Ok, the headline is a bit demanding: these are Amiga games I would like to see on the Nintendo Switch. Why the Nintendo Switch? Why not? It’s proving to be an excellent platform for porting classics. GODS Remastered is a title that comes to mind.
I’ve omitted point and click adventures. I’m sure you’re aware I’m a gan of the genre and while my first LucasArts games were Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders and The Secret of Monkey Island on the Amiga, let’s save those for another random feature.
It doesn’t have to be exclusive to the Amiga, but games I used to play and would embrace once more. The Switch is more than capable, it just depends if there’s enough demand, legalities, profit. ’tis all fantasy, friends, but let’s go and in no particular order.
Xenon 2: Megablast
The Bitmap Brothers were ever better than the Outhere Brothers when it came to soundtracks, and Xenon 2: Megablast was their best. Featuring Bomb the Bass, this was a game I had super loud on my Tannoys (little did this kid realise that he had good speakers back in the day rather than playing through an iPhone), connected up with phono leads from Tandy. That’s one for you, nostalgia.
Featuring some of the most over-the-top weapon combinations and the best in-game merchant since that chap from Venice, Xenon 2: Megablast was a blast. An easy port? No need to do a GODS Remastered makeover, the original is fine.
Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe
Ice cream, ice cream. I still say this to the day, each time the ice cream man turns up or the kids demand a choc ice from the fridge. A team name I’ve tried to replicate as a user name for years, but others have the same idea, Brutal Deluxe was great.
The artwork was spot on, checking out the mugs of your team before putting them into an arena where they were guaranteed to get mullered, but overall, great gameplay and something I’d like to see once more.
Rick Dangerous was the catalyst for this feature as yesterday I saw a title on the eShop for sale called LA-MULANA. An Indiana Jones approach it would seem, but the Rick Dangerous model was great with the sound effects of shanking an NPC, triggering a trap, the ricochet of an oversized bullet or the over-the-top “WAAAAHHH!” after each death.
In proper plagiaristic fashion, I wrote a story about Rick Dangerous in English at school using photocopied clip art and a typewriter. Yes, I was born in an age when we called the new tech ‘word processors’, what you folk now call a PC. Rick Dangerous 2 looked better, but the first was the best. Double bill?
F/A – 18 Interceptor
Not for everyone, but as a game that came with the Amiga 500, this Electonic Arts game was ultra-realistic. Not only did you have to take the time to use the ignition, rudders and grasp what ‘horizon’ was, but you could fly through the Golden Gates.
Woo! Team17! Now you get why I’m a fanboy. This was one of my favourite games back in the day. Alien Breed was a top-down shooter where you had to fight off xenomorphs (it wasn’t official) with an array of weapons that included a flamethrower which I recall was terrific. I could be making it up, but I’m sure there was one.
Alien Breed is available on Steam, so I guess I could go that route, but I’d like to see it on the Switch.
The New Zealand Story
It was either this or Shadow of the Beast where I had to use a cheat code. Something like infinite ammo and lives, so I’d be lobbing endless bombs while repeatedly flashing (steady!) to indicate I should be dead, but I was only a kid, and this was far too hard.
Also, just proof that cheats don’t totally destroy a game – I completed this about four or five times. I loved it. Better than Parasol Stars, IMHO.
Batman: The Movie
One of the best-licensed games to date, in Batman: The Movie you got to do action platforming, drive the Batmobile and solve puzzles to prevent your death.
Varied, enjoyable and no cheats used, this was one of the top games based on a film such as Robocop, but maybe not Predator.
I loved this in the arcade, and despite lacking the steering wheel, it translated quite well. My <ahem> friend has the arcade version on emulation and configuring it was a bitch.
Nightbreed: The Action Game
My best friend at the time brought around a VHS version of the film around the same time that another friend handed me the game as it was too scary for him.
A story by Clive Barker called Cabal, which I’ve subsequently read a dozen times, Nightbreed is one of my horror favourite films (and novel) of all time. Unfortunately, the game isn’t that good as it features a joystick-breaking Daley Thompson Decathalon sequence.
This entry is purely for me, reminiscing on ‘the good old days’.
Treasure Island Dizzy
A great soundtrack (yeah, right) and troubling gameplay of completing somersaults with an egg and even managing to fly, this was a challenging game but a classic nonetheless.
Another milestone, Treasure Island Dizzy was one of the first games where I consulted a walkthrough, printed in a magazine or guide. No cheat codes, but man, it was tough.
Push-Over was a classic puzzle title from the powerhouse, Ocean Software. What seemed like a bit of a gimmick (it was marketed by the crisps Quavers and their then mascot Colin), turned out to be a rather good game that screams for a reboot.
I’m not a developer – I struggle with English, let alone code, but these games don’t need a complete overhaul as the retro title is more than welcome on the Switch.
