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Showing posts with label Amiga Games - S. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amiga Games - S. Show all posts

02/07/2013

Amiga Games - Sensible Soccer - Classic Commodore Amiga Game

Sensible Soccer Amiga
The football game that defined the 1990s (apologies to Kick-Off), 1992's offering from Sensible Software is a cult classic that remains playable to this day.

Sensible Soccer ended up being incredibly popular and spawned a multitude of sequels and enhancement packs.

The game soon became known in the gaming circles as 'Sensi', and even those of us that were not huge fans of football ended up enjoying the playing experience.

So let's take a look back at the original version of Sensible Soccer which ended up founding a miniature dynasty in art of simulating the beautiful game.

Sensible Soccer on the Commodore Amiga
Jon Hare and Chris Yates wanted to create a football game (I refuse to call it 'Soccer') that would appeal to both ardent fans and the more casual gamer alike.

With a vast number of international teams to pick from (all of which featured accurate player names at the time) you could customise your favourite team by swapping substitutes in and out prior to playing a match.

Each team was also designated with star players and it was wise to keep them in your starting line-up. You could also view the first and second kits for your team and alter these to suit yourself too!

Being able to 'pick' your team like this was a lot of fun and added depth to the game before a ball was kicked.
Sensible Soccer  on the Amiga allowed you to select your players and kit

What was good about the game was the control you could exert over the football.

Kick Off 2 had allowed for the gamer to exert swerve and power when kicking the ball, and Sensi managed to make this type of ball control fast and fluid.

The hardest part for me was learning how to run with the ball and keep it under control; but once this was mastered you were able to go on mazy runs, weaving through three of four opposition players before threading the ball through to your forward player to finish it off nicely.

Passing (both short and long), shooting and tackling were all intuitive and easy enough to pick up. The fire-button was used to accomplish everything and it worked superbly.

The real trick to winning was applying the right amount of power and swerve to your shots to out-fox the goal keeper.

It must be said that the computer controlled goalkeepers were sometimes capable of herculean and almost superhuman reflexes in keeping your shots out of the old onion bag. For me this was the only downside to the game as you unleashed a shot directly into the top corner only for the keeper to somehow keep it out.

Sensible Soccer Amiga pre-match screen
The players were tiny and the action was viewed from overhead.

The miniature team members did not distract from the game-play at all; in fact they were all quite highly detailled and you could easily make out different hair styles and skin tone.

Plenty of character and charm oozed from the little men as they dashed around the screen at breakneck speed.

Sensible Soccer on the Commodore Amiga
Playing against the computer was great fun, but playing against a friend was what really brought this game to life.

If both players were proficient it was easy to rack up double scores, especially if you were playing a longer match.

All in all everything about this game was brilliant. The intro-music, the in-game sound effects (the thud of the ball being booted around the pitch, the crowd chants and the cheering as a goal went in), the control you could exert on the ball, the slide tackling....

Sensible Soccer is a classic game and for me is one of the greatest football games ever.

We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Sensible Soccer. Alternatively you could try and play it online.

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

GENRE: Arcade Game / Sports
RELEASE DATE: 1992
RELEASED BY: Sensible Software / Ocean Software
DEVELOPER(S): Jon Hare, Chris Chapman, Chris Yates, Dave Korn
PRICE: £25.99

Classic Arcade Action

Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games

21/01/2011

Amiga Games - Silkworm - Classic Commodore Amiga Game

Silkworm Amiga
Since I was playing SWIV last week, let's have a look at the prequel to that game, which was the hugely popular classic arcade game Silkworm.

This game was originally released by Tecmo and was converted to most home formats of the era. Just like SWIV I am looking at the ZX Spectrum version on our brother blog, ZX Spectrum Games if you fancy making a comparison with the Amiga version.

Anyway, this must go down as one of the best horizontal shmups for the Amiga, and is a firm favourite amongst many retro gamers. Let the classic arcade action commence...

Silkworm starts up on the Amiga The Amiga conversion was given to us in 1989 and really matched up to the arcade original well. These are the types of games that the Amiga excelled at - talented coders could replicate the arcade gameplay to a tee.

