The latest Amiga game news, reviews and opinions.


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Time Running Out to Vote For Your Top Amiga Games

As mentioned in last Thursday's blog post, English Amiga Board forumite, Graham Humphrey, is after a list of your top 10 Amiga games, and also the one you rank the worst.

The voting window closes at midnight tonight (UK time), so if you've not yet cast your votes and want to, you'll need to get your skates on!

Graham will compile all your submissions, and once collated, this will form the English Amiga Board Top 100 Games of 2012.

For more information, either read through the blog I posted up last Thursday, or go straight to the EAB forum thread to vote.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get voting!

Programming in AMOS - Part.1 - Setting Up

(Note: These irregular AMOS programming posts won't be going into any depth. I'm simply giving a very brief overview of the package, detailing where it can be download from, and what resources are available)

If the steady trickle of new Amiga titles has made you think about having a go at putting your own game together, you may be wondering where to start.

There's a whole host of programming languages available for the Amiga, ranging from C and Assembler to Blitz BASIC and AMOS.

For the purpose of these articles I'll be covering AMOS. I know it's nowhere near as advanced as Blitz BASIC, but after much rummaging around the internet I've found that this seems to be the Amiga language with the best support and ease of access when it comes to obtaining documentation.

Originally released for the Atari ST as STOS, AMOS finally made its way over to the Amiga in 1990. Over the years numerous versions of the language were released, including Easy AMOS, AMOS 3D and AMOS Professional.

Over the past 18 months I've been tinkering around with AMOS Pro, and as it seems to be the best supported of the AMOS releases, it's the one I'd recommend you use.

If you're thinking about giving AMOS a go, then your first port of call has to be the excellent AMOS Factory Forums. Here you'll find not only a friendly bunch of people, but individuals who are keen to help, swap tips, and even put together routines to help you out.

Once signed-up to the forum you may want to submit a quick post in the AMOS Professional folder to let others know you're on board. Perhaps at the same time, explain what project you're hoping to work on or simply what you're hoping to learn.

With that done, get yourself off to the downloads section, and grab yourself a copy of AMOS Pro and the manual to go with it. Having the manual in PDF form is an absolute godsend as you can quickly search on keywords as opposed to the time consuming method of searching through the contents of the printed version of the book.

With the AMOS ZIP archive downloaded you'll need to extract the 6 ADF files contained within, get them put onto disk (or inserted as disk images if you're using an emulator) and install the suite of programs.

You'll also need to install a few updates, so once you've completed the above download and install update 2.0. Please note that the disks contained in this archive need to be installed in the following order: 3 of 3, 1 of 3, and 2 of 3.

The above should keep you busy for a while, so this seems like a good point to end part 1.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Allister Brimble Kickstarter to go Live on 31st Oct

Allister Brimble must surely rank as one of the most prolific Amiga musicians, having churned out tracks for companies such as Codemasters, Team 17 and Audiogenic, to name but a few.

With a catalogue of tracks as long as your arm, Allister recently announced, via Facebook, that he was thinking about putting together and releasing a double CD album of his most famous Amiga compositions.

Here's Allister...
"The idea for my new album is "Allister Brimble - The Amiga works", spread across 2 CD's. Rico Holmes will make the cover artwork. All tracks would be the very best quality remakes and remixes with my current studio technology.

Here are my initial proposed options on kickstarter:

$20.00 or more download the finished (2 CD equivalent) album as high quality mp3s, including a digital PDF booklet.
$40.00 or more - You get the limited edition album 2 CD Box set, numbered and signed.
$50.00 or more - All of the above and a poster of the cover artwork by Rico Holmes

I would guess add $10.00 for postage to outside the UK like Chris Huelsbeck did.

Feedback welcome before I actually put it up".
Feedback from the fanbase came thick and fast, with people not only suggesting what tracks they'd like to see featured, but also requesting high quality FLAC downloads, and an introduction from Team 17's Martyn Brown and Andreas Tadic.

In fact, such was the response from fans, that it looks like Allister will be getting this project underway very shortly...
"The kickstarter project will go up on October 31st which is when UK kickstarter projects are first allowed".
I'll be posting further developments relating to this project right here on this blog. However, if you'd like to follow the progress yourself you may want to follow Allister over on Facebook.

(Blog thumbnail image taken from the Allister Brimble entry on the ExoticA web site)

Monday, 29 October 2012

Blokop / Ice Dungeon / Mlink - Available to Download

Seeing as new versions of three puzzlers, Blokop (see screenshot to the left), Ice Dungeon and MLink had just been uploaded to the Aminet I decided to take the trusty A1200 online, get them downloaded and installed, ready for further investigation.

