the box deliver, (s)he really doesn't care except for the features and benefits the product can deliver and at what price.

Marketing isn't something that happens after you've designed the motherboard. You need to build what people will buy, not a technology wet-dream (lookout iPhone!!!).

If the customer wants modern video resolutions, lower price, compatibility with quality software that's actually available for purchase at the nearby store, the Amiga failed on all of these grounds long before Commodore finally bit the dust, regardless of the spectacuar technical merits of the chips in the box or the tiny-but-wonderfully-capable OS.

Of course you have to make money per unit, and of course you have to advertize it, but to badly paraphrase the (first) Clinton campaign: "It's the F&B/price, stupid."

Apple, Microsoft, et al understood this. Most of us geeks have a hard time swallowing it.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (2, Informative)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710963)


The Amiga was released long before the Microsoft and the PC was the 800 pound gorilla of the home PC market. There was no dominant software platform. If anything, it was the Commodore 64, the best selling home computer up to that point. It was everywhere. Toys R' Us had an entire aisle devoted to C64 software -- it was Nintendo and Dell rolled into one. There was no Microsoft Office, it wasn't even on the radar. Totally level playing field as far as software goes.

On top of that, the Amiga was far and away the best machine for price/performance. The Amiga 500 was $500. You couldn't touch a Mac or a PC at that price, let alone one that had a color GUI.

So, on all counts, the Amiga was exactly what the customer wanted.

But nobody knew about it, not because there was bad marketing, but because there was no marketing. Not ever. Nobody outside of the the hard-core tech nerds had ever heard of the damn thing. It wasn't in the business computer mags, it wasn't on TV, it wasn't anywhere.

It was, perhaps, the biggest missed marketing opportunity of the 80's. Commodore was a household name, and I guess they expected that, and that alone, to translate into Amiga sales. Huge mistake. Even Microsoft pushes Vista, even though it's nearly inevitable you'll buy a copy someday.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18711177)

You're looking from a US-centric perspective. The Amiga did very well in Europe, particularly after the mass-market A500 came out. It only started to fail there in the early 90s, when C='s failure to keep the Amiga's spec up-to-date in the face of competition from PCs on one side and 16-bit consoles on the other proved its undoing. (Long version [slashdot.org] ).

The Amiga also used to be common in TV/3D production, and that only really changed (so I believe) after C= went bankrupt, I assume because relying on a dead platform is bad practice, and also (I again assume) because it made no sense when PCs were becoming more powerful.

Re:apple should of used some of the amiga hardware (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709773)

I just realized how hilarious a statement this is. Not because it doesn't make sense - it does! In fact, an Amiga 2500 (Amiga 2000 with, typically, a 25MHz 68030 accelerator board installed, but sometimes a 68020 IIRC, but I'm talking about the '030 version) with an Emplant board is faster at being a Macintosh IIci than the real thing - and the IIci has, guess what, a 25 MHz 68030. But mostly because Apple didn't have accelerated graphics of any sort until the Macintosh II line, and the 8*24 GC display card, in spite of the fact that it was a purely graphical system without a text mode (or at least, if text mode was a ROM feature, it was only used for the debugger.) Whereas of course anyone who belongs here knows that the Amiga was stuffed with custom chips [everything2.com] .

The top of the list in my mind... (2, Insightful)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708655)

Nothing beat the breathtaking brutality of blowing up a worm with a rocket launcher!

Cinemaware is still alive today currently working (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18708659)

Damn! Never thought the DNF team was in second place!

Proud A500, A2000, A3000, A4000 owner and Cinemaware player.

Datastorm (5, Informative)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708665)

I got an emulator only the other day, just to play this. It's like no-ones heard of it. Everyone knows all the crap Ocean conversions and movie licenses, but Datastorm is pure gameplay. It's basically Defender 10 (or so) years on. One hard, fun game. And it's legally downloadable from the author's website here: http://www.sodan.dk/oldbits/oldbits.html [sodan.dk]

So what are we talking about again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18708689)

Ummmm, hardware?

It came from the desert (2, Insightful)

caffeinatedOnline (926067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708697)

Ah, the memories that title just invoked. I had forgotten about this game. Trying to shoot the antenni off the ants, trying to bed the girl, driving from point a to point b dodging more ants, and that damn mine!! I owned my Amiga for years, and I think that I may have beaten this game once out of the millions of times I tried. They should make a repeat of this game!

Re:It came from the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18709139)

It Came From The Desert got me into a lot of trouble the last time I was in a hospital.