The cool aspect of the game was being able to play as a helicopter or a jeep (more difficult) and also the two player co-op mode, with one player taking a vehicle each.

Choose your vehicle of choice
The game featured dual layer parallax scrolling and to be fair the sprites matched up to the arcade version pretty well. All of the classic arcade game features are in here: large bosses to overcome, weapons powerups, enemies that would 'pop up' and surprise you... the list goes on.
The dual fire was especially great for wiping out hordes of bad guys, the heli and jeep could cut a swathe through the enemy targets with ease.

Silkworm on the Amiga
The sound effects in the game were great with suitably meaty explosions, ricochet sounds, weapons firing and so on. These effects gave the game a proper 'arcade feel' and fans of the coin-op liked the conversion - the Amiga had done it justice.

Rolling green hills make a fine backdrop for mayhem
As you progressed through the game the background scenery changed too. You went from hills and greenery, through red-orange rocky deserts, across blue oceans (complete with battleships) and even grey rocky landscapes. If you were blessed with Jack Burton-esque reflexes then you would end up inside the enemy base - the metallic grey/blue walls scrolling nicely by.

The enemy sprites changed as the game progressed too giving the game yet more variety.

Blowing the crap out of bad guys over the desertPlaying as the helicopter was generally regarded as being easier than playing as the jeep as the latter would have to destroy or jump over obstacles in it's path.

When playing in two player co-op mode each player had to 'cover' the other which made the gameplay more interesting and fun.

For instance the helicopter could only fire forwards, so the jeep would have to cover the rear with it's swiveling gun turret. However, when covering the rear the jeep was vulnerable from frontal attacks, so the helicopter would then have to provide covering fire for it. Saving your best buddy from death felt like a super achievement!

Nearing the end of Silkworm on the Amiga All in all Silkworm is a true classic arcade game that was converted very well to the Amiga. For me it is a super example of how to develop a horitzontal shooter correctly. Simple yet fun gameplay, great sound effects, varied enemies and that magical 'one more go' factor. Nice.

This was a superb Amiga game and a good follow up to the original arcade game. If you own an Amiga and you like shoot em ups then this is a must have title.

We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download this game. 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
RELEASE DATE: 1989
RELEASED BY: Virgin Games
DEVELOPER(S): Random Access
PRICE: £19.99 - UK (Then £7.99 re-release)

Classic Arcade Action:


Arcade Games, Classic Games and Amiga Games

04/01/2011

Amiga Games - SWIV - Classic Commodore Amiga Game

SWIV Commodore Amiga
Now this classic game is heralded as one of the 'must have' shmups for the good old Commodore Amiga - and I have to agree.

I am playing this and the ZX Spectrum version simultaneously, you can see it at my ZX Spectrum Games blog for a comparison or at SWIV ZX Spectrum.

I have to say though that the Amiga absolutely excelled at this type of game - it was like having an arcade machine in your own home when you played shmups of this quality.

SWIV loads up on the Amiga
So, this game was of the tried and tested top down vertical scrolling variety and was one where it all just came together nicely.

It was the sequel to the hugely popular arcade game Silkworm, and for me it beat the first game hands down.

SWIV stood for Special Weapons Interdiction Vehicle and allowed you (just like the first game) to play as the helicopter gunship or as a fully armoured battle tank.

SWIV - Amiga
Each vehicle had it's advantages and disadvantages - for example the heli did not have to avoid any ground based obstacles but could only fire forwards.

The tank could crash into pot-holes and buildings, but you could rotate it's field of fire. Nice.

It could also jump over some of the ground based obstacles - but beware jumping into enemy helicopters!

Smooth scrolling graphics in SWIV on the Amiga The graphics in this game were mighty impressive. Huge sprites scrolled smoothly across the game zone, gun emplacements popped up sneakily from the ground and large motheships would take off (leaving 'crop circles' behind in a great touch) to try and take you down.

Tall buildings and enemy air units cast shadows on the ground giving the game a proper sense of depth. All in all the graphics and sound effects were top notch and kudos goes to the developers for creating such a playable technical marvel.

A classic shmup
The game was further enhanced by the two player option. With one as the heli and the other as the tank it was great fun blasting away at the bad guys, plotting your route as you went.