Practically nobody in the playground knew or even heard of Leander. This, along with Switchblade II, were just a couple of my favourite action platform games.
Developed by Traveller’s Tales – a subsidiary of TT Games who did the Lego games, and published by the almighty Psygnosis – all Amiga fans knew who they were, Leander had to rescue the princess while earning coin and purchasing some pretty tasty armour. A great game I’d like to play rather than watch again on YouTube.
Everyone knows this game, right? At least the soundtrack alone. If not, go do your research now. Sod it, here’s a link to it.
One of the best strategy games with an arcade feel, hence the ports to consoles, Cannon Fodder even featured on the Game Boy at one stage, and it was pivotal in gaming history for its gameplay and not just the controversy at the time.
Arguably one of the best football games of all time. Up until Sensible Soccer, Kick Off 2 was my go-to game, which is equally a classic – especially the hardcore tackling.
Sensible Soccer was simple beyond belief and testament why simple ideas are sometimes the best. I mean, it’s not like they reinvented the game or anything, but by stripping down appearances, the game was swift and a joy to play.
One of the best top-down racers of all-time, from the legendary publisher (in British circles) Gremlin, players had a choice of weapons such as sidewinders and oil slicks to take out opponents for the win.
As far as I’m concerned, this was on par with Super Off-Road Racer, another classic; only it had weapons, a little more stability with nitro boosts and cleaner graphics.
North & South
One of the funniest and easily accessible strategy games for the Amiga at the time, North & South was the battle of the United States over battlefields, side-scrolling forts and train robberies.
Last night I watched a long play (under 30 minutes!), and it just brought back plenty of memories – especially the soundtrack and sound effects. If I heard it now, it would be annoying, but this was one of those titles you had to play.
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Notoriously tricky, The Adventures of Robin Hood was an isometric strategy that was pretty engaging, but the combat was so tough. I seem to recall fighting a bear or similar and dying instantly.
However, though this took an age to finish eventually, there was a slight glitch where you could enter the sheriff’s base, wait for him to return and shoot an arrow at him. It was all over then.
Mega lo Mania
As welcome as “For King and country” each time your spy in Command & Conquer would move each time you commanded it, Mega lo Mania was an outright classic of real-time strategy.
Though pretty basic, it was incredibly addictive. Not too long ago I replayed this on the Sega Mega Drive, taking a good couple of nights to finish the game. Please Nintendo, add this to your roster.
Moonstone: A Hard Day’s Knight
Super gory and stupidly hard, Moonstone: A Hard Day’s Knight was the definitive ‘don’t lose your head’ when tackling one of the oversized beasts. I recall either being stamped on or being squeezed so hard my head would pop.
Then there were the knight battles of throwing daggers and dropping to your knees only to be decapitated. Man, this was heavy going, and you were immediately in the zone from the intro of the druids. Nintendo doesn’t mind gore any more, so could this be revisited?
Silkworm is one of the best side-scrolling shooters about, in my opinion, but when this sequel of sorts came out which was a top-down scroller, I was hooked.
Quite possibly the first co-op I’ve completed, this was a game that I used to play with my dad every week until we beat it. Choose between either a helicopter or jeep, and if you’re struggling, you could always use the cheat code: NCC-1701.
Chess isn’t really my thing, but when Interplay Entertainment introduced animated characters that would dispose of their opponents in a very Moonstone-like execution, it piqued every schoolboy’s interest, and I recall a few kids even taking up chess as a hobby. See? Educational.
Stunt Car Racer
With low-res polygons, Stunt Car Racer was never a stunner, even at the time. However, the sheer visceral feeling of climbing a super steep track to then drop as if on a rollercoaster was insane.
Cheeky link to a recent title, Hotshot Racing proves that the visual style works with new gamers, so, fingers crossed… could this get a reboot? Wishful thinking, but still…
Wings of Fury
Of late there’s been a few Switch titles that resemble this game, so perhaps not due a review, considering that the game involved divebombing the Japanese in the Pacific.
Nowadays we have Rogue Aces and Aircraft Evolution which are less offensive in theme, but perhaps a little forgettable with gameplay. Wings of Fury will always remain a classic but maybe should stay in history unless the location and people were fictionalised.
The Chaos Engine
If you didn’t get a chance to play this on the Amiga or one of the console ports, then perhaps a Nintendo Switch revision should be in the works? Hardly revolutionary, but The Chaos Engine had a fantastic soundtrack (kind of a theme in this feature?), and the graphics were a steampunk style.
Choosing from a range of rogues, this top-down shooter had the option for stat progression; thus further engagement in this arcade-like title I couldn’t get enough of as a kid.
Oh, how I miss Toobin’. Picked up on a trip to London in the early 90s, this was one of those big box games that had a tiny manual and one floppy disk to play from.