Who knew it wasn't actually a good idea to steal a wheelchair and bust out of there the first chance I got? Damn orderlies!

Wings (2, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708703)

I liked Wings on the Amiga. My Cinemaware favorite. I even hacked a joystick adapter to use a 15-pin analog joystick on my Amiga to use with it.

And holy crap! Wings is available again -- on the GBA! http://www.cinemaware.com/gbawings_main.asp [cinemaware.com] Now can I had a flight stick for a Game Boy?

Let me be the one to say it (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708709)

Where the hell is Turrican? And where is Wing Commander?

Re:Let me be the one to say it (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708927)

And where is Wing Commander?

Wing Commander was developed for the PC and later ported to the Amiga. Not the other way around. At the time of its release, I remember Roberts saying that he made Wing Commander just because everyone was telling him how impossible it was to do on the PC. Of course he kind of cheated seeing as how Wing Commander required a high-end 286. Not that it was a big issue in the long run. The Wing Commander series would push hardware requirements for many years to come, and was a driving force behind the 3 year upgrade cycle. :)

Re:Let me be the one to say it (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709227)

When Wing Commander was released in 1990, the 386 was the current CPU and the 486 had just been released. The 286 was old hat.

Re:Let me be the one to say it (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709623)

The 286 was far from "old hat". Many folks still had XTs or 286s. I had a high-end Turbo XT at the time, and wouldn't upgrade for another year and a half. The 486 was available, but only the richest of rich had them. They were expensive.

You need to remember that there was nothing driving the upgrade cycle at the time. Many people were happy with their Commodore 64s. It wasn't until games like Wing Commander that the upgrade cycle really started. Especially when you consider that a high-end 286 was the minimum specs required for the game. ;-)

Re:Let me be the one to say it (1)

kabz (770151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18711529)

In 1988, a 12 MHz 80286 Dell was the biz.
Eight whole years later, I was on a 80386SX25, no floating point, though that was kinda crappy. Still better than the MCA crap floating around about then.

Re:Let me be the one to say it (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709949)

Of course he kind of cheated seeing as how Wing Commander required a high-end 286.
I first played Wing Commander on an 8086, so I wouldn't say that Wing Commander required a high-end anything let alone a 286. You couldn't run it with all graphical options on but it would run smoothly otherwise.

Re:Let me be the one to say it (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18711901)

You couldn't run it with all graphical options on but it would run smoothly otherwise.

I sincerely doubt that. The only "graphical options" it had (other than the extra graphics if you had EMS) was EGA or VGA. I ran (or at least tried to run) Wing Commander on an 8MHz XT with an EGA adapter. It was anything but smooth. Unless you count about 5-10 FPS as "smooth". I did, however, run it on a 486. Which I only realized many years later (and after beating the game) was WAY too fast. :P

Re:Let me be the one to say it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708929)

Wasn't Wing Commander a PC game first? Regardless of the answer, I absolutely agree WRT Turrican, which is STILL the most-mentioned Amiga game. BTW you can get a 32kB knockoff of the first level of Turrican [pouet.net] for windows (I believe it works on the latest wine as well.)

Re:Let me be the one to say it (1)

antime (739998) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709959)

Turrican was a C64 game and Wing Commander a PC game.

Re:Let me be the one to say it (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710021)

although there was a turrican c64 port (quite amazing in its own right) turrican was an amiga/atari st game.

Re:Let me be the one to say it (1)

antime (739998) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710219)

Both Turrican 1 and 2 were originally developed on the C64, then ported to other platforms. Turrican 3 was originally released on the Megadrive (as Mega Turrican) and later ported to the Amiga.

Re:Let me be the one to say it (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710453)

you are right, I googled around and that is correct, funnily enough way back I had turrican on my atari st before my c64 friends got it, I guess they didn't know it existed before or something...

Populous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18708743)

I can't seem to find populous in that list, what a shame. That game basically started the entire god game genre (which eventually led to its creator Peter Molyneux receiving an Order of the British Empire).

Re:Populous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18709119)

I can't seem to find populous in that list, what a shame. That game basically started the entire god game genre (which eventually led to its creator Peter Molyneux receiving an Order of the British Empire).
Nah, SimCity had Populous beat cold on that front. </fightingwords>

Re:Populous? (1)

dougsha (247714) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709617)

What a wonderful and wonderfully addictive game.