All created by French Amiga coder, Charles-N. Jacob, the three titles are small games that run in a Workbench window, and will apparently run on systems with Workbench 1.3 or later.

First-up is Blokop, a simple puzzle game, where the goal is to move your block from the starting point, all the way to the exit on the other side of the board. Clicking a blank space moves either your "character" or one of the other blocks into that space.

With a large playing area, and blocks that are more than one block in size, it's a slightly more advanced version of those block-sliding puzzles you used to play when you were a kid. Unfortunately, it's just as boring.

Talking of block-sliding puzzles you used to play as a kid, if we move on the Mlink, this is exactly what you get. Here you have a small grid where the object is to move the blocks around to complete the pattern.

I don't know if I was doing something wrong in this game, but I'm sure on occasions I was clicking on blank spaces in an effort to move a tile, but absolutely nothing happened. Poor coding or user (me) error? I'll let you decide! Another game to play for only a minute or two before moving on.

The final game in this puzzle series is Ice Dungeon, and it's the most advanced out of the three titles.

The game is a VERY basic Dungeon Master clone, where the object is to collect the talisman on each of the 7 levels, and then reach the exit before you freeze to death.

Movement is made using the simple GUI, which you click, first to choose the direction you wish to face, before clicking the MOVE button to move in that direction.

The map window (which sadly can't be used at the same time as moving) helps to keep a track of where you've travelled on the current floor, but with every part of the level looking so similar even with the map you'll be getting lost and frustrated.

So, are these games worth your time? Well, I have to say that at present, even the best of these three titles, Ice Dungeon, is just too basic to keep you entertained for more than a minute or two.

The two sliding puzzle games, Blokop and Mlink, could be improved with some nice tunes playing in the background, and perhaps a few more colours. Time limits would also make the games much more exciting to play, as at present there's just no challenge.

Ice Dungeon has the basic building blocks for what could be a fun, lighthearted dungeon romp. If the graphics were given some more variety, sound effects and enemies were added, and if you were given ability to fight back, this could be worth more than a passing glance

If these titles receive updates I'll certainly take another look at them. In the meantime, if you'd like to download and try the games for yourself, you can find them here:

Have fun!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Amiga Port of Paganitzu Under Development

Paganitzu was a tile-based arcade adventure/puzzle games originally released for the PC by Apogee Software, way back in 1991. (PC screenshot to the left)

Similar to Chips Challenge and Boxxle, the game requires you to shift rocks or other items around the screen so that all diamonds and keys can be collected, enabling you to move on to the next level.

With no Amiga version to speak of, English Amiga Board member, CarasGhant, has decided to convert this over to Commodore's humble 16-bit format.

CarasGhant tells us that the project is still "early days", but looking at the footage of the game below, it would seem that things are already pretty advanced.

This looks like it's going to be a real fun game. Here's hoping a completed version sees the light of day.

UPDATE: Since I originally posted this, the author has been tinkering around some more, and not only has he now got it up and running on his Amiga 600, the following additions/alterations (in the programmer's own words) have been made.

- Horrifically lame animated death.
- New pipe tiles that seamlessly blend.
- Spiders with completely wrong AI. (Also look terrible).
- Optimised HUD with no more flickering.

Check it out below...

Saturday, 27 October 2012

AmigaPD Interviews TimeBomb Author, Rob Hewitt

TimeBomb has been one of the more high profile releases for the Amiga platform in recent months, and has received much praise from members of the English Amiga Board, who have been playtesting both the beta and final version of the game.

A few weeks ago, AmigaPD, with help from the Lemon Amiga forum, and visitors to the AmigaPD Facebook group, fired off a whole host of questions about the game in the direction of TimeBomb author, Rob Hewitt.

Not long after, and with the questions answered by Rob and returned to Chris at Amiga PD, an interview article was put together, and has now been made available for your viewing pleasure.

Rob explains where he got the idea for the game from, how the music was composed, differences between the PC and Amiga versions of the game, and much more besides.

