Amiga: Rick Dangerous II (1990)

"[...] one of the most enjoyable 16-bit arcade games in a long time." Computer and Video Games, 88% 

Be prepared to save the world, acting as a blend of Superman and Indiana Jones!

Rick Dangerous II

In 1990, Core Design presented the sequel to the platform game Rick Dangerous and continued its plot. The imminent alien invasion has now become reality as UFOs have recently landed in Hyde Park, London. Of course, our smirking superhero has no fear and welcomes our visitors right away. 

For a start, Rick carries a laser gun and bombs, which can be either placed on the ground or slid towards the enemy. He can also punch his enemy thus freezing them for a short time. 

The game itself has a linear story but as a special feature, you may play the first four out of five levels in any order. After you have completed Hyde Park, Ice Caverns, Deep Forest and the Atomic Mud Mines, the final level "Fat Guy's Headquarters" will be unlocked where the ultimate boss fight is waiting for you.

If you are looking for a funny Jump and Run with smooth gameplay and a good story be sure to check out Rick Dangerous II.


Amiga: Chase H.Q. (1989)

Today, a short post on an arcade racer by Taito. A quick little fun for in between and another successful arcade port ...

Chase H.Q.

Almost every little kid dreams of driving a police car and maybe a Porsche too. In Chase Headquarters, you do not have to choose between those two things. You act as Tony Gibson, a police officer and get to drive a Porsche 928 (I know, this is not a Porsche for real men... anyhow).

Along with your partner Raymond Broady, you must stop fleeing criminals which results in high-speed pursuits. Now who would have guessed that!

The gameplay is easy. You always start your pursuit miles away from the the suspect and after a sweet girl's voice informed you about your mission through the radio.

The rest is arcade standard. The suspect is fleeing from you, while you are trying to catch up until the time limit exceeds. To finish the job, you have to ram his car a few times, which sounds easier than it actually is.

Honestly, it might be just the nostalgia effect of such games, but today I am wondering why I loved this classic so much. It is really short and although I was never good at this genre, I have always been able to finish the five levels in around 15 minutes, or maybe less. And the funky music makes me crack up whenever I hear it today. However, I would suggest: "Go, Mr. Driver!"


Amiga: Prince of Persia (1989)

My last post has received lots of favorable feedback for Brøderbund the game designer and publisher of many fantastic games. Today, I want to present you another landmark in computer gaming:

Prince of Persia

Now this classic was truly fascinating from the very beginning on. I got sucked into the story and atmosphere almost instantly after seeing the intro and hearing the oriental theme.

It all happens in ancient Persia. While the Sultan is trying to expand his empire on a campaign, the evil Grand Vizier Jaffar seizes power. But before he can come to the throne, he needs to get rid of the princess. You can tell how it goes on from here. Jaffar locks the princess in a tower and throws her lover into the palace dungeon, surrounded by deadly obstacles. 

You have one hour to save the life of your love or else she must marry the Grand Vizier or die!

As you can see in the animation above, this game offered wonderful character animations for its time. Very smooth movements give you the impression of being in the middle of this dungeon. Despite that, the controls are kind of wobbly sometimes. It can be hard to tell the right time to jump, which regularly results into fatal falls. At least you will be "rewarded" with blood and nice sound effects!

Nevertheless, Prince of Persia is an absolute must have for any Amiga or emulator. Originally released for the Apple II system, there are ports available for mostly all other classic platforms: Amstrad, Gameboy, NES, SNES, Atari ST, Mega Drive, MS-DOS, Xbox 360 and even the iPhone OS.

In recent years Ubisoft has developed a new game: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Disney released a movie with the same name.


Amiga: Wings of Fury (1988)

Who wants to be on vacation? Maybe somewhere in the pacific... on one of those paradisal islands? Blue skies and beautiful beaches surrounded by turquoise waters? You get all that and more in...

Wings of Fury

Of course, there is always a drawback. Once you reach your destination, USS Wasp, you will be piloting a F6F "Hellcat". You have now gone back in time and find yourself in the middle of World War II. I admit, it is not going to be a relaxing time, try to see it as adventure vacation.