Re:Populous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18709853)

Of course, Mr. Molyneaux went on to make the computerized version of "don't pee on the electric fence"... er, I mean "don't poo on the villagers's food supply"... rather "don't eat the villagers"... AKA Black & White.

Populous (5, Insightful)

Tsu-na-mi (88576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708847)

Rather than Syndicate, I think Bullfrog's Populous was more influential. It ushered in the era of the 'god' sim. Most of the rest I can agree with, but I had never even heard of Another World, and I consider myself an avid Amiga gamer back in the day.

I think the author may have a bit of tunnel vision, insofar as the games are rather limited to a few publishers (Psygnosis & Sensible Software make up half the titles).

Notably missing are Blood Money, Arkanoid (maybe because it's a port), and Battle Squadron.

Another World (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709465)

Another World [wikipedia.org] was known as "Out of this World" in the US.
It was one of the most famous adventure games of the era (at least in France), with Alone in the Dark [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Populous (1)

penp (1072374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709559)

Another World was later released in the states as Out of this World. The version I played was licensed by Interplay, on MS-DOS. I think I also played a version of it on SNES. It was an amazing game, well ahead of its time.

Re:Populous (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710685)

Chaos Engine [mobygames.com] and Superfrog [mobygames.com] are probably my favorite Amiga games. I've completed CE with all six characters, and done about three to four miscellaneous playthroughs. Superfrog is still my favorite platform game.

On a somewhat related note, when I noticed this post I was listening to music from the old Amiga demo 'Sequential [pouet.net] ' by Andromeda. I can't say I've seen too many demos in my lifetime, but Sequential is my favorite by far. The modern PC demos I've seen have been underwhelming and not very interesting.

Some other Amiga games worth mentioning (2, Interesting)

SirBruce (679714) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708887)

The update to Defender of the Crown already came out a few years ago. IMHO, it largely sucked. I only played it a couple of times before putting it back into the box. I never did get the hang of the 'cinematic' swordfighting controls.

Virtually all of Cinemaware's games could have been listed, but DotC and Wings are probably two of the best examples. Rocket Ranger and It Came From the Desert are also heartily recommended.

The list in the quoted article does have some glaring ommissions. Dungeon Master was the first 3D realtime action CRPG, and I think the Amiga version was superior to both the ST and PC versions. Also woth mentioning are Populus and Artic Fox, which I think really shined in the Amiga versions. Finally, there is Faery Tale Adventure, which I think was one of the best isometic action CRPGs ever, irrespective of platform.

Re:Some other Amiga games worth mentioning (2)

nogginthenog (582552) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709199)

IIRC Dungeon Master was the first Amiga game to require 1Mb of RAM and actually increased memory upgrade sales.

Re:Some other Amiga games worth mentioning (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709613)

I think the first update was "Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown". There was also a "digitally remastered version". The latest is Defender of the Crown: Heroes Live Forever [stardock.com] , which looks like it has some cards thing going on in it.
I think Faery Tale Adventure was great for the huge world that streamed in seamlessly off the disk. Admittedly the world was fairly sparse but at the time there was nothing else like it. It also had some pretty good music. Getting the turtle and later the golden swan to ride was sweet!

Missing Games (4, Insightful)

Wyrd01 (761346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18708955)

Everyone's going to have their own take on what was influential to them. I grew up playing games on my dad's Amiga (500 through 4000 over the years). My shoddy descriptions won't do them justice, but two games that were very important to me are missing:

Faery Tale Adventure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faery_Tale_Adventure [wikipedia.org]
A giant, continuous world full of quests and tasks to run. Like most old games it was very unforgiving... you could die quickly and easily if you weren't careful. I spent hours exploring that world. I remember finding a flying goose and being able to fly across the land. Ah the memories.

Dungeon Master: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeon_Master_(compu ter_game) [wikipedia.org]
The first real-time, first person dungeon crawling game. Casting spells involved clicking a series of runes in a particular order, Fireball was Fire then Wing. On the 13th level of the dungeon was the boss, whom you had to capture in a forcecage, a very challenging battle. You could also go down to the 14th level whose only resident was a huge dragon. Food was a big issue in the game, you had to manage your food stocks carefully. The dragon at the bottom of the dungeon could be killed for a heaping pile of Dragon Steaks. To me this was the most influential game on the Amiga, it is my favorite Amiga game of all time.

Re:Missing Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18709211)

Dungeon Master ROCKED. It really had replayability, and the constant resource constraints made you always feel under pressure. Poison and starvation were real threats. If you have a hankering for it, it's been ported to Java:

http://www.cs.pitt.edu/~alandale/dmjava/ [pitt.edu]

It isn't the same dungeon, but the spells and game play seem very, very similar.