You can find the full interview with Rob over on the AmigaPD web site at the following location:

Friday, 26 October 2012

Tiny Invaders V2.3 Released

Over the past few months I've seen the name "Tiny Invaders", appear on the "Recent Aminet Uploads" list on a number of occasions. When it appeared yet again a couple of days back I finally decided to give it a download to see if it was any good.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting amazing things - especially when the author himself comments in the readme that;
"This is my poor idea of a SPACE INVADERS clone for all the Classic AMIGAs".
A quick download and un-archive later and I had the game running on my Amiga. Tiny Invaders runs in a window, but it's the smallest game window I've ever seen. I'd (wrongly!) assumed that the game got its name due to how small the package was. Nope. It gets its name from how small EVERYTHING is! (You can press Z to double the screen size if you wish, though)

If you look at this blog post thumbnail you can't get any idea of the window's scale as I took that with my mobile phone camera a mere inch or two from the screen. What you need is a photo showing my entire desktop and how it looks on there.

Here you go...

That's it in the middle!

Still, size isn't everything, as they say. What's the game like? Well, the invader sprites are certainly authentic. They've been copied pixel-for-pixel from the arcade original, so at least they look the part. The problem is that each enemy has a massive block around it, and that same issue also crops up with the bullets and your laser turret. This gives the game a very strange look, makes avoiding falling bombs difficult and aiming accurately at the invaders just as hard.

Speed and controls are the other issues you'll encounter when playing this. I've installed the game on a 50mhz 030 with 34 megs of RAM, and the game crawls. Meanwhile, controls seem to operate in as much the same way as if you were typing into a CLI window. What do I mean? Well, you know if you hold down a key there's a slight pause after the first instance of that letter before a string of them appear? That's what happens here. You hold left, your turret moves one pixel to the left, stops and then commences movement again. Not only that, but the game 'buffers' your movements, so if you hold a direction for too long your turret continues to move long after you've released the key.

The above most likely comes across as really negative, but it shouldn't be taken as that. You can clearly see that the author's using this little project as a way to get to grips with programming a game on the Amiga, and for that I salute them. What's here is already a million times better than anything I've ever produced.

The programmer of Tiny Invaders clearly has some talent. The background image used in the main game is a simple one, but helps to give it that classic look and a sense of depth. Elsewhere, and the way the instruction text appears is quite funky, albeit slow. Of all the small touches my favourite has to be the pause. If you click out of the window the action stops. You can still hear the alien 'marching', however it's only barely audible. Click back in, the action resumes and the volume returns to previous levels. Nice.

The game also features a tune, but strangely you only get the option to listen to it when you're attempting to quit the game. It's a rather odd thing to do, and the tune would be better placed on the title screen.

With the game receiving regular updates it's a title that I'm looking forward to following the progress of. It's fun watching a small game like this come together, and with the Amiga crying out for new games, the programmer should be commended for putting the effort in and getting the game to this stage.

If you want to download the game yourself and give it a go, point your browser at:

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Official EAB Top 100 Amiga Games - 2012

Judging from the programme output of Channel 4, who feature loads of the things, it seems you can't beat a good chart rundown. This opinion is clearly felt by English Amiga Board member Graham Humphrey, who's decided that now's the time to compile a top 100 Amiga games chart.

Here's Graham;
"EAB doesn't have a list like this, why don't we compile one? I'll write up the results into a proper article, Amiga Power Top 100-style, only voted for by the members here rather than argued over in arbitrary fashion by the staff of a magazine?"
To ensure a bit of order and to make tallying the votes as easy as possible, a few rules have been put in place:
Vote for your own personal top ten games ONLY and in order from 1 to 10. 1st place gets 10 points, 10th gets just the one.

No editing your votes please otherwise it will become a nightmare to keep track of it.

Any Amiga game counts, whether it's commerical, public domain or whatever.

As a bonus, you can optionally also vote for your worst game ever, too. Only one vote per member please and again I'll count these up separately.
To vote you'll need to have an account on The English Amiga Board. If you don't you'll still be able to view the thread, you just won't be able to make your voice heard.

Probably the most important thing to be aware of is voting closes 23:59 UK time on October 31. No votes after this date will be counted. You've not got long to go, so get voting!

After the deadline Graham intends to compile the results and write up a detailed article in time for Christmas (hopefully) to show just what members of the EAB regard as their all time favourite Amiga games.

If this year's chart's considered a success, perhaps this will become an annual event in the EAB calendar.

To cast your votes, go to

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

JetHunt Amiga Version - Development Underway

With the conversion of classic Spectrum arcade puzzler TimeBomb, now complete it looks like work on another Amiga game is now underway.

Coagulus, the lone programmer of TimeBomb, is keeping the momentum going by starting work on converting one of his Windows games over to the trusty Amiga. The game is a tribute to John Van Ryzin's legendary Atari 2600 game "H.E.R.O" (Helicopter Emergency Rescue Operation).

