Last week I covered the first 7 Atari ST games that popped into my nostalgia inclined mind, so, this week, it would be rude not to dip into the ST’s rival and cover my top 7 Amiga games. So that’s exactly what I intend to do.
Now the Amiga, was another brief juncture on my computing / gaming past, it came just before I obtained my first DOS based PC, from which I never looked back. But it was an exciting and fun year whilst it lasted. Me and my Amiga 600 went through countless games, an upgrade to 2Megs of RAM and various X-copied disks, before I flogged it to some chap in the back of a Taxi.
Thankfully, since then, I’ve got my hands on another. So it’s with this machine, and a box of curiously labelled floppies that I present…
7: Death Mask
Doom was in full effect during the year of 95, and everywhere I turned, I couldn’t escape it’s lure. Even the Amiga 1200 had Gloom and Alien Breed 3D by this point. So it was with great excitement when Death Mask came out and finally, I could experience a first person shooter on my non-AGA hardware.
Death Mask isn’t an incredible FPS game, by any means. But it was the only one I could really play at the time. The motion might be jerky, and the controls a bit hard to get used to, but there was still blood, guns and the all important atmosphere. Plus it was great fun to play in two player mode.
What can I tell you about Lemmings that you don’t already know? The aim is to get your suicidal little creatures from A to B using whatever commands you have at your disposal. All the lemmings games are pretty good, on most platforms, but the Amiga original just stands out for me.
The musical composition is great, the Amiga’s mouse provided spot-on control and the graphics were arguably the best of all the conversions.
Game play wise, it’s the perfect combination of fun and brain strain, which leads to hours flying by like they hardly existed at all.
5: Hired Guns
Before Death Mask came on the scene, I had Hired Guns… and was I sad about this? No. No I wasn’t. Because Hired Guns is an incredible game.
Your 4 player team is thrust into a rescue mission that turns out not to be a rescue mission at all, but instead a weapons proving ground, and you’re there to do the proving. The format is similar to early RPG titles, mixed with some FPS action and interesting AI which allowed enemies to move around the entire levels, rather than limited to small sections.
4: Laser Squad
I loved Space Crusade, the board game, and the game on the Commodore 64. But this isn’t Space Crusade, it’s laser squad. Saying that, the concept is very similar, and the games themselves could be twins.
You control your team of laser squad type people on a turn by turn basis around levels involving rescue, retrieval or just pure slaughter. Because you have line of sight mechanics, and limited moves, this requires you to employ tactics and stealth. There’s also the added mechanic of morale… if one of your team members witnesses a team mate death, they can panic and lose control, which just adds another element to this brilliant game.
Sticking to the tactics, overhead type formula is the epic Syndicate. Set in 2096, the premise here is to take charge of your four cyborg agents working for the corporation, in order to assassinate, infiltrate, thieve and persuade those around you. The whole world objective here is to establish dominance, one territory at a time whilst eliminating rival syndicates.
I’ve always had a “thing” for isometric games, and coming from a Sinclair Spectrum background, this game really upped the stakes in this department. Plus it was fun to run over local civilians as you went about your duties.
Many consider Flashback to be a sequel to Another World. In fact, it’s not, although it is produced again by Delphine Software, and it clearly does share some graphical similarities, thanks in part to it’s use of rotoscoping, which gave fluid movements Conrad, your protagonist.
Like another world you moved through the platforming landscape utilising precise jumping, grabbing and dropping methods. There are also a fair amount of gunning and running action, along with the puzzles which made Another World such a great game. Flashback just has the edge for me, in terms of graphics and storyline, along with some clever logical puzzles which hold up well to this day.
It scares me to think how many hours I poured into this creatively ground-breaking game, but at least most of those hours were shared with other human beings, in the brilliantly fun multi-player mode.
Controlling teams of worms around a 2D landscape may not sound too appealing, but throw in a few rocket launchers, cluster grenades and the odd explosive sheep and tactical enjoyment arrives at a whole new level. Not only did the game force you to use wit and skill to defeat your opponent (especially bastards who just dug deep into the landscape), but it was also immense fun, and included immense replay-ability with it’s randomly generated landscapes, which were difficult to get bored of.
Team17 played a big part of the Amiga scene, and they definitely hit gold with this gem.
Now the Amiga is such an epic platform, it’s hard to narrow down a list of 7 games, so I feel obliged to give a few shouts to The Curse of Monkey Island, Microprose Grand Prix, Space Hulk and Zool, to name a few.
There’re so many other Amiga games which make the platform so appealing, and I would whole heartedly recommend picking up a second hand Amiga and whopping WHDLoad onto it at your earliest convenience.
But lest not forget, the old ST had it’s fair share of great games. It’s just… you can get most of them for the Amiga too… Spare a few exclusive gems.
But anyway, for today, I’m afraid… time is up.