Last Updated on June 18, 2023
The news that at least one Evercade Amiga cartridge is in development has got me very excited. Of course, the A500 Mini is marvellous, but a physical collection of Amiga games on Evercade is its own marvel. Cracking open the case, sniffing the plastic, admiring the artwork, browwsing the instruction booklet…
I could, of course, simply retire to my office/game room and pull an old Amiga game box off the shelf, but I’ve done that countless times. Something else I’ve done countless times is replay the same old Amiga games, not just on the A500 Mini, but also on the Armiga, emulators, and even – thanks to the Bitmap Bros and Codemasters cards – on the Evercade.
With a library of well over 2000 games, this is a great opportunity to share some unappreciated Amiga classics, something Evercade’s cartridge curators have been pretty good at over the years.
Aside from the obvious inclusions (Worms, Zool, Alien Breed, Pinball Dreams) I’d like to see the following games on (what we can assume will be called) the Amiga Collection I.
1. Turrican 3
While Turrican 2 is considered on the best games for Amiga, Turrican 3 was released too in the copmputer’s lifespan for many to even know it existed. Worse, Turrican 3 dispensed with the famous lighting weapon in favour of a sort of grappling rope.
This huge disappointment aside (the lightning bolt was a key element of earlier versions ) Turrican 3 remains hugely playable. You may know it as Mega Turrican, released on SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis, but its existence on Amiga has been far too anonymous in the intervening years.
It’s time for Evercade to change that.
2. Dune 2
Arguably the trickiest in this list to pull off, Dune 2 is the precursor to Command and Conquer, and as such is a mouse- and keyboard-heavy game that is unsuitable for Evercade controllers.
That problem aside, this is a marvellous RTS that pits you against the various factions in Arrakis along with the sandworm threat. It’s the type of game that will eat up hours of your life.
A sequel to Utopia, and eventually supplanted by the PC game Fragile Allegiance, K240 is set on a. Series of asteroids that must be mined for valuable ore.
Money from the project is used to build colonies and weapons – vital for protecting your operations from aggressive aliens.
A strategy game like no other I had played at the time, I have fond memories of K240, especially the weapon designer tool.
I got my Amiga in 1990, within a few months of the last episode of “Blackadder Goes Forth”. A show set in World War I had quite an impact on me, which is perhaps why I remember Wings fondly.
While my dad was playing proper flight sims, I was pretending to fly my kite through enemy lines, dicky birding right in the how’s your father.
Three mission types featured in the game, placing you as a First World War pilot in the Royal Flying Corps, your main aims being i) completing the mission and ii) not dying. The dogfights are unsurprisingly the most thrilling (and when the machine gun locks up, most frustrating) but the strafing and bombing runs are also fun.
Now, I know Wings is available on Android, but this is an Amiga game at heart. Cinemaware did a great job with games like Rocket Ranger and It Came From the Desert, but Wings is the one I remember best.
5. Player Manager
With Kick Off 2 included on THEA500 Mini, it makes sense to revive what is arguably the best football management sim on the Amiga.
Fake names (too many people called Scanlan) and randomised stats, Player Manager is tough. There is a way of spotting which players will evolve into stars, just as there are certain tactics that just work.
Player Manager also features a Kick Off style game mode, which gives you the chance to drag the team up from the lower leagues. Teams and tactics can be exported to Kick Off 2, giving the games added depth.
WARNING: There was a Player Manager 2, a delayed sequel which was ultimately overshadowed by Championship Manager, famously one of the best games for Amiga.
6. Amiga Tanx
A public domain (PD) classic, this single or two player game pits one tank against the other in a Worms-esque procedurally generated landscape.
The twist? Amiga Tanx predates Worms by several years. While there is only one weapon, you have to contend with the wind speed and direction as you attempt to defeat your opponent.
WARNING: Two player mode may destroy relationships
The Amiga didn’t have many FPS games, the genre becoming popular during the Amiga’s final days. But of the ones it did have, Gloom stands out. While it might not be the best (and the unaccelerated Amiga 1200s didn’t deliver the smoothest graphics for the game) it was fun, frantic, bit messy, and perhaps most importantly, available to buy.
Released in 1995, developers and publishers were exiting the Amiga market. Happily, publishers Guildhall made the game available far and wide, releasing on CD32 and Amiga 1200.
8. Fighter Bomber
One of the Amiga’s forgotten strengths was running aircraft sims. Fighter Bomber was a good balance of simulator and arcade flyer, using 3D vector graphics for the game sections.
Superior to the PC version, the game featured a wide selection of aircraft (unlike most competitors) and is in many ways a forerunner to Microsoft’s Combat Flight Simulator.
9. Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge
Arguably the best two player game for Amiga, Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge was a bit of a jaw-dropper when it appeared. Boasting not just split screen two-player action but also speed, the game was as tough to be good at as it was easy to start playing.
Lotus was one of several two-player games my best schoolfriend and I played, along with Lemmings (lugging a mouse around seems odd these days), Super Cars 2, and Amiga Tanx. It would be perfect on the VS or a couple of networked Evercade EXPs…
The game has two sequels, plus the Jaguar XJ220 game from the same team, Core Design.
10. Stardust/Super Stardust
The Amiga has a ton of amazing arcade shooters. Stardust (and Super Stardust), however, is less well known than, say, Xenon, or Banshee (both of which might well end up in the collection). It stands out mainly for looking amazing and being the 16-bit home computer take on Asteroids. Having said that, in terms of the quality of the soundtrack, Stardust is closer to like Crazy Comets, with a heavy dose of Star Wars thrown in…
When can you get the Evercade Amiga games collection cartridge?
Following the Amiga-Evercade team up, little is known about the release details for this cartridge collection. it will surely feature the best games for Amiga, but which ones?
All we know is that the Evercade’s first Amiga games collection is scheduled to arrive in 2023. Perhaps some of these games will appear in it!
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.