As this conversion is at such an early stage there's currently little information available regarding this project, but here's what Coagulus tells us;
"This game was envisioned by me in 1992! 20 years later and the game is finally out for Windows 95 and above. A tribute to HERO and it's bloody hard.

After finishing JetHunt (still have to do a little bugfix release but it's done) I felt guilty that the computer I'd done most of the work on, the Amiga had been denied this game. I've decided to convert JetHunt back to that wonderful machine.[...] And I've started it!"
Here's hoping the Amiga conversion doesn't take anywhere near the 20 years it took the PC version to appear!

For more information and links to download the PC version of JetHunt, get yourself over to Coagulus' web site.

(Thumbnail screenshot taken from PC version)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Foundation DC - Bundled With Amiga Future 99

Due for release on the 5th of November, issue 99 of Amiga Future magazine comes with yet another packed covermount CD.

The disc contains a mass of utilities and games, with the highlight of this month's content being an ISO of Settlers Clone, "Foundation - The Director's Cut", ready for burning.

The game scored a whopping 90% when it was reviewed by Richard Drummond in the December 1999 issue of Amiga Format, where the game was praised for its "gorgeous production quality", "great value for money" and "absorbing gameplay". In fact, the only negative point it received was the "twee sampled speech you get to listen to each time you select one of your citizens".

Here's a short snippet from Richard Drummond's original review;
"The things that strike you from the moment you load up Foundation is the effort that's gone into it, the sheer attention to detail.

From the first time you see the glorious animated introduction, view the strangely bucolic title screen, listen to the eerily peaceful soundtrack or watch the fractal-generated island scenes between missions, you know this game has been a labour of love".
You can see the game in action below, thanks to YouTube uploader AmigaOmega.

If you're thinking about adding the game to your collection you'd better check your system specs before you do. The minimum requirements are:

- 030 Processor
- CD-ROM Drive

The game supports more RAM, faster processors and graphics cards.

For more information on and details of how to order issue 99 of Amiga Future magazine, visit the preview page here.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Timebomb Final Release - Download Available

On Thursday I reported that an Amiga conversion of the Spectrum classic "Timebomb" had reached a playable beta stage, and was now available for download.

Since then, the author, Coagulus, has listened to feedback, and has been hard at work coding and tweaking. The end result is that the beta has been replaced with a final completed version.

To announce the release of Timebomb Amiga, here's the message Coagulus posted over on the English Amiga Board;
"Think I've ironed out as many bugs as I can so this is the final release (unless another set of bugs crops up). I think I fixed most of the in game flickering and added a help page that is on the titlepage.

The game should work on all Amigas with at least 512K chip ram. If there is only 512k of chip then a smaller version is loaded (less sfx, smaller music and less titlepage gfx).

Game should run from HD but you'll need to assign timebomb: to its folder

It's a zipped .adf file - get it here"
I've not yet got around to downloading the game and trying it myself, but having many happy memories of playing Timebomb on the Spectrum I'm looking forward to giving this a go.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Where Time Stood Still Conversion on Hold

Denton Designs' isometric adventure, Where Time Stood Still, was one of the first games to really make use of the extra memory in the 128K Spectrum, cramming a huge open world environment onto the 8-bit platform. The game also saw DOS and Atari ST releases, but an Amiga version failed to surface.

In an effort to rectify this, and at the same time get stuck into a mix of cracking and converting, English Amiga Board member Galahad, announced back in April that he was in the process of converting the ST version over to the Amiga.

Here's what he had to say regarding the conversion process;
"[I'm] using WHDLoad as a development tool to [quickly] develop the Amiga version. Once I have the controls and the YM emulation sorted, I can then master a proper 512K ADF version so that EVERYONE can play it, not just WHDLoad people.

[I've] still got to do the conversion for controls, so once I have the controls done, then I'll worry about sound. It's not much of a tune, but it would be good to have it included. Because I don't think I've got enough memory left for an Amiga module, the ST music will have to suffice.

Maybe YM emulation won't be as easy as I think, but that's the fun of doing the work. If it was easy, all these games would have been converted years ago".
Things looked to be going extremely well, as this footage uploaded to YouTube shows (the screen pixelisation is an encoding issue and not present in the actual game);

Further status updates were posted to the English Amiga Board between April and July, with the last appearing on the 28th of that month, which read:
"Strange bugs slowing it down, might have to optimise my ST to Amiga screen conversion routine to stop it happening."
Things went quiet after that, and with the end of October fast approaching I dropped Galahad a quick PM to see if any further progress had been made.

