Back in 2017 I had the opportunity to review the ARMIGA, a Commodore Amiga emulator and disk imaging system.
Specifically, the ARMIGA Full Edition, which featured a 3.5-inch floppy drive while sporting Amiga-like 3D printed case. This was the larger sibling to the standard ARMIGA, which omitted the floppy disk drive. That was a smaller piece of kit, but not something I was interested in.
What I wanted was a device at would run my own games and read save files – not downloaded ROMs from the internet. Having owned (in order), an Amiga 500, Amiga 600, and Amiga 1200, I had quite a large selection of titles to choose from.
The ARMIGA seemed to fit the bill, an ARM-powered Amiga clone that featured an easy to use launcher as a UI. With a 720p HDMI output, USB slots, microSD slot, Ethernet port, the 3D-printed case had an Amiga-like design and colour. Inside, the ARMIGA was powered by a Cubieboard with some hardware customizations and running Cloanto’s Amiga Forever software. With the ARMIGA running, a joystick-controlled menu lets you create ADFs (Amiga disk images), browse a microSD card or USB storage, create save states, and more.
It’s very useful if you want to retrieve lost save files. For example, I was able to recover some illustrations from Deluxe Paint and an animation from Disney Animation Studio.
Ultimately, the ARMIGA Full Edition was produced in a limited run. At the time of writing, the www.armigaproject.com website is appealing for industrial partners and there are no more units to ship. While some ARMIGA and ARMIGA Full Edition units have appeared on eBay, they’re rare – and expensive when listed.
Here’s the ARMIGA video review I produced for MakeUseOf.
For me, I regret not buying a secondary unit for myself. While imperfect, ARMIGA’s disk imaging system was invaluable, the user interface usable, and the option to run Android a masterstroke. It missed the authentic Amiga experience but was nevertheless a great way to revive much loved old games.
An Amiga experience is difficult to find without original hardware or the funds to purchase a modern Amiga system. ARMIGA was a handy stepping stone, a simple Amiga emulator capable of playing games, archiving disks, and without the risks of leaking caps. It is fondly remembered.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.