The 10 best Amiga 500 games that defined Commodore’s classic computer

Generationamiga January 20, 2021 News Amiga

Commodore Business Machines towered over the computing landscape in the mid 1980s and early 1990s. Revolutionising Home Computing with amazing graphics and audio capabilities. The Commodore A500 was the most popular model of all and sold 6,000,000+ units worldwide. The affordable A500 offered everything a family needed in the mid 1980s and not just for gaming but also for proffesional use. None the less, here are 10 Amiga games that defined the Commodore A500 and convinced a lot of people to buy one. 

Defender of the Crown is a turn-based startegy where you vie for control of a war-torn England. Starting out with a small band of soldiers, you’ll gather your military strength to take England back from the Norman menace. Joust for fame and glory! Engage in swordfights to save damsels in distress! Siege Norman castles – all the while revelling in the Amiga quality sound and beautiful graphics.

Walker, a fast-paced shoot ’em up which puts you in control of a 30-foot human killing machine code-named the AG-9. Looking like a cross between ED-209 from Robocop and the huge mechanical transports seen in the Return of the Jedi movie, the towering machine is capable of spewing out an endless torrent of death from its twin machine guns mounted beneath its swiveling head. The aim of the game is simple: guide your Walker assault vehicle across a horizontally scrolling landscape blasting as much military hardware out of the skies as possible, while also taking care of the assorted ground battalions, mortar emplacements, tanks and other such obstacles.

Battle Squadron, Was originally released on the Amiga in 1989, this vertically-scrolling shmup borrows many elements from Japanese examples of the genre, such as Tatsujin and Star Soldier. The alien Barrax Empire has been at war with Earth for centuries to gain control over the Universe. While returning from a mission to destroy all Barrax on Planet Urainia while gathering information on the empire’s fleets, Commander Barry D. Mayers and Commander Lori Bergin were taken hostage by a Barrax nova cruiser, their last transmission mentioning something about being able to turn invisible for a short period of time. The mission is to rescue them. Batttle Squadron offers arcade-style action and graphics coupled with an overhead view with vertical and horizontal scrolling enhance the look and feel of high speed flight.

Speedball 2 can be very simple or complicated depending on how much you want to get out of it. There are tons of options during the management side of the game, but they can be bypassed if you want to get straight to the mauling. Going straight into a game will be fun but figuring out strategies is a trial & error process. Play a single game, practice, act solely as the manager, play in the League or enter the Knockout tournament. This game has the potential to last a while. Speedball 2 was a well-made and challenging game that can be frustrating at times but is very rewarding in the long run. Winning games is very satifying, it balances the management and action aspects of the game very well, and more importantly it’s fun!

While the objective of Lemmings is the same for each level, it never becomes a monotonous experience for several reasons. Those miniature tri-colour creatures that are falling from the sky are the lemmings. They look like tiny blips in your visual field. Tiny, baby, pixel darlings that just need a bit of a hand to get from A to B. Your job is to assist them to reach their burrow in safety. The next thing to point out are the multiple different tabs at the bottom of the screen, which are like command buttons. Each one has a different function. Lemmings is a tried and tested puzzle game that is not only one of the giants of its time, but a game which successfully stands the test of time. If you’re looking for a casual puzzle experience with good difficulty progression, dizzying amounts of challenge and cute sprites, this one’s for you.

Ports of Call was an early business simulator where you build a global shipping empire. You start out with a small, old ship, take shipping contracts and sail goods across the globe. More dangerous cargo and destinations yield more profit, albeit at increased risk. Occasionally you’d have to take the helm to rescue shipwrecked survivors, navigate a dangerous reef or manually sail your ship into the harbour because of a pilot’s strike. Over the course of the game you can use your profits to buy more and better ships. Ports of Call was surprisingly addictive. Even though the basis is simply sending your ships on contracts to the far ends of the globe, managing your fleet and occasionally manually intervening.

Another World, arrived in 1991 for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST and caused a storm in the gaming scene. With ground-breaking graphics and narrative for its time, Another World still offers a superb gaming experience in a deep and unique science-fiction universe. More than 2 decades after its original release, Eric Chahi’s masterpiece is still considered a classic adventure game and continues to inspire the biggest names in video games. Another World tells the extraordinary story of scientist Lester Knight Chaykin, accidentally transported to another world while working on a particle accelerator. Lost on a strange planet, with no clue as to how to extricate himself, Lester must survive in a hostile environment, take on dangerous natives and solve puzzles that are as unique for the genre as they are creative.

Turrican is a side scrolling shooter characterized by its large maze like levels and intense difficulty. In each level you must get to the exit and fight a boss to move on. Your weapons range from a spread gun to a powerful laser, to a beam the ricochets of walls and all the weapons can be upgraded when you find weapons of the same type. What set Turrican aside from all the other platform games out there is the sheer size of the levels and the amount of exploration you can do. Everything is vividly detailed and it’s full of eye candy!

North & South is a 1989 turn-based strategy-sim game about the American Civil War and an offshoot of the Belgian comic Les Tuniques Bleues. Taking up positions, capturing states, assaulting and capturing enemy forts, attacking trains and protecting your railroads… you’ll have to deal with everything! Before you begin a proper game, there are a few options you can alter. You can change the time period, toggle the difficulty levels to give yourself more gold, toggle the presence of a storm cloud that moves around to freeze a unit in place and the presence of both Indians and Mexicans attacking border states. The game also offers a two-player-mode.

Originally released on the Commodore Amiga, Sensible Soccer was a top-down arcade-style game that was immensely popular with soccer fans. Simple controls provide an incredibly frantic game of soccer. Even though the ball sticks to your feet when dribbling, the opposition can take the ball off you with ease. But for what it is, Sensible Soccer is still an enjoyable game for every soccer fan.

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