The Amiga 1200 had a host of classic games, but these are the ones we always find ourselves returning to.
Worms: Director’s Cut
It would be criminal to have an Amiga top ten and not mention at least one Worms game. This exclusive Amiga title was the perfect farewell from Team 17 for the machine that had served it so well over the years, so it’s unsurprising that many fans consider it to be the best game from the franchise. Glorious 2D visuals, well-designed maps and some truly outrageous weapons – no one will forget the first time they used an old woman or a baseball bat on a hapless opponent – all combined to create what was easily the pinnacle of the series. Here’s hoping that Team 17’s Worms update for the PSP and DS are just as good.
Although several versions of Street Fighter II appeared on Commodore’s machine, the Commodore’s inability to perfectly emulate the arcade’s control system meant that plenty of other brawlers received greater recognition. One such fighter is Light Shock Software’s Fightin’ Spirit, a nifty little scrapper that has a decent range of opponents, a laughably cheesy plot and some solid special moves. Many of the characters are able to morph into vicious animals, which adds greatly to the comedic elements that run throughout the game. While Super Street Fighter II Turbo looked a lot nicer, simpler controls made Fightin’ Spirit the better game; at least on the 1200…
Alien Breed 3D
No doubt wanting to cash-in on the popularity of Doom on the PC, Team 17 decided to create its own First-Person shooter for the 1200. The result, Alien Breed 3D, may not have been without its problems, but remains arguably the greatest FPS on the machine. While the small playing window was dreadfully annoying – although many argued that it added atmosphere to the game – the finely structured level design, stunning visuals and gruesome deaths delivered a Doom-like experience that many felt the Amiga could never achieve. You needed an Amiga with a fair amount of grunt to get it working, but on a decent system, Alien Breed 3D was untouchable.
T-Zer0 is generally regarded as the reason to upgrade the Amiga 1200. By adding a CD-ROM drive and extra RAM, the humble A1200 was able to run the most beautiful horizontal shooter there has ever been on a Commodore computer. Put simply, T-Zer0 looked stunning; with its biomechanical levels, screens packed with bullets and animated backgrounds, it was technically and artistically brilliant. Unusually, for a late Amiga game, the excellent graphics were matched by the great gameplay. Essentially an R-Type clone, T-Zer0 stood out because of the power-downs – items that were the opposite of power-ups, and best avoided if you wanted to do well.
Simon The Sorcerer
Whilst many excellent point and click adventures are available on the Amiga, few were actually converted to AGAs.
Luckily, Adventure Soft’s Simon the Sorcerer did receive a graphical overhaul, and the end result is a glorious looking title that’s choc-a-block with gorgeous visuals, fantastic voice acting and some wonderfully designed puzzles that will have you scratching a trench into your head. Don’t be fooled by its humble roots and the lack of a LucasArts logo – this is point and click adventuring at its very best.
Bedroom coder Edgar M. Vigdal had a reputation for porting popular arcade games to the Amiga, then adding loads of great extra features without removing any of the original charm. The most fondly remembered of his games is Deluxe Galaga, a remake of Namco’s classic 1981 coin-op. As well as remaining faithful to the Galaga gameplay, Vigdal’s version added collectible money that could be used to buy unique weapons between rounds, and bonus levels that took the form of mini-games within the confines of Galaga’s basic structure. Deluxe Galaga was an Amiga phenomenon back in ’95, and is still an essential shooter today.
Fans of Flashback would be well-advised to check out Invictus Team’s superb OnEscapee, as it shares many elements with Delphine’s classic. From its atmospheric opening sequence to its stunningly drawn locations, OnEscapee manages to impress on practically every level.
If there’s one complaint we’d make about OnEscapee, it’s that the game’s difficulty spikes rather abruptly upon reaching the third stage. Puzzles are a lot trickier to work out, and death can often come quickly and without warning. Still, the attention to detail, outstanding looking visuals and masterful use of sound instantly draws you in and soon makes you forget OnEscapee’s minor niggles.
During the A1200’s twilight years, most of the big name developers had moved onto pastures new and it was left to the smaller software houses to keep the games coming. Due to their limited budget, most opted to produce simple yet highly playable arcade games, like Weathermine’s XP8. This vertical scrolling shooter seems underwhelming at first, but once you get past the lacklustre opening level the game reveals itself to be pretty good fun. The formula was hardly revolutionary, but XP8 delivered solid blasting action that looked superb thanks to the rendered graphics and silky smooth animation. Superb.
Star Trek 25th Anniversary
Whether you love or loathe Star Trek, there’s no denying that this excellent icon- driven graphic adventure is a fantastic use of the licence. The seven available missions are structured like a typical episode from the series, and are frightfully authentic. The theme tune and credits are there; Captain Kirk dictates his captain’s log, and each character behaves perfectly. While the puzzles aren’t quite as complex as some of LucasArts’ games, it still takes a fair amount of time to complete and will certainly tax those gamers not familiar with the genre. Don’t be put off by the attached licence, as this is a wonderful title and an essential addition to your collection, even if you’re not a fan of Captain T. Kirk.
For those who have played it, Apex Designs’ Payback is much more than just a simple clone of Grand Theft Auto. Hell, many of them swear that it’s actually miles better.
It’s certainly an impressive achievement on the 1200, thanks to it having a proper 3D perspective, superb attention to detail and extremely satisfying gameplay. Speaking of gameplay, it’s near identical to that of GTA’s, and sees the player activating missions by accessing an available telephone kiosk. Said missions involve anything from stealing cars to simply killing someone, yet there’s enough variety in them to ensure that objectives don’t become too repetitive. A sterling effort, that’s recently become available on the Game Boy Advance.
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