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Amiga Games - Agony - Classic Commodore Amiga Game

Agony Amiga
This is a classic arcade game for the Commodore Amiga from Psygnosis which featured all of the ususal features from the publisher:

Beautiful box art (which quite often had little to do with the game itself!), fantastic atmospheric music, beautifully drawn cut-scene images and good in-game sound effects and music.

Some of the arcade games from Psygnosis tended to be a little hit and miss, but just like their early actioner Menace this shmup tended to be more hit than miss...

So let's take a lengthy dip in the atmosphere of the highly polished Agony...

The stunning artwork in Agony - Amiga
Those beautiful cut-scenes
Before getting into the game proper, I have to comment on the intro music; it must be amongst the best ever created on the Amiga, and many Amiga gamers hark back to it again and again.

It is incredibly well composed and really highlights the capabilities of the Amiga's sound hardware.

The Intro Music To This Classic Arcade Game:

So, the game music set you in the mood for some classic arcade style action, and in the main, the game delivered to you nicely.

You took the part of a (superbly animated) owl, flying over a multi-layered parallax horizontally scrolling background - all of which was beautifully drawn.

The first level even incorporated a raging see which scrolled slowly by in the distance - putting this game up there with Shadow of the Beast for jaw-dropping visuals.
Classic shoot em up action in Agony - Amiga
The visuals were right on the money
The game was pretty much standard fare, it was a case of shoot first (and shoot fast!) to cut through each level, killing as many nasties as possible and avoiding the myriad of weird and wonderful creatures.

In true classic arcade style there were powerups to collect (in the form of potions) which would give you a more powerful shot, a floating sword which would 'float' above you (giving a modicum of protection) and so on.

There were enemies that would come at you from unexpected places, and of course those end of level bosses which took a fair amount of damage before being overcome.

Once you got over the sumptious graphics the limited gameplay became apparent. It was actually a pretty simple shmup that lacked variety in the gameplay stakes.

Not that it makes it a bad arcade game by any means (this is still a good computer game), but when you compare it to the likes of SWIV or Apidya the gulf in class jumps up and beats you over the head with a stick.

Oh, and after a while the in-game music can tend to get on your tits too.
Amazing backgrounds in Agony - Amiga
The game was not overly tough or long either, with six reasonable sized levels to play through, and most accomplished gamers (especially those of us who revelled in arcade games) could complete the whole game in a matter of days.

For me it falls short of the top, top shmups on the Amiga, but is still a good game in it's own right. The intro music is amongst the best ever created on the machine, and the game environments (and in between level scenes) are a joy to behold.

Each level did look quite different from the last, so kudos goes to the developers for ensuring the level design throughout the game changed as you made progress - one of the key points to any good shooter.

More beauty in Agony - Amiga
Despite it's relatively simple gameplay it also managed to be suitably atmospheric due to the game sprites and backgrounds having the right 'fantasy' look, evoking images of netherworlds, mythica creatures and mystical lands.
The graphics had the right 'fantasy' style...
More mystical lands to make your way through
If you like arcade games and scrolling shmups then you can't go far wrong. Whilst not being the best of it's type on the good old Amiga it's certainly far from being the worst, and there is no doubt that it this game is worth a look.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Agony. Alternatively you could try and play it online.

Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys

GENRE: Arcade game
RELEASED BY: Psygnosis
DEVELOPER(S): Yves Grolet, Frank Sauer, Marc Albinet
PRICE: £25.99 - UK

Classic Arcade Action:

Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games


Anonymous said...

Nice game. There is also an unofficial "deutsch" sequel for the MS-D0S machines: Dactylus! ;-)

RetroKingSimon said...

I played this for the first time recently, it's pretty sweet! Lovely presentation too :)

Keeper Garrett said...

I never got around to playing this back in the day. I wasn't good at shooters and only finished Silkworm from memory. Menace was hard too!

Mik said...

Agony could be painful at times, but still stands as one of the best Amiga shooters, and its atmosphere remain unmatched.

Note that a proper version of UAE is required to have it working properly, since a wrong setting can make the game virtually unplayable (i.e., on certain Linux versions my bullets couldn't kill enemies, and on PSP the music sounded like crap). So the original hardware is definitely the way.

BTW, nice blog you have here! I'll add it to my blog roll :)

Have a nice day


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