The usual arcade game power ups were there to be had such as triple fire, shields, multi-cannons and so on.

The only gripe I have (or had) with SWIV is the lack of in-game music. When you look at the music to accompany the likes of Apidya then this one sounds a little sparse. Still, with the graphics shifting along so nicely we can forgive the developers for leaving out a sound track.

The game was over when you lost all of your lives or if you defeated the boss at the end of the final level. Each level had bosses to overcome (naturally), but despite being difficult they could be overcome with a bit of practice.

That's the key to a great shmup - the levels are hard but fair.

This was a superb Amiga game and a good follow up to the original arcade game. If you own an Amiga and you like shoot em ups then this is a must have title.

We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download SWIV. 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
RELEASE DATE: 1991
RELEASED BY: Storm
DEVELOPER(S): Dan Marchant, Ronald Pieket Weeserik, Ned Langman, Andrew Barnabas
PRICE: £24.99 - UK

Classic Arcade Action (Helicopter):



Classic Arcade Action (Jeep):


Arcade Gaming for 2 players


Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games

15/12/2010

Amiga Games - Smash TV - Classic Commodore Amiga Game

Smash TV Amiga
Now this really is a cult classic arcade game.

Smash TV was an arcade conversion of the 1990 Williams game and was released for the Commodore Amiga in 1991 by good old Ocean Software.

The arcade game 'plot line' borrowed heavily from the movie 'The Running Man'; in the game you took part in a futuristic game show based on ultra violence, mass weapons, destruction, big prizes, lots of cash and 'total carnage'.

Smash TV - Amiga Let's get this out of the way first; this game was a total scream. With it's tacky game-show host, voice samples shouting 'Total carnage... I love it', over the top violence and crazy body count it took the arcade game to a whole new level.

For one or two players you took part in this futuristic game show laying waste to hordes of 'bad guys' collecting money and prizes from the game arena. Armed with a powerful hand gun you could mow down the masses with ease. For the first few screens that is.

As you progressed the bad guys became a lot tougher. Mr Shrapnel took a few hits before being dispatched and when he did shrapnel would fly out in all directions, meaning he could still kill you after you had killed him!

As you made your way through the game zones there were the usual arcade game style powerups to collect. Rocket launchers, grenade launchers, double fire, 'fast feet', lazer shields to name but a few would help you to mow down the masses. These powerups were temporary of course.

Smash TV - Phwoooar... Well not quite
There were four game zones to fight through, with each one divided up into around a dozen screens. At the end of each zone you had to fight a tough end of level boss (such as Mutoid Man), with each boss requiring a lot of hits to be destroyed.

Bad guys died nicely in over the top blood splatter animations - made all the funnier as you could be collecting electric toasters, video machines and board-games whilst laying waste to baseball bat wielding thugs.

Total Carnage - I LOVE IT! One aspect of the game that could make it or break it was the control method. Ideally one player needed two joysticks. One to control your characters movement and one to control the direction of fire.

On later levels this was an absolute necessity as you could back away from a huge group of bad guys whilst simultaneously mowing them down. Being able to fire in the opposite direction to which you were moving was the only way to survive and without this control method you didn't stand a chance.

So, with the good old Amiga only having two joystick ports you needed a joystick splitter for proper two player action. Playing with the keyboard just wasn't the same.

End of level 2 in Smash TV - AmigaControl method aside - if you had a stick splitter then the game was superb for two players. Playing in co-op mode was brilliant fun giving you twice the mayhem and the ability to mercilessly murder a sh*t load of on screen bad guys.

It also meant that taking on the end of level bosses was a little easier as you could strategically attack from two sides. This game is probably one of the best two player games I ever tried on the Amiga anyway.

Those thugs are easy meat in Smash TV As usual for an arcade game extra extra lives were awared for the scoring of a lot of points, and there were also bonus sub-games to build up your points and cash totals.

The game was over when you lost all of your lives or if you defeated the boss at the end of game arena four. A tough game that was beatable with a bit of practice.

This was a very good Amiga game and a good converion of the arcade original. With a little tweaking it could have been a true classic, but as it stands this game is well remembered by Amiga gamers.