Re:Missing Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18709683)

This guy needs a +5 troll mod if ever ANYONE needed it...

Re:Missing Games (1)

SheldonYoung (25077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709365)

I still hear the music from the Faery Tale Adventure in my head from time to time. Not that it was particularily good, it's just the game was very long and it played over and over and over. By that logic I'm sure I'll remember some Slashdot stories forever.

Re:Missing Games (1)

GreggBz (777373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709565)

Dungeon Master originally appeared on the Atari ST. :-p
Not to diminish it's brilliance though. The stereo sound on the Amiga really made it creepy.

Re:Missing Games (1)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709753)

Never got by the darned switch puzzles in DM. DM2 was fun too. I also liked picking up items and holding them at chest height to throw them. Ninja level gained, sweet! Throwing a falchion into a bad guy was just evil.

Another World... (1)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709007)

...also known as Out of this World is one of my most favorite games of all time. I played the MSDOS version at a time when graphics were getting fairly decent. Even though Another World used very simple vector graphics, the motion capture that went into making the character animations was absolutely amazing. The art was beautiful and the original music fit really well into the bizarre fantasy/scifi world envisioned in the game. It was the first time the visuals, music, and story of a game really came together to create a truly immersive mood for me.

Re:Another World... (1)

dunezone (899268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710419)

I actually played it on a Genesis emulator, seriously though,if you have the walk through this game only takes about 45 minutes to complete and is worth a play for anyone just for the artwork and game play it has.

"Influential" Amiga Games? In 2007? (0, Flamebait)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709053)

I still own two Amigas, but were there really ANY "influential" Amiga games? I mean, games that were unique to the Amiga platform that anyone outside Amiga cared about? I think the marketplace has spoken pretty loudly on this topic: if there HAD been any influential games, Amiga wouldn't have been extinguished. (Do you know anyone who bought an Amiga just to play game X? Neither do I.)

Innovative sound? Sorry, but I got my Amiga in part to play with music and the 8-bit stuff is what eventually kicked me over the PC world (and then soon into Linux).

And why do we still care in 2007, 15 years after Amiga's peak?

Re:"Influential" Amiga Games? In 2007? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18709547)

We care because people in the game industry who are now 25-30 had Amigas 15 years ago, when they were growing up.

The Amiga died in about 1995... the CD32 and A1200 had poor performance compared to the 486 PC. The Amiga was better during the PCs 386, but not the 486, and many people held onto their Amigas until the Pentium.

Re:"Influential" Amiga Games? In 2007? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710675)

The Amiga died in about 1995... the CD32 and A1200 had poor performance compared to the 486 PC. The Amiga was better during the PCs 386, but not the 486, and many people held onto their Amigas until the Pentium.
Thing is, the A1200/CD32 were also a lot cheaper than the 486s you describe, and had they been released before the cheaper PCs (above them) and the 16-bit consoles (below) got more of a toehold, they might have done quite well.

The "cheap" PCs were *not* cheap by today's standards; however, they came with a VGA monitor, hard drive and 256-colour VGA graphics. Adding those to a base Amiga would have been pretty expensive (I never had a hard drive for mine); so I guess that was part of the attraction.

Re:"Influential" Amiga Games? In 2007? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18709915)

Sorry, Psygnosis games sucked donkey balls. (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710301)

(link to Wikipedia entry on overrated, has-been games factory)

Sorry, Psygnosis games sucked donkey balls.

Sure, Shadow of the Beast looked cool in the shop in demo mode, but the play of the game was worse than Atari's PitFall from ten years before. If anything, Psygnosis's legacy is "games that look better in the screenshots and demos than they do in normal play". (Oh, they also had annoyingly long cut scenes that you couldn't click through.)

And ALL of Psygnosis games had the reputation of copy protection vampires: they wouldn't launch from Workbench, wouldn't copy easily (in case your Amiga ate the originals) and they were touchy as hell (couldn't run on A1200s or A500s or visa versa).

And yes, I read the titles on the Wikipedia page...I still own a few of these, but thank God I got them for free, because Psygnosis games aren't the ones that made my Amiga computing a positive experience.

