Great Games I played on the Amiga
Al Ross
United States
Charlotte
NC
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The Commodore Amiga (1985-1994).



There were some terrific gaming releases for the Amiga as the OS provided mousing interaction and a GUI interface well before the Windows monster grew to its full size. In fact, it took until roughly 2000 or thereabouts before the PC side of technology caught up. Even the Mac was behind the Amiga on this one, with low cost access, games and other home use, and high end video uses. An entire SF TV series in the mid 90s had a business model based on the use of Amiga to produce high tech computer graphics for the FX required to drive the show.

On the other hand, you'll find very few Amiga only titles here; the Apple and DOS competition overwhelmed the Commodore management's capacity to market once Jack Trammel left the company, and the Amiga suffered through the death spirals of cash shortages, court battles and bankruptcy. Therefore only niche software companies had Amiga only business plans.

Here's a sampling of the best games I owned back then and the current boardgames that have similar natures or styles. By no means is this a complete Amiga listing - it stands before any adds as my list of the best I recall from more than 20 years back.

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1. Board Game: Defenders of the Realm [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:375]
Al Ross
United States
Charlotte
NC
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Defender of the Crown (1986) by Cinemaware


Cinemaware was a company that based their releases generally on movie themes, so this was a Ivanhoe or Arthurian release. This was their first, and it was groundbreaking. Defenders was the first game many of the first Amiga owners bought, as it was the first game release specific to the Amiga and was well passed the quality of existing video games and computer games at the time.

Defenders of the Realm matches the theme and some of the questing themes of the computer game. Comparing them is like comparing a movie to a book; the board game allows for more depth but the images on the screen provide a nice emotional engagement.

Looking from a current perspective, the computer game was simplistic, requiring timed clicks and a few choices of options, and while tough to win, wasn't the challenge later Amiga games provided. But, at the time, oh my, the graphics on the home screen were quite a sight to behold.
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2. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:5]
Al Ross
United States
Charlotte
NC
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Balance of Power (1985) by Mindscape Games



Chris Crawford built a reputation in the 80's with some serious games designs that attempted integration of simulation with game play. In this one, Geopolitics in the midst of the Cold War was the topic, and staying out of a Hot War was hard.

This was a port from a another set of platforms, with an mild Amiga graphic gloss overlaid; but really, the design focus was more about the play and less about the look.

Having not played - but having read a few reviews of - Twilight Struggle, the intrigue appears to be similar but the original software was a solitaire game which had simulation goals, whereas TS is a 2 player game which has more of an intention to create a strong conflict experience. Both did well to build the nervous tension of many years of indirect and proxy conflict and both have been well regarded in their times.
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3. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:20]
Al Ross
United States
Charlotte
NC
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The Bard's Tale (1985) by Electronic Arts


This release set (including BT2 and BT3) is from the Wizardry style of games that had been released previous to the Amiga with a rudimentary style of graphics to back up the text narrative. The design decision were to make the game play and graphics more robust but generally match the older machines' interface style.

Game play was interesting, as this was a complex and long Fantasy RPG adventure, taking a Bard character from tyro to master and defeating the big boss.

I compare this to Mage Knight as the scope of the game is similar, semi-random encounters on a map interface, building your character through adventures chosen and not chosen, and facing the tough opposition at the end of game.
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4. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:179]
Al Ross
United States
Charlotte
NC
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Civilization 1991 by MicroProse


Sid Meier continues to make a career on this cycle of games. With good reason; from the beginning the computer games have been addictive, entertaining and successful. He didn't invent the tech tree incentive but he may have perfected it.

The original was a Amiga release and was optimized for it, allowing for use of the mouse to choose items and upgrades, and the separation of tasks optimization was used so the Amiga showed little of the lag seen in PC releases of the time.

The board game has had two major versions. The first version, generally seen as having been underdeveloped and overpriced, is out of print and out of vogue. The newest release, from 2010, was better received and has a Kevin Wilson design. It is a bit fiddly due to the attempt to align where possible to the play of the Civ 5 computer release but is in my judgement a above average product.

Trivia note: The skyline modeled on the first computer game (see the image above) is a bas relief version of the Charlotte skyline of the day, which happens to be my hometown.
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5. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:78]
Al Ross
United States
Charlotte
NC
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Dungeon Master 1988 by FTL Games


Not quite a First Person Shooter, but much of the atmosphere of one. The design was to give a first person perspective of a dungeon crawl, and it was eye opening. Traps, monsters and mapping took on a whole new perspective.

This release, along with the Atari ST, broke sales records for the platform and was seen as revolutionary at the time. The Amiga version was the very first to feature 3D sound in any computer game.

Descent, while top down 3rd person perspective, provides some level of similar atmosphere and the tactical gameplay can be compared at some level.
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6. Board Game: Romance of the Three Kingdoms Card Game [Average Rating:4.76 Overall Rank:14336]
Al Ross
United States
Charlotte
NC
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms 1991 by Koei


At its heart, R3K in this version was a turn based strategy wargame, playable by 1-6. This hotseat style wargaming was a breakthrough for me, providing a fog of war element and computer adjudication of multiple player actions (as I recall). It also provided a slightly lowered level of complexity to wargaming, since the computer covers the rules and adjudication, the player can concentrate on the game itself and leave the larger portions of metagames to a referee.