We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download a this arcade game. Alternatively you could try and play it online.

If you have an Amiga then grab a copy from Ebay - you could always buy that for a dollar! ;-)

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

GENRE: Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: 1991
RELEASED BY: Ocean Software
DEVELOPER(S): Zareh Z, Mark Knowles, Tony Williams, K Johannes
PRICE: £7.99 - UK

Classic Arcade Action:



Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games

19/03/2010

Amiga Longplay- Speedball 2 - Commodore Amiga classic game - Longplay

Amiga Speedball 2
This game in our opinion stands as one of the best arcade games you could play on your Commodore Amiga. In fact let's just say it is in our opinion, one of the best Amiga games of all time.

Developed by the legendary Bitmap Brothers this classic game was released by Image Works in 1990 and was met with great enthusiasm.

Following on from the first Amiga game Speedball, the whole premise of the game was that this violent future sport was now the most popular for spectators world wide. The only rules were to score as many points as possible in each 90 second half of the game. The Bitmap Brothers no doubt took inspiration from the 70's movie Rollerball when they came up with this one.

Speedball 2 Amiga
Taking place in an arena with a metal ball (the Speedball) to play with, you had to earn those precious points by hurling the ball into the opposition goal or by lighting up the star emblems on the arena wall.

Ultra-violence was permitted and part of the game was beating up opposition team members - and injuring one of them (so they had to be carried out of the arena by robo-medbots and substituted) awarded your team yet more points.

The deadly arena of Speedball 2 Dotted around the playing arena were various powerups which included energy drinks, speed boots, body armour, a ball electrifier (really cool) and many more.

On each wall there was also a score 'multiplier' which you could light up making each goal you scored worth fifteen or even twenty points as opposed to the standard score of ten.

The most important thing though to collect was the various 'coins' which would randomly appear on the playing surface. Collecting coins gave your team extra cold hard cash - and you could use this cash to buy permanent powerups for your players or to even transfer in better players. There was nothing better than buying a super strong and fast central attacker and being able to mow through your next opponents defence with ease!

There were various types of play such as knockout tournament and league campaign. If you played the league you had to take a new team (called Brutal Deluxe) from the bottom of division two to winners of division one - which was no mean feat.

As you piled up the cash you really could transfer in some great players and put together a formidable team. The transfer of players really added some depth to the game making single player mode far more interesting.

Power up your player in Speedball II - Amiga
It was also great to play this against a friend in two player mode - knocking the crap out of each other, scoring goals and lighting up the multiplier was great fun.

The graphics within the game were superb; the Speedball arena really did feel like cold hard solid steel. These metallic graphics coupled with the excellent crunching sound effects meant you could almost feel the players pain as they were punched and tackled across the game area.

This classic arcade game for the Commodore Amiga has got to be worth another look after all these years. The only drawback I can find with it is the fact that your goalkeeper is not computer controlled - which can sometimes lead to confusion when defending your goal area. Do you use you outfield defender of your goalie?

This slight niggle aside I would say Speedball II is still playable even by todays standards - get a few friends round, order in the pizza and set up some two player tournaments. The time will fly by. You may even feel like having some ice cream, ice cream.

We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Speedball 2. 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
RELEASE DATE: 1990
RELEASED BY: Image Works
DEVELOPER(S): Rob Trevellyan and Mike Montgomery. Graphics by Dan Malone.
PRICE: £24.99 - UK

Get some ice cream, ice cream and watch some classic arcade game action:


Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games

02/10/2009

Amiga Games - Space Harrier - Commodore Amiga retro game

Amiga Space Harrier
Another arcade conversion from Elite software who won the rights to convert the mighty Space Harrier from amusement arcade to home systems such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore Amiga.

Space Harrier had been a total phenomenon in the arcades, the bizarre look and feel of 'The Fantasy Zone' resplendent in fast moving 3D graphics coupled with the cabinet being mounted on hydraulics (in the full motion cockpit version) had given gamers a brilliant gaming experience in the mid 1980's.

The sound effects, in game speech and pumping soundtrack had complemented this classic game perfectly too. It had been one of the first games to use progressive sprites to create the 3D effect - most other arcade games up to this point had used polygons and wireframe graphics.