Re:Sorry, Psygnosis games sucked donkey balls. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710717)

ALL of Psygnosis games had the reputation of copy protection vampires: they wouldn't launch from Workbench, wouldn't copy easily (in case your Amiga ate the originals) and they were touchy as hell (couldn't run on A1200s or A500s or visa versa).
To be fair, most other Amiga games didn't run from Workbench either, and Psygnosis were far from the only company that had compatibility issues when the A1200 (or even A500 Plus) came out, due to games "hitting the hardware" directly for the performance boost.

I would say that Psygnosis did the classic Lemmings; but then again, maybe not. They just distributed it- it was DMA Design (now Rockstar North) who actually created/wrote it.

Fighter Duel Pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18710025)

> were there really ANY "influential" Amiga games?

Yup.

Jaeger's Fighter Duel Pro was original to the Amiga, and really should be on this list. It looks horrible today, but it was the first two-player combat sim with flight physics. And on Amiga 1000s across modems I should add. That got a lot of coders interested in what was possible.

Playing the game the first time was the same sort of eye-opener as first plays of Doom and Myst. It was extremely inspirational.

Re:"Influential" Amiga Games? In 2007? (1)

antime (739998) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710031)

All the Amiga users in the world didn't just suddenly disappear when the platform died. Lots of people who grew up playing Amiga games ended up working on games for other platforms, taking their Amiga influences with them.

Re:"Influential" Amiga Games? In 2007? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710443)

I still own two Amigas, but were there really ANY "influential" Amiga games? I mean, games that were unique to the Amiga platform
Well, plenty of Amiga games were converted. Does this disqualify them?

I think the marketplace has spoken pretty loudly on this topic: if there HAD been any influential games, Amiga wouldn't have been extinguished.
By the same logic, there were no influential C64 games because that machine is also dead... huh?!

The Amiga was extinguished because Commodore did too little to improve its specs in the face of competition from commodity PCs. By the early 1990s, PC prices were falling rapidly, and their specs were vastly improved over the text-and-CGA-if-you're-lucky crudeness of mid-80s PCs (when the Amiga launched).

(Of course, the Amiga was never *that* popular in the US, but here in Europe it did very well during the late-80s/early-90s.)

The Amiga was incredible when it came out, and it's probably fair to say that it was the first true mass-market multimedia computer. 4096 colour graphics in HAM mode? Amazing. Sound? Amazing. Pre-emptive multitasking OS? Beat the living *heck* out of MS-DOS, and even Windows 3.0/3.1's co-operative multitasking wasn't as good (locked up if one application refused to cede control). And that came out five years later(!) Yeah, it was expensive when it first came out, but that's life... remember that all this was back in 1985.

Sadly, Commodore rested on their laurels; the A500 was much cheaper and still cutting edge, and proved very popular. However, until 1990, even the "serious" Amigas were just more expandable versions of the basic 68000/original-chipset design (IIRC some had accelerators slapped in). 1990's high-end A3000 was 68030-based, but very expensive and not radically new technically.

It wasn't until the A4000/A1200 were announced in late 1992 that "true" next generation Amigas came out. Put simply, they were too late; the A1200 was a good machine, and had it come out 18 months earlier at a similar price it might have done well... but by 92/93 the Amiga market had already started to seriously decline. In little over a year, the focus at my school had shifted from exchanging pirated Amiga games to PC games.

I should make clear that Commodore also- apparently- went bankrupt because of some dubious business practices and milking of the company that would have been illegal under US law (by this stage C= was based in the Bahamas). Everyone points at the CD32 as a flop console that put the nail in C='s coffin, but actually it was selling quite well. Nothing exciting, just an A1200 with CD drive and no keyboard, but it was a decent cash-cow in Europe. Unfortunately, everything else just went belly-up; C= weren't even very successful at commodity PC manufacture.

Innovative sound? Sorry, but I got my Amiga in part to play with music and the 8-bit stuff is what eventually kicked me over the PC world
Hello? The Amiga came out in 1985; what was there in the PC world that was remotely comparable at the time? I remember seeing an Amiga on TV in 1986 and being absolutely blown away by the quality of the sound. The first FM-synthesis/sample-playing Sound Blasters didn't come out until 1989.

And why do we still care in 2007, 15 years after Amiga's peak?
Why do we still care about anything in the past regarding computing? There's a temptation, because the current standard is the PC, to draw the line back that way and see history from a PC-centric perspective. Fact is that the Amiga was a significant machine in its time; it's dead now, and I think it should be left in peace, but if we're discussing history it has an important place.