This provided my real entree into wargaming. I had played board wargames previously, just badly. Once I could break free of worrying about rules - which at this time generally tended towards complexity - I found I could play with more confidence and some level of skill.

Having never played the R3K card game I can't really compare to the computer game.
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7. Board Game: Warlords [Average Rating:4.49 Overall Rank:14889]
Al Ross
United States
Charlotte
NC
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Warlords 1990 by SSI


This fantasy game is 4x based with 8 always playing factions, playable by 1-8 players where you control fighting units and heroes. Players capture other castles, find treasures and recruit units in order to dominate the other players. If this sounds lots like the Heroes of Might and Magic series, that's because you are paying attention.

The Amiga version was the first release and was quite a hit. The only complaint about this game was, once a leader was established, it was hard to take him down.

The "board game" is a CCG of the computer game.
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8. Video Game: The Secret of Monkey Island [Average Rating:8.31 Overall Rank:35]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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Monkey Island 1 and 2 were both stone cold classics, although the amount of disc-swapping got annoying at times.

Point and click adventures were definitely the best thing about that era of games though.
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9. Video Game: Beneath a Steel Sky [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:885]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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....Like Beneath a Steel Sky. Another great point and click....with 14 discs no less. Blah.
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10. Video Game: Flashback (1992) [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:504]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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Flashback had amazing graphics for the time and the movement of the main character was really fluid.
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11. Video Game: The Settlers [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:1113]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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I killed a lot of time on the original Settlers which really opened my eyes to the genre. The board game Antiquity reminds me a lot of it.
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12. Video Game: Cannon Fodder [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:525]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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So many hours spent guiding Jops, Jools and the gang through the deadly yet fun levels.
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13. Video Game: Sensible World of Soccer 95/96 [Average Rating:9.25 Unranked]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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Cannon Fodder wasn't Sensible Software's best game though. The Sensible Soccer games (particularly Sensible World of Soccer) were the most playable football games around. The game play still stands up to this day for sheer simplicity and playability.
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14. Video Game: X-COM: UFO Defense [Average Rating:8.71 Overall Rank:8]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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The best remake in yeeeeears came from one of the very best original games there was. A bit slow on Amiga though.
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15. Board Game: Falcon Ace [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked]
John Di Ponio
United States
Lake Orion
MI
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I spent weeks, no more like months playing Falcon and with a buddy over a thing called a modem!
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16. Board Game: Full Metal Planète [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:1545]
John Di Ponio
United States
Lake Orion
MI
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Had a lot of fun with this one. Make me really want the board version.
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17. Video Game: Frontier: Elite II [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:892]
meepleonboard
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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Bought this and played it for weeks and weeks and weeks on end. Still remember getting a phone call from my buddy who was studying at Leeds:

"Whatcha doing?"
"Playing Frontier. Whatcha doing?"
"Playing Frontier."
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18. Video Game: The Four Crystals of Trazere [Average Rating:8.38 Unranked]
meepleonboard
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Or "Legend" as it was known to me. This was probably my favourite game on the Amiga, and I still have the manuals and guides, although the discs are long gone. I have a PC version of it installed somewhere. A fabulous and engrossing dungeon crawl.
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19. Video Game: Time Bandit [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked]
Al Ross
United States
Charlotte
NC
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Here's one that was a "indie" production, originally released as shareware and matched Gauntlet at the time in graphics and crushed other console games - in fact, did riffs on them to the point of improving on the originals.

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20. Video Game: The Faery Tale Adventure [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:3757]
Chris Miller
United States
Rock Hill
South Carolina
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I bought this with my Amiga 500.. the main game that made me want the system. It was brutally hard sometimes, but got me started on my love of fantasy computer games.

(oops that links to the Genesis version)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Faery_Tale_Adventure

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21. Video Game: Rainbow Islands [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1854]
 
Simon Neale
United Kingdom
Suffolk
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This was the platform game I played most!
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22. Video Game: Lemmings [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:321]
Simon Neale
United Kingdom
Suffolk
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OH NO...... I'm starting to remember these games......
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23. Video Game: Wings (1990) [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:4468]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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Wings was a World War 1 flying game where you played a pilot. What was so great about it was that it told a story (through diary entries) and you played out the missions as they came about - either dogfights, balloon bursting, bombing or strafing missions.

The game makes you grow really attached to your pilot and his life. The piloting of the planes was good and it just sucked me in soooo much.
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24. Video Game: Theme Park [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1170]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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Inferior to the PC version, Theme Park on the Amiga was still wonderful. I got it for Christmas in the mid-90s and promptly spent the next few months playing nothing else. A great business sim with humour and replaybility.
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25. Video Game: Lords of the Rising Sun [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Ralph T
United States
Signal Hill
California
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Great game. Never did get the princess or conquer Japan. The best I could do is kill my brother and win a couple victories against the Taira clan. But if you fell off your horse like three times, you'd die.
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