Amiga Games Space Harrier
Welcome to the Fantasy Zone
SEGA had released Space Harrier in 1985 and it's popularity ensured that it had been converted to 8-bit systems years earlier (ZX Spectrum Space Harrier had been released in 1986).

As was usual for the Amiga - lots of existing 8-bit games were brought out on the machine, sometimes with less than impressive results. Thankfully Elite did put some effort into the Amiga version.

So... Could the surreal world of 'The Fantasy Zone' (complete with the checkboard ground, alien pods, stone heads and flying dragons), be reproduced on the Commodore Amiga? Well...

Pretty much yes. The arcade game had been famous for it's in-game speech, such as 'Welcome to the fantasy zone, get ready!' when you fed your first coins into it - and this (and the fantastic in game music) made it onto the Amiga (whereas on the Speccy they had been omitted).

The music was not quite as good as the arcade original which is a shame as the Amiga was more than capable of it.

This retro game involved your character (the Space Harrier) running or flying in a permanent 3D 'third person view' scrolling landscape. Armed with a powerful gun, you had to blast away the evil nasties that had come to take over the outlandish 'Fantasy Zone'.

The Amiga did animate and create the 3D view really well and the in game sprites and scenery matched the it's arcade parent pretty accurately.

Space Harrier on the Amiga
The Fantasy Zone
Enemies and obstacles would come hurtling towards you, some of which could be blasted out of the way, some of which were indestructable. For instance, rocks would be littered across the ground or could be floating in mid air - and you would either have to shoot them out of the way or weave your way around them if they were 'bullet proof'.

Some of your adverseries would shoot projectiles at you which you had to avoid at all costs, ranging from egg shaped energy bolts to faster moving fireballs.

Collision with any enemy or projectile would result in the loss of a life. Big enemies such as flying dragons (which weaved gracefully through the air) or huge floating stone heads would appear and would take multiple hits from your gun before being blasted away.

At the end of each level there would be a boss alien (sometimes more than one) to duel with (such as two headed dragons!), and it could take a while to wear them down and dispatch them.

The game was spread over 18 stages (which were all strangely named such as 'Moot', 'Minia' and 'Geeza') including some bonus stages.

If you made it to a bonus stage (bonus stages were a staple of arcade games back then) then you would get to sit astride a friendly floating chinese style dragon and plow your way through the landscape (such as trees) to earn thousands of bonus points.

At the end of the bonus stage your harrier would hop off the dragon which would fly off into the distance and disappear. It would be back to normal action again in the next level.

Later stages produced even more strange creatures such as one eyed wooly mammoths, giant robots, F-14 style fighter jets and large bulbous squids. Having fast moving enemies of this scale in the game was quite impressive.

Later levels were tough to negotiate with a barrage of enemies and obstacles to avoid, and sometime a 'roof' would come down over the landscape limiting the height at which your harrier could go to forcing you to zip around the screen like a maniac as you dodged trees, rocks, metal poles, crystal type objects and huge flowers. The 3D effect on these levels was pretty cool though.

Making it to the end of a level and destroying the boss was quite rewarding on later levels.

If you had quicker reflexes than Jackie Chan then you would make it to the end of the game, which matter of factly informed you that it was indeed 'The End'. But don't worry, as 'many more battle scenes will soon be available'.

This Amiga Game was not so hyped up as it was a little bit 'old' by the time it came out on the Commodore machine. Still, Space Harrier went on to do well (as it was a very popular arcade game) and sold plenty of copies. It could have been a bit better really, but it was still playable and captured the feel of the original well.

We here in the land of Amiga Games reckon that Space Harrier represents a time when arcade machines were losing their status as being at the cutting edge in terms of graphics, sound effects, music and sheer scale.

The gulf between the home 16-bit systems was growing smaller and it was possible to convert these classics to machines like the Amiga well (if the effort was put in!)

The Amiga version of Space Harrier is still playable and fun, and the developers created the levels and creatures accurately - not to mention the fast gameplay, the superb 3D perspective effect and responsiveness of your in game hero (if you used the mouse as a controller). The version we got for the Amiga could have been a little better, but you know it ain't bad.

