I decided to treat myself. I bought the rather lovely book Commodore Amiga: A Visual Commpendium from Funstock, and it is awesome.
At 30 quid it’s not cheap, but it’s worth the money – the book comes in at around 400 pages and has beautiful colour images throughout, in addition to some fascinating developer interviews.
I was a huge Amiga nut back in the early nineties. I inherited first an Amiga 500+ and then an Amiga 1200 from my uncle, and I dearly loved them both. My friend Alex around the corner had an Amiga 600, and we used to constantly swap Amiga games and magazines, as well as play link-up games like Stunt Car Racer (above). Great times.
The book covers pretty much all of the major Amiga games in chronological order. I’d heard of most of them, and it was a wonderful nostalgia trip to be reminded of classics like Wizkid, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble and Putty. But there were quite a few early games I wasn’t aware of or didn’t know much about. I was particularly intrigued by Cinemaware’s games, like It Came From The Desert (above) – I’d love to play a few of these releases that I missed out on first time around.
There were quite a few games that I’d completely forgotten about. Bubba ‘n’ Stix (above) was one, along with Soccer Kid, Apidya, Brian the Lion and dozens of others. I remember religiously reading Amiga Power every month to keep track of the state of the Amiga scene – I seem to recall that Brian the Lion didn’t come off too well at the hands of AP‘s reviewers.
One game that it was particularly brilliant to be reminded of was Guardian (above), a sadly obscure release from Acid Software, who I think were based in Australia as far as I can recall. Guardian was basically a 3D version of Defender, and it was incredibly fast paced and addictive. I’m surprised it hasn’t undergone a revival, to be honest.
Anyway, Commodore Amiga: A Visual Commpendium is a truly excellent book, and a poignant reminder that the Amiga was taken from us far too soon – it really was home to some of the most innovative and fun games of its generation. I’d love to play through some of those classics again…