Your goal is to defeat all Japanese forces, by destroying their bunkers, turrets and barracks. It is a nasty job, sometimes they will leave the bunker, after getting hit by one of your bombs and you will have to take every single one of them out, either by machine-gunning them or dropping more bombs. They run and scream but do not feel intimidated, you are just following your orders!

select your deadly freight and ...

... get airborne
This seams easy. But it is not. Be prepared, the enemy will take counter-measures in order to destroy your aircraft. The bunkers open fire, interceptors will take off from enemy carriers or one of the islands and you always seem to be running out of fuel. Luckily, you can reload at your carrier and return to battle.

heavily damaged Hellcat

All in all, Wings of Fury is perfectly entertaining. There is nothing, that will bug you and make you quit the game after 5 minutes. Even though the steering and especially the lading procedure needs a bit of practice, it is manageable after a few tries.

In case you want to feel like Chuck Norris, the cheat for unlimited planes and ammo is: COLINWASHERE [before spawning your Hellcat] then M [ammo], P [lives], D [no damage], F [fuel], C [switch weapons].

Do not stay away from your carrier too long, or they might try to sink it ;-)


Amiga: Desert Strike (1992)

This classic was previously going to be named Apache AHX: Desert Madman, but Electronic Arts decided to connect this game more to Operation Desert Storm from the Gulf War and titled it

Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf

It hit the shelves in 1992 for the SEGA Megadrive but a much upgraded version was released in 1993 for the Amiga. The plot is simple: A middle-eastern dictator goes mad and threatens the western world, the US forces intervene. What a unique idea for a game. Well, back then I guess it was! So here we go: you are flying a lone helicopter over enemy territory, while you are all on your own.

The pilot commands a AH-64 Apache helicopter and although Desert Strike is a shoot-em up, it is less frantic than typical games of this genre, which is due to the emphasis of strategic elements. Something enjoyable in this game is the freedom of movement. Viewed from an isometric perspective, the player is free to fly his chopper multi-directional across a large map.

But before you can enter the battlefield, there is a quick briefing prior to any mission.

Once you have reached enemy territory, you will be able to fire your machine guns, Hydra rockets and Hellfire missiles. Destroy enemy installations, vehicles, weapons, rescue hostages or capture enemy personnel. Your craft has limited fuel, ammo and armour. However, power-ups are available on the whole map, as well as supply zones.

Desert strike, remained a top-10 best seller for a long time and earned around 90-95% scores throughout the reviews! It is definitely worth a try, if you enjoy retro gaming.


Amiga: Oil Imperium a.k.a. Black Gold (1989)

Back in the days making money seemed so much easier - even in a business simulation like...

Oil Imperium / Black Gold

Have you ever dreamed of being an oil tycoon, making millions of dollars a day? If this is so, then I have the perfect classic game for you. Oil Imperium, is a mix of strategy features and a few action elements, which kept me highly motivated from the very beginning on.

The idea behind this simulation is simple, sell as much oil as possible, eliminate your rivals and become richer than you could ever imagine!

But before you begin, pick one out of four companies: All American, Interoil, Explora Inc. or Transoil and start managing.

Every tycoon needs a prestigious office, of course. Would you rather like it old-fashioned with fireplace or a trendy skyscraper office?

Now choose from four different objectives: A three-year game, play until a player reaches 80% market share, until you reach 60 million dollars or until your company is the only one left. So when all these decisions have been made, you should acquire licenses, tanks and of course oil fields in one of the eight oil producing regions.

Of course, only insane gamblers would randomly favor a region. Make a little phone call and let experts draw up an expertise. Your money will be well-invested. By the way, still having that phone in your hands - would you not like to make a call to your mafia friends? Business is a serious matter and I have the feeling, that your enemies oil fields could use some sabotage. Ignite them! Destruct their oil tanks! Manipulate their balance sheets... it is all just a matter of how much money you want to spend. But do not get caught, this will have consequences.

