Ah, the Commodore Amiga – for many, the most beloved of late ‘80s/early ‘90s gaming platforms.
This 16-bit, floppy disk-based computer was a fixture in many a teenage gamer’s fuggy bedroom, due to its winning balance of performance, accessibility and affordability – not to mention a steady supply of brilliant titles. And thanks to the Internet Archive, you can now play many of those titles in your web browser, because the site just added over 10,000 Amiga titles to its emulation library.
Yes, you read that right: 10,000 titles. Now, gaming historians among you might realise that that’s about twice the number of games that were ever released on the Amiga, so it’s safe to say that a lot of these titles are duplicates, demo versions and other pieces of non-game software. So the number of actual games is a lot lower.
Even so, there’s a lot to get through here.
So what should you play?
Ordinarily, we’d simply point you to our existing article on the 10 best Amiga games ever and suggest you play those first, but seeing as none of them except Stunt Car Racer appear to be in the archive, that’s not going to be much help (you should read the article anyway though, because all those games are fantastic, and there are other ways to play them).
Instead, we’ve sifted through the list, picked out some of the titles we remember most fondly, tried them (this is key – an upsettingly high proportion of the archive’s games simply don’t work), and made sure the controls work properly. If they hit those beats, we included them.
Yes, this is a port of a coin-op arcade game rather than an Amiga original, but as we said above, we’re dealing with a limited pool of games that actually work properly here. What’s important about R-Type is that it’s simple to play with keyboard controls (use the arrow keys to move and the shift button to fire), it runs perfectly in your browser, and it’s still a pretty great game despite being over a quarter of a century old.
One of the classic “bullet hell” side-scrolling shooters, it pits the player’s spaceship against legions of flying and ground-based enemies, plus a succession of giant bosses. A single hit will usually kill you, but luckily a host of power-ups will increase your firepower, or provide you with a shield.
This platform/action/puzzle game, (loosely) inspired by Tim Burton’s patchy but stylish Batman movie, is enjoyable mostly for its retro vibes. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore, and probably with good reason – the controls are fairly clumsy and unresponsive, which isn’t ideal for a game where reactions are important. If you can make it through the tricky platformer first stage, you’ll be rewarded by a fairly iconic level in which you get to drive the Batmobile. And then a bizarre slide-puzzle section. Games were weird back in the day, weren’t they?