This classic arcade game for the Commodore Amiga is worth another look after all these years.

We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Space Harrier. 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 (Rail shooter)
RELEASE DATE: April of 1989
RELEASED BY: Elite Software
DEVELOPER(S): Richard Frankish, Jeff Spangenberg
PRICE: £24.95 - UK

Our hero flies and takes you on a tour of Moot in this fine arcade game...

video

Classic Games and Amiga Games

16/09/2009

Amiga Games - Starglider - Commodore Amiga retro game

Amiga Starglider
Starglider was a 3D vector graphics arcade game released by Rainbird Software back in May of 1987.

This is a classic game that had already been a big hit on the likes of the ZX Spectrum and the Commodore 64 - and the Commodore Amiga version was more than just a quick port over - they really did it justice and made use of those full 16-bits of processing power!

Amiga Games Starglider

All in all Starglider really was another excellent addition to the ranks of 3D vector space games.

Like all of these epic space style games, Starglider had a backstory to set the scene:

For many years the planet of Novenia was at peace. An automated defence system (known as 'The Sentinels') had kept any unwelcome callers from outer space at bay.

These huge sentinels had one policy - shoot first, ask questions later. This gung ho policy worked well for a long time (you wouldn't want to stop there in any emergency!), until The Sentinels destroyed a harmless flock of protected interplanetary migratory space faring birds known as 'Stargliders'. Under orders from Inter-Galactic green police, The Sentinels were immediately reprogrammed not to shoot down these harmless and graceful creatures.

Spotting a window of opportunity, the ruthless Egrons hatched a plan to finally conquer Novenia. They disguised some ships as 'Stargliders' and used them to bypass the Sentinel defences. With no other armed forces at all Novenia soon fell under the rule of the evil Egrons.

Two Sentinel repair workers (Jason and Katra) witnessed the attack on Novenia from the safety of one of Novenia's moons. Our two heroes embark on a mission - to destroy the invading aliens using an obsolete museum fighter equipped with lasers and the capability of carrying only two missiles. This is where you come in...

In this (another of our classic Amiga games) there were more than sixteen different types of enemy craft to destroy - with each one requiring to be dealt with in a slightly different way.

The in game action took place over the now barren landscape of Novenia. You had to guide your ancient fighter around the dust laden atmosphere using a co-ordinate system which divided the surface of the planet into a 100X100 grid.

The game had plenty of options for you to get your teeth into before beginning. Two types of gun sight were available to you which were fixed or floating. Floating sights affected the control of the ship - it 'followed' the sights as you moved them around. Fixed sights (like a classic fighter aircraft) remained in the centre of the screen, and the ship had to be manoeuvred until the enemy craft appeared inside the target square. I preferred the second option.

Amiga Games Starglider - classic cockpit viewAn optional centering system could also be enabled or disabled at the start of the game. Automatic centering could be set on either the vertical or the horizontal axis, in all directions, or not at all. Fully automatic centering was handy for the player as it returned your ship to straight and level flight when you left the controls alone. Nice.

Starglider also included digitised speech (which would inform you of events as you were mid-mission), a nice title tune and plenty of 'extra missions' that either involved destroying an invader or picking up some extra equipment for your craft. Some of these add-ons included super missiles which had a longer range, power packs which temporarily negated the need for you to refuel, and a rear view mirror (being able to 'see' the action behind you was very impressive at the time - even on the Commodore Amiga).

Once you made it to the latter levels you really needed these extra power-ups as the enemies became more cunning and deadly. Repair depots were spread around the Novenian landscape and you could enter them with careful flying to repair your craft and pick up a missile (as long as you didn't already have two fitted).

Your ships instrument panel displayed horizontal bars showing shield strength, power reserves and a fuel guage. Two vertical indicators showed how high you were and how fast you were travelling. The height bar would warn you and flash red if the craft went too close to the ground - hitting the ground was a quick way to drain your shields of power.

In another clever piece of coding the game would switch to 'missile view' whenever you fired one off. You had to 'home' the missile in on target before it ran out of fuel - which could be a little tricky. The 'super missile' powerup gave you a longer flight time to find your target.