Oh, yeah.... and the Mega Drive (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710569)

I should also have made clear that the Amiga was also hit at the lower end by the rise of the 16-bit consoles. In Europe where the Amiga was popular, the 8-bit NES never did big business (it was outsold in the UK by Sega's Master System!), and the market had remained much more 8/16-bit computer-based.

However, this changed with the launch of the Mega Drive (Genesis) and SNES in the early 90s. The Mega Drive in particular was better at side-scrolling parallax/plane effects, and again, the Amiga was no longer the cool machine that everyone wanted.

Was Amiga big enough to call influential? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709149)

Don't get me wrong, I'm an oldschool commie fan.

The C64 was huge.

The Amiga... not so much..

I remember Populous and Battle Chess

Obvious Omissions... (3, Insightful)

cca93014 (466820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709235)

Dungeon Master, Carrier Command, Kick Off 2, Xenon 2, F/18 Interceptor

Dungeon Master was way, way out there. You could even carry your characters over to the sequel title!

There was so much originality in the Amiga gaming scene that is sadly, sadly lacking in modern gaming. Looking back at the Amiga it was so far ahead of its time in so many ways...food for thought...

Re:Obvious Omissions... (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710751)

You could even carry your characters over to the sequel title!

The Bard's Tale games on my Apple IIe when I was a kid let you do the same thing. In fact, at least one of them (III) let you carry over your characters from other series entirely - e.g. Wizardry.

The obscure and unfinished Star Saga trilogy let you migrate your characters from the first game to the second.

I believe Might & Magic II let you bring your characters from the first game over as well.

Nothing against the Amiga - it was an awesome platform years ahead of its time - but it wasn't the first to allow that kind of thing.

ah the amiga (1)

micro911 (970601) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709289)

i don't know what life would have been like if i had never played on the amiga and the pinball games that came with it... aaaahhhhhhh

SpeedBall (4, Interesting)

SheldonYoung (25077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709313)

SpeedBall II: Brutal Deluxe is still the most adrenaline-pumping game I have played, though the original Half Life came close. The balance and playability of SBII was spot on, the sounds complemented the atmosphere and two-player mode was immensely fun.

Re:SpeedBall (1)

trouser (149900) | more than 7 years ago | (#18711953)

Icecream!

F18 Interceptor! (3, Interesting)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709375)

I think it might've been as late as 1988 when my brother and I had F18 interceptor [classic-pc-games.com] networked on our amigas: head-to-head networked air combat flightsim, with excellent color, speed, and stereo sound, when a lot of people were still using black-and-white Macs that went 'beep'. My friends in college were literally unable to believe such things existed until they saw it.

Re:F18 Interceptor! (1)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709699)

Wow, after finding these screenshots [mobygames.com] ... well... that is insane. This game was released in 1988?! Very impressive graphics... :)

Re:F18 Interceptor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18710647)

>This game was released in 1988?!

Compare with Spectrum Holobyte's F-16 Falcon of the same time. Those were good years.
http://www.mobygames.com/game/amiga/falcon/screens hots [mobygames.com]

Re:F18 Interceptor! (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710705)

In close-up dogfighting it didn't refresh often enough and got a bit blocky and clunky-feeling. But, y'know, everyone else was playing 2d things like castle wolfenstein.

Should still Live on in WinUAE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18709513)

In case any of you are interested in re-living the past, these games should work flawlessly under UAE. Off the top of my head I know that soccer and Shadow of the Beast work.

I don't remember the game "Worms" looking so much like an ad for Jabra headsets, though.

It was a blast programming the Amiga (5, Interesting)

dougsha (247714) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709523)

I'm still enormously proud of my Cinemaware game "King of Chicago". It was Cinemaware's 2nd best-seller in its first 2 years - waaaaay behind sales of Defender of the Crown by Kellyn Beeck (250k units DoC - amazing in '85, 50k KoC - nice in sales in '86). King was definitely not one of the 10 most influential Amiga games, however, because I rolled my own interactive narrative system - Dramaton ( GDC talk on Dramaton: http://www.zogax.com/verbiage/battle.htm [zogax.com] ) - which was just a little too out there for anyone to replicate.

I did the first version of King on the Mac in '86 and then ported it to the Amiga and the Apple IIGS. I did my own art on the Mac (using digitized clay heads) but C-ware wisely redid the art for the Amiga, which had a lot to do with the big sales. Rob Landeros (who later formed Trilobyte and did 7th Guest) did the art.