I received a response within an hour, and was informed that due to work commitments no further progress had been made since July, and at present he didn't know if or when he'd be able to resume the project.

It's a shame this conversion has ground to a halt, but home and work commitments come before retro gaming. If this project gets up and running again I'll let you know.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

New Dangermouse Adventure Under Development

With his 1980s football management sim nearing completion, AmigaPD web site maintainer, Christian Clarke, has decided to try his hand at the adventure game genre.

Building on the AMOS programming skills gained from coding up his footie title, he's decided that the subject matter for his next release will be none other than 80s cartoon legend, Dangermouse.

Things seem to be progressing well, and Chris recently commented on Facebook that;
"[I] have completed 150 out of 400 room descriptions."
The initial preview screenshot showing Dangermouse and his assistant, Penfold, in front of a castle door looks rather impressive, and with curiosity getting the better of me I asked him how he went about getting the screen grabs down on to a humble Amiga.
"[I'm] using jing screencapture - then using Corel to decrease [the] pallete to 16 colours and save as [an] IFF file. Sometimes AMOS doesn't recognise the image and I have to repeat [the process] 4 to 6 times before it is accepted."
Late last night Chris uploaded a minute long clip to YouTube, showing the game in its current state. You'll see that word wrap needs to be implemented and some spelling and punctuation mistakes need correcting, but what's there already is very impressive and shows that this could be a fun adventure to play through.

Take a look for yourself...

Naturally, I'll be reporting back on the progress of the game over the coming months. In the meantime, you may wish to 'like' the AmigaPD Facebook group where Chris posts regular development updates covering this game and his football management sim.

Friday, 19 October 2012

SWOS Season 2012-2013 Updates Now Available

Those of you still playing Sensible World of Soccer on your trusty Amigas may be interested to learn that a full 2012-2013 season update is now available for download.

Here's a brief lowdown (taken from the Synchronated SWOS web site) of what's contained in the update. The full readme file contained in the archive features a more detailed description of what's new.
"Full leagues, all divisions from 68 countries - the entire SWOS database [has been] updated.

All national teams [have been] updated. [The] 'classics' league [has been] updated with newly retired stars.

Fully playable and tested career mode functionality with league structures modified to fit current real-life divisions.

new 'expanded' update included which adds extra clubs in order to expand the few partial leagues to full size"
For more information, and to download the update files please visit the Synchronated Sensible World of Soccer Updates site at

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Timebomb - Amiga Beta release

If you have fond memories of playing Timebomb on the ZX Spectrum back in the day, you may be interested to learn that a modern version of the classic title is now available for your Amiga.

Currently in an advanced beta stage, the game is already looking very impressive.

Here's what the author, Coagulus, had to say about the release;
"After finally finishing the PC game JetHunt and got my coding mojo a bit back I decided to convert one of my PC games back to the Amiga. That game is Timebomb which itself was a remake of the Spectrum game of the same name.

It's written in Blitz but I used WinUAE rather than setting an Amiga back up. Hopefully it works on a real Amiga too.

The game is mainly for 1MB Amigas (OCS, ECS or AGA) but I believe I've managed (despite really rubbish coding) to get it to load a lower spec version for 512K Amigas (it works in WinUAE and Fellow) with trimmed gfx and music.

If you only have 512K of Chip ram then then 512K version is loaded also.

Hope it works! There's the odd flicker when sliding (fire and left/right) but the game seems playable. ESC quits out too.

Had to relearn a heck of a lot about coding and optimising! Had forgotten because it didn't really matter on the PC!"
English Amiga Board forumite s2325 has kindly uploaded a nice video of the game in action, which you can see below.

If all this has whet your appetite, you can download the beta here.
Note that the file is a zipped ADF file as the author hasn't yet found time to make a DMS of it.

Sqrxz v1.1 - Update of New Amiga 500 Game

Originally released towards the end of August, v1.1 of the Amiga version of this multi-format side scrolling platform game has just been released.

Updates with 1.1 are:
- improved scrolling
- improved music player

This release also brings with it a separate hard drive install archive which is now available to download.

In other exciting news, we're told that
"A CDTV/CD32 version will follow soon as we need to update it, to be in sync with the latest release."
For more information, visit the Sqrxz web Site: here, download the latest version of the game here, or get the HD install program here.