Three missile hits were required to destroy a main enemy fighter, and when you achieved this an instant replay of the destruction was showed to you - yet another great touch by the programmers. 10,000 points later and you were onto the next level where the game became more difficult...

Starglider had been heralded on it's 8-bit release due to it's polished presentation (the game was even accompanied by a 64 page novel - Elite style), superb speech along with smooth and well animated vector graphics and excellent gameplay.

The Amiga version was better than it's 8-bit counterparts (as it should have been!) with smoother flowing graphics, grander explosions and a better looking cockpit. The Amiga was also better at creating that 'arcade game' feel due to it's superior graphics, colours and sound.

Some 8-bit games (which had been good!) were quickly rushed onto the Amiga in a quick port over and were actually worse than the originals (look at Exolon - superb on the Spectrum, crap on the Amiga.)

Anyway - Starglider had the right mix of arcade action and tactics - you had to plan your routes across the planet and know where to pick up your repairs and extra missiles. A good game in the genre.

Your humble reviewer here remembers Starglider on various formats, and this version was excellent. In amongst the 3D vector genre, Starglider remains one of the best vector shoot em up's you can get. The animation on the enemy ships is still pretty good and the game moves along at a fair old pace. Still playable, Rainbird's classic is worth flying again.

We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Starglider. 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: 3D Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: Summer of 1987
RELEASED BY: Rainbird
DEVELOPER(S): Jeremy San, Richard Clucas
PRICE: £19.95 - UK

And now I'm ready, to glide again.... Starglider - Amiga Longplay:


video

Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games

08/09/2009

Amiga Games - Star Wars - Commodore Amiga retro game

Amiga Games Star Wars
Amiga Games Star Wars
The officialy licensed conversion of the world famous arcade game landed on the Commodore Amiga during the summer of 1988. The arcade version of Star Wars had been a phenomenon with it's fast moving vector graphics and sterio sound, not to mention the full cockpit sit down version.

Domark released Star Wars for the Amiga and those clever guys at Vector Grafix (who would also develop The Empire Strikes Back on the the Commodore machine) handled the conversion.

The game was loosly based around the movie, with three main levels to contend with. As the game started up you were treated to a superb rendition of the Star Wars theme tune - the Amiga really was excellent at reproducing arcade quality sterio music.

As in the arcade game, you could choose your level of skill by pointing your X-Wing cross hairs at the Easy, Medium or Hard level Death Stars and pressing the fire button. The game would begin and you were flung straight into action on the first level of the game.

Star Wars level one Amiga games
Your X-Wing fighter was fitted with quad firing lasers and defensive shields which could absorb nine hits from the enemy before you were destroyed. As most of you will know, the first stage of Star Wars was basically shooting down hordes of enemy tie fighters (and fireballs they would shoot back at you) as they weaved around the twinkling backdrop of cold, black space. Destroying enough enemy ships and fireballs moved you onto level two.

Stage two had you skimming the surface of the dreaded deathstar in your fighter, shooting gun emplacements and towers whilst avoiding enemy fire and crashing into the surface (or the aforementioned towers). It was possible to pick up a bonus by shooting the tops of the towers - if you picked off enough of them. Weaving your way across the surface shooting down fireballs would lead you to the final, and the most well remembered stage.

Shoot the tower tops for a bonus The final stage was the trench run. Just like the movie you had to fly your X-Wing down the trench of the Deathstar and make it to the exhaust port.

On the way you had to avoid enemy fire, catwalk beams spanning the width of the trench and of course collision with the deck. You could pick up a huge bonus by 'using the force' and not firing a single shot during the trench run until you reached your goal (almost impossible to do on 'hard' skill level). A well placed shot into the exhaust port (just like Luke!) would treat you to a scene of the Deathstar exploding before the game returned to the first level with the difficulty level increased.

When Star Wars was released for the Amiga it was met with only mild enthusiasm. The arcade game was getting on a bit and had been surpassed on a technical level by more modern offerings. Not only that, but other unofficial versions of Star Wars had already been released on 8-bit machines, such as the excellent 3D Starstrike from Realtime Software. Starstrike had been released around four years earlier, and was regarded as an already good (if old) version of Star Wars.