Coding on the Amiga was a blast. The main online hangout for developers was BIX, the Byte Information Exchange. Simple things like screen-flipping for animation were poorly documented and there was little agreement in the first years about the best way to code them. You had to get down and dirty writing little fragments of code executed by "the copper" - the video coprocessor system.

"Cinemaware is still alive today and currently working on an update of Defender of the Crown.'" - And screwing the original game devs royally. They stripped any mention of Kellyn Beeck from their current version of Defender of the Crown and left my name off the King of Chicago credits on their website. Here's a little discussion with a current Cinemaware employee on the Indie Gamer's forum about their current version of Defender of the Crown http://forums.indiegamer.com/showthread.php?t=9738 &highlight=King/ [indiegamer.com] .

At least they'll never butcher King of Chicago because they'll never figure out Dramaton.

Self-horntoot warning - I am also very proud of the game I did before King of Chicago - ChipWits - which I am reviving at http://chipwits.com/ [chipwits.com] .

Re:It was a blast programming the Amiga (1)

NullProg (70833) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709841)

I have most of the cinemaware titles on my IIgs. My kids play the crap out of DOTC and Zany Golf from EA. Never played King of Chicago. I think Cinemaware hit its peak with the release of the three Stooges :)

+10 Retro.
Enjoy,

Re:It was a blast programming the Amiga (1)

Carrot007 (37198) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710361)

Hey I actually remeber that game, it was kinda good! Spent a fair few nights playing it on my old A500!

I think they should also have stated devpac was one of the most influential games. The amiga was responsible for getting many people into programming, for me that's when programming really made sence.

Re:It was a blast programming the Amiga (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710801)

Self-horntoot warning - I am also very proud of the game I did before King of Chicago - ChipWits - which I am reviving at http://chipwits.com/ [chipwits.com]

Wow, that is old school. I remember when the family of a friend of mine in elementary school got a first-generation Mac and ChipWits was the one game they had for it. It seemed impossibly complex at the time, and every once in awhile I've wondered what it would be like now. I'm glad you're reviving it.

Off-topic, no karma bonus.

Re:It was a blast programming the Amiga (1)

pigeontheory (969456) | more than 7 years ago | (#18711619)

I have nothing but fond memories of the Cinemaware games. I certainly did not envy my PC counterparts for CGA graphics were crap compared to Amiga's games. ie Defender of the Crown/Three Stooges. But for some reason, I'd have to say that the Psygonsis game Barbarian had me hooked. Spent hours trying to conquer those screens. Impossible to play today, yet I still don't know how much patience I had back then. Also, the Titus games (Fire and Forget, Crazy Cars) were LOADS of fun. And the music! (sniff)

Alien Breed (1)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709629)

The only Amiga game that interested me back in the 90's that wasn't on the PC or SNES/Genesis is Alien Breed.
There is a freeware remake available for Windows:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/xavnet/alienbreed/ [ntlworld.com]

Influential AMIGA games? Uh, whatever. (1)

Malkin (133793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18709685)

I'm afraid that there's not a single one of these ten "innovative entries in the Amiga game canon" that was exclusive to the Amiga. If you don't believe me, look it up. It would've been MUCH more interesting, to me (not having been able to afford an Amiga in high school), to see what sort of innovative things people did using Amiga's fancy hardware -- especially since this is in the HARDWARE category and not the GAMES category. Instead, the article sort of leaves me scratching my head, and not caring much.

Re:Influential AMIGA games? Uh, whatever. (1)

Carrot007 (37198) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710421)

Being exclusive is not really the point.

The amiga version being the first is what usually made an amiga game, occasionally being a significantly better version also made a game and "amiga game", etc...

Exclusiveness is nothing to do with it.

Re:Influential AMIGA games? Uh, whatever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18710859)

When games become very popular and influencial, they tend to get ported to other systems. Why would this automatically remove their influencial status?

HOW could you LEAVE OFF the ULTIMATE amiga game... (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710105)

No BLAZEMONGER [blazemonger.com] ?

Theme Park and Frontier Elite 2 (1)

JohnnyKimble (1060088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710185)

Another of Peter Molyneux's masterpieces, I spent many weeks playing Theme Park. Watered down cola + salty chips = lotsa money. And no mention of influential Amiga games would be complete without a mention of Frontier Elite 2, the greatest game I've ever had the pleasure of playing.

Just think where Atari would be.. (1)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710275)

..if Commodore hadn't stolen the Amiga from them.