A little action comes along with the manual drilling. This can save you lots of money, or you could again just pay for the job. It is also quite possible, that your company becomes the victim of counter sabotage. Hire "Ted Redhair" to extinguish your burning oil wells, or do it yourself using dynamite.

Summarizing, Oil Imperium is one of the most entertaining strategy games for the Amiga. It is rich in variety and has an addicting character. Now go ahead, sell some oil and become rich - it is quite easy!


Amiga: SideWinder (1988)

Easygoing vertical-scroller taking place in a futuristic setting...


This little gem is probably little-known, but was one of my first Amiga games ever. SideWinder is a little vertical-scrolling Shoot 'Em Up, that is not as fast-paced as e.g. Silk Worm or SWIV and therefore appears easier but is still far from boring. 

You lead off the fight in a futuristic environment, something that looks similar to a circuit board. So either your spaceship is really small or computers of the next century will be gigantic.. and as if this was not enough, they even shoot back!

All things considered, this game is pretty solid for its age. Little gimmicks, like the digitized sound of explosions and an outstanding intro theme by David Whittaker make this shooter worth a try.

Check out this youtube video. It features the cracktro, intro and some gameplay (at around 4:10 min.)


C64: Maniac Mansion (1987)

Who is feeling a little adventurous today? Let us all take a closer look at one of the most popular game genres back in the days: Point-and-click adventures!

Maniac Mansion

Well, Maniac Mansion was not exactly the starter of this entertaining genre, Mystery House or Labyrinth came out way before. However, it represents the breakthrough and made these brainteasers popular among millions of gamers.

So what exactly made games like Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island or Zak McKracken so interesting and long-lasting? In my opinion, besides a good story, the interactive gameplay and controls. As you can see in the picture below, the player could choose from a number of actions and combine it with objects and other characters. 

... the story

Two decades ago, a large Meteor hit the garden of family Edison and left a large crater. Since then, Dr. Fred, Nurse Edna and their son "Weird Ed" have become even more reclusive and strange. Patients disappear without traces. After a local teenager has been kidnapped, her boyfriend and six other friends decide to bring her back. You start your adventurous journey in front of an old, creepy mansion.

... the gameplay

As mentioned above, Maniac Mansion has a very rich story and even multiple endings. You decide your way before you even begin to play by picking the characters you want to play with. Each one has different abilities and can be useful in one or another way. It is of course possible that your characters die, which results in a game over. Mentionable is the numerous amount of red herrings and inside jokes, that always keep the game exciting. The puzzles can be quite a thrill too.

Now start playing today... but let me give you a quick warning before you begin: Do not microwave the hamster. I warned you! ;-)


Over 100 followers!

My blog has not been around for too long but it has already received so much positive feedback, which makes me very happy and I wanted to let you know, that all of your comments and responses are very welcome.

I will continue with my journey through the golden era of videogaming as usual and hope to reach 200 followers soon :) 


SNES: F-Zero (1990)

It is time for some Super Nintendo action! In my first post about this classic console, I present you one of my personal favorites:


F-Zero was one of the launch titles for the SNES and hit the shelves in Japan almost a year before you could even buy a SNES in the USA or Europe. For me it has always been a unique title, not least because of the futuristic story line and highspeed races.

At the beginning you chose one out of four vehicles and select a "league", which are basically different courses, each representing different level of difficulty.

So once you have started the race, you will notice that it can be quite a challenge to master the controls. Especially steering your racer is not so easy at speeds around 500 km/h with opponents crashing into you and sharp turns. If you crash into a bend or run over the curbs, it will cause damage to your vehicle. Fortunately you can heal your shield once you have finished the round.

Something I have always liked about F-Zero is the fact, that weapons are not included. This means you will have to win by only your driving skills and the AI seems always fair, even though it can be hard to defeat them and they are definitely guilty of reckless driving!

If you are a fan of classic console games, I can most warmly recommend you F-Zero. You will be impressed by the variety of level design, its fantastic music and excellent Mode-7 gfx. Your only aim will be to win the races.