Sharing a space on the shelf with my He-Man collection, a friend broke the disk, and I never played it again until on an emulator when in my mid-20s. It was an arcade game, don’t you know? The game itself was the ‘popular’ sport of tubing down the rapid rivers, avoiding all manner of pointy stuff or your vessel would go pop.
Seeing as Toki for a remaster on the Switch, I’d like to see this to Mr/Mrs Nintendo. Ta.
Venus The Fly Trap
Venus The Fly Trap is one of those games where you forget all about it, but like the scent of an ex, triggers off all these memories that make you wonder how you could forget about it for so long. Well, an ex, that’s understandable.
Another Gremlin title that was a side-scrolling platform game, this, yet again, featured an excellent soundtrack (a new feature already planned). I have to thank fellow Knight, Ste on Twitter for this welcomed memory – a title utterly worthy of a port to the Switch.
A proper cyberpunk title of taking on evil corporations and assassinating wrong ‘uns, Syndicate was genius at the time. With multiple paths to complete a mission, slightly similar to Party Hard 2 (shameless link), the options were great.
Even better, equip a minigun, and while it was a chore to walk with it, destroying your target by blowing up their car while still in it was great. Or perhaps the gun that disintegrated anyone it touched? No evidence…
While the pinball game is a niche, they’re still highly enjoyable if they have the right balance. Pinball Dreams and its sequel were superb as they were one of the few games you couldn’t really finish, but come back to better yourself with a higher score.
We all had our favourite tables, and the soundtracks and effects were great. Considering the current pinball titles on the Switch, there’s plenty of room for improvement. I have a few, and I may just put some reviews up at some stage.
The best beat ’em up on the Amiga (debatable), but no other game has come closer to the package check, or the drunken headbutt. Only the other night I was reading a back issue about how developer Archer Mclean was revolutionary in introducing three players to duke it out.
A masterpiece for its time, and the mini-games? I remember deflecting balls (that’s what [insert pronoun] said) as well as decapitated heads was sublime.
Escape From Colditz
A good-looking friend, not me, acquired this via another mate called X-COPY. Nobody at school knew about it, it wasn’t in any of the game magazines (that we could afford), and we were pretty ignorant to history as too young, and this was before the internet.
In the game, you have to escape the infamous Colditz through digging, acquiring papers, or disguising yourself. Try to dash across the courtyard, and you’d be shot. It was pretty harrowing at the time and had a mature approach to the subject.
Escape From Colditz was also my introduction to the people of Poland. At the time, I didn’t understand why one of the prisoners had the verb ‘Polish’ capitalised. I shouldn’t admit to this, but that’s what I believed at the time.
Dune II was the game that got me into strategy titles. I adored this game of three houses (House Harkonnen all the way) has you fight for resources without being dragged to your doom by the sandworms.
Between missions, you’d have your counsel give you tips on how to defeat the enemy, and it was all so immersive. Even at the time, the visuals were lo-fi, so this could easily port to the Switch and offer a tremendous amount of value.
Another Bitmap Brothers title, I first played this from a cover disk (correct spelling). Back in the day when magazines ruled (how I miss thee and not those that cost more than a paperback), magazines had cover disks which featured upcoming demos and sometimes Public Domain titles, i.e. shareware.
Cadaver was relatively high profile at the time and had the typical palette of a Bitmap Brothers game. This was a classic example of looting, which would translate to today’s gamers, set over a tile-based environment. Non-taxing on the Switch and perfect for greedy gamers.
At the time of playing, this felt like playing Platoon. You lead a squad as they make their way through the treacherous path of the Viet Cong. There’s not one moment where the game feels like a breeze as you lose teammates in shootouts or a visual novel-like approach where you might pull a pin on a grenade.
Ok, so the Vietnam war isn’t trending in the world of videogames, and it’s incredibly dated, but the arcade sections featuring a sniper mode similar to Silent Scope were excellent. The soundtrack was great too.
Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters
Speaking of soundtracks, one of my favourites aside from the likes of Xenon 2: Megablast was Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters. A B-movie through and through, you play one of two heroes rescuing bikini-clad babes from the perils of ASIMO’s mates.
This was a game donated to me from some younger cousins as they didn’t get it. Not me; I loved it. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I found out it was an arcade port. While it doesn’t have that much cultural significance and the bikini rescues are backward for today’s standards, it’s a perfect title for the Switch. Do it, devs.
I will have missed some of your favourites like Eye of the Beholder, Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 (amazing) plus many, many more. That wasn’t in spite, but this was mostly off the top of my head, through a few searches to ‘refresh the brain palette’ and games that I hold dear.
Lemmings, Worms… they’re all classics, but they’ve been on multiple platforms and easy to pick up in a retro sale. They’re still untouchable, but again, omitted from the list through laziness.
Sourcing images for the Amiga isn’t easy when I no longer have the machine. Sources are mentioned in the caption, but a bulk of images were used from Classic Amiga. If you’re a fan of the Amiga, I highly recommend you bookmark their site.