Re:Just think where Atari would be.. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18711617)

..if Commodore hadn't stolen the Amiga from them.
Commodore didn't steal the Amiga from Atari, they simply out-manoeuvered them. Jack Tramiel (who had left C= and purchased Atari's computer division by this time) thought he had the Amiga company by the balls and could push them into surrendering the company/rights to him; he was wrong and he didn't succeed. But I'm sure it wasn't for wont of effort.

Can't say I give a toss; it went to court, and he lost. Call it bullying or not, but Tramiel was/is the type of guy who would use any means, fair or foul to get what he wanted. Synapse, a developer of countless classic Atari games went bankrupt because they signed a contract with Atari to develop some software, when Atari was owned by Warner. When Tramiel took over, he acted as if they contract was no longer binding upon him (with no basis AFAIK), paid Synapse nothing and rightly assumed that Synapse wouldn't be able to afford to take it to court.

As an ex-Atari owner (well, actually, I still own my 800XL and 130XE), who still has some residual loyalty to the badge (if nothing else), I'll still say this... Even if we were to accept that the Amiga was "stolen" from Tramiel's Atari using legally dubious and devious techniques, who gives a toss? He was no better. That's the exact type of thing he did himself all the time; beaten at his own game. It's business, and no-one owes him or Atari any sympathy.

Amiga was a nice computer, but I can't say I ever gave a toss about Commodore either, though.

Wierd dreams... (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710339)

Jeez, what the hell was that all about? Good gameplay, hard as hell, man eating balls; it took me a full day to figure out the cotton candy machine, and that was the very first screen!

Wanderer (1)

GFree (853379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710669)

It's probably not one of the "most influential" Amiga games, but I have a fondness for a game called Wanderer. It was a Boulderdash clone, but with many extra features such as flying arrows and a few others traps. I really should track it down and use an emulator - good times.

The death-scream when your avatar is killed is pretty funny too.

*walk underneath boulder*

*THUMP**THUMP**THUMP**THUMP*
*BLHAHHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

Lemmings, Ambermoon and Captive (1)

Rycochet (1006897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710847)

Lemmings first - anyone fancy playing it in your browser? Try DHTML Lemmings [elizium.nu] - try not to kill it ;-)

Thalion went a long time ago, but released all of their stuff for the public - one of my favorites was the unfinished (in english at least) Ambermoon - an epic RPG - that, and many more, available on the Thalion Webshrine [exotica.org.uk] - break out your amiga emulators ;-)

Finally - one of my favorite games of all time was Captive. Sadly the sequel lost some of it's fun for science (to my mind) - it's another RPG, with you controlling a group of 4 droids. The intro music was brilliant - get it here [exotica.org.uk] , for a screenshot and a better description read the wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] . It is notable in that it had 65536 levels - each one having a *lot* of planets to explore... If you'd like to see a tribute to it appear, go check out the FreeCap Project [sourceforge.net] - they need all the help they can get :-)

I was always like GOT DAMN (1)

celerityfm (181760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18710959)

In middle school back when I was playing Trade Wars like it was my job my bud had an Amiga 2000 I think and promised to show me some gaming graphics that would blow my PC away. Surely I thought nothing could top Kings Quest. He showed me one of the games on this list, Shadow of the Beast- making sure to point out the parallax insanity going on. Then I thought surely if a game comes out for the PC thats ALSO on the Amiga that they will be the same.

And then I witnessed Ocean's F29 Retaliator - released on both DOS and Amiga-- one feature difference that stood out was the "rolling start" scenario where you basically jump into the air with bogies all over the sky and battlefield for you to attack. The DOS version always had the bogies starting in the same spot- but the amiga? Randomized every time. Simple things like that made me want one. Even still I played the crap out of the DOS port- playing multiplayer over the modem and eventually with a null modem cable. God bless those little buggers.

And now I can "have" an amiga thanks to emulation, but it just doesn't feel the same tho.

Cannon Fodder (1)

tomaasz (5800) | more than 7 years ago | (#18711107)

I gotta say Cannon Fodder (check sig).

And to give this post a little added value, here's a link to an interesting page about the making of Cannon Fodder 2: Cannon Fodder 2: The Untold Story [excellentcontent.com] . It's long and fun to read.

some more... (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18711573)

obviously they couldn't mention every game in the 'top 10', but some others that i distinctly remember:

- Shadow of the Beast: first time I ever saw parallax scrolling!
- The Killing Game Show: most awesome intro animation ever.

What, no Sentinel? (1)

brianeisley (1057920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18711581)

Used to play that obsessively on my best friend's A500. To this day, I haven't seen anything like it.
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