Star Wars was by no means a poor effort, and Domark's release did replicate the arcade game quite nicely (they captured the look of the game very well, with the use of colour and font being very accurate). The famous scrolling Star Wars story was in there too, and the game itself was pretty good to play with smooth moving vector graphics, great music and superb sound effects. Due to the Star Wars name, it did pretty well and plenty of copies were sold.

Here in the land of Amiga Games we reckon that Star Wars is worth a look to see how they converted from arcade to home computer. The game is still quite fun, and does capture the spirit of the arcade original accurately. This is real retro gaming - we used to do cartwheels for graphics like this!

Watch the movie and feel the force before giving it a go - you'll soon be clear to blow it and go home!

We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Star Wars for the Amiga. 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: 3D Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: Summer of 1988
RELEASED BY: Domark
DEVELOPER(S): Vector Grafix
PRICE: £19.95 - UK

Red five standing by in Star Wars - Amiga Longplay:
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Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games

22/07/2009

Amiga Games - Stunt Car Racer - Commodore Amiga retro game

Amiga Games Stunt Car Racer was an exhilarating racing experience designed and programmed by computer racing supremo Geoff Crammond. A truly classic Amiga Game.

The game was a futuristic racer that put you in control of a high powered, nitro-enhanced stunt car.

The tracks had more resemblance to Alton Towers than Silverstone with , tight twisting corners and massive ramps and jumps.

Stunt Car Racer - Title Screen

The graphics were great and the way everything worked together really got you immersed in the game. The car really did feel as if it was traveling at high speed and you could see the tyres bounce realistically when you landed from a jump.

Stunt Car Racer - Going Up

Sound was also good with crunching effects when you crash landed and the engine roar changing when you launched your car high into the air.

You start the game in in the lowest of the 4 divisions and the aim is to complete a season with the most points so you can move up the divisions and take on the better drivers on the more difficult tracks.

Even in the lowly division 4 you are able to practise on any track from any of the other divisions giving you a chance to get used to the turns and jumps before racing against opponents.

When you make it to the top of the first division you can then compete in the Super League.

The Super League pits you against the same tracks and drivers but both you and your opponents have faster cars with better brakes. You begin again in division 4 and must win races to move up and attempt to become Super League Champion.

Stunt Car Racer - Lifted onto the track

Points were awarded for winning the race (2 points) and the fastest lap (1 point). At the end of the season the driver with the most points would move up to the next division. If you finished bottom you would be relegated to the lower division.

The controls were simple but responsive. You moved forward to accelerate and back to brake (or reverse if you had stopped) and left and right to move the car..eh left and right!

The fire button was used to give your car a nitrous boost which would see your car reaching amazing speeds - lovely. The nitrous was limited and the units of boost you had left was indicated by the B gauge on the dashboard.

The car could also sustain damage and this would be indicated by cracks and holes which would appear above the windscreen. If the crack reached from the left to the right side of the car your race was over.

Any cracks were repaired after each race but the holes stayed throughout the season and caused cracks to move faster if the encountered a hole.

Stunt Car Racer - Huge jump ahead

So you had to look after your car and find the optimum speed to take corners and perform jumps as you didn't want to bash up your car and have to retire from the race - handing the points to your opponent.

As well as the single player mode you could play multi player with 8 players competing in up to 4 race seasons. Each player would race on each of the tracks in turn against a computer controlled pace car.

The points would be added to find the ultimate champion.

Stunt Car Racer - Speeding round a corner

Today Stunt Car Racer is still a lot of fun to play and the 3D graphics and speed of the action still look pretty good. So if you haven't already, get yourself an amiga emulator and track down a copy of the game and strap yourself in for a thrilling, roller coaster ride of a game! It's retro racing-tastic!

By the way, Stunt Car Racer on the ZX Spectrum was also reviewed on our Brother Blog ZX Spectrum Games - check it out!

Developer: MicroStyle
Year Released: 1989 (a long long time ago!)
Genre: 3D Racing (Arcade Game)

Check out the Amiga Longplay video below for a taste of the speed and danger you can experience playing Stunt Car Racer...

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Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games

The Retro Brothers Favourite Amiga Games...