Update: Added new little feature

Dear readers,

for the sole purpose of your entertainment, I have added a button in the upper left-hand corner streaming you live music from Nectarine Demoscene Radio!  You can now listen to music, ranging from oldschool SID-tunes, game music to professional remixes.

Have fun!


Amiga: Megaball (1991)

So I wonder if anybody out there has ever heard of ...


Megaball is a tricky little Breakout clone by Ed & Al Mackey, which I always preferred over other variants, such as the famous Arkanoid (1988). 

(ATARI Breakout from the mid-70's)

The idea behind this game is pretty simple. Your mouse gives you control over a paddle and by hitting the bricks above you remove them. Once they are all gone, you will be able to proceed to the next level. But do not miss the ball or you will lose a life!

As you can hopefully see in the video, there are several extras hidden inside of the blocks. They will either give you advantage like lasers, expand your paddle or in the worst case destroy your paddle.

(AMIGA Megaball)

If you want to become adicted to this game like me, I have good news for you. You can now legally download the game files from the developers homepage. All you need is an Amiga or an emulator (see my other post about emulators, if you need help).

Get it here: www.almackey.com/megaball.html

I can't get this song out of my head...

Yesterday, I was listening to the nectarine webradio. They have a HUGE playlist of songs from the era of C64, Amiga etc. and play them by request of their users.

So to make a long story short, they played the Deflektor theme, remixed by Reyn Ouwehand and it has been stuck in my head since then!

It is a wonderful chill-tune, simple and optimistic. Also make sure to check out the original C64 SID version in the video below, composed by Ben Daglish.

I will try to be back soon in order to bring you another game classic, so stay tuned. Meanwhile a little music for all of you. Have a nice day!


Amiga: F/A-18 Interceptor (1988)

After a little break yesterday, I'm back to present you...

...F/A-18 Interceptor

A well-balanced combat flight simulator, that does not require hours of training and reading through hundreds of pages in the instruction manual but is still hard enough to guarantee you hundreds of hours of fun!

Who would have guessed, in the game you pilot the famous F/A-18 Hornet... and even the F-16 is available for free flight mode and mission number 1. Nevertheless, I could never really tell a difference between them in terms of flight quality.

Interceptor is set in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a few notable landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland Bay Bridge, Alcatraz or downtown San Francisco. Frankly, this game would be fun even without the missions! I remember flying around just to explore the area or doing little stunts, like flying under the Golden Gate, climbing as high as possible or messing around with the aircraft carrier. 

But the six missions are also quite enjoyable, although I was never able to successfully complete the last one. Anyhow, Bob Dinnerman - the game designer - states that it is possible to destroy the enemy carrier!

Your jet fighters are equipped with air-to-air missiles, Sidewinders and AMRAAM. If you run out of them, you still have 500 rounds in your Vulcan gatling gun in order to shoot down your enemy. 


Amiga: Lemmings (1991)

Oh noes! 5, 4, 3 ... plop plop plop...


About 20 years ago, a new hype about naive, little green fellows was born. Following their leader one after another, they would literally climb, dig, build or even suicide anywhere without hesitation. In other words, Lemmings are team players - it does not matter much to them if they die, as long as their population makes it to the exit and survives. Honorable!

DMA Design (now Rockstar North) did an excellent job on the level design. What the player basically does, is guiding his Lemmings around obstacles and finding a save way towards the exist. This is not always as easy as it sounds. Rocks block your way, seas of lava are only waiting to cook your little friends, cliffs have to be climbed and tunnels to be dug. All of this with only a limited amount of time and a certain percentage of Lemmings that must survive.

Personally, I like the Amiga version the best. It has such a cozy atmosphere, the gameplay gets you hooked instantly and the music is brilliant. Most of the songs are classical or traditional tunes, neatly remixed by Brian Johnston - they are the cherry on the top.


NES vs. iPhone / iPod touch

Okay, I admit it. This post will be a little off-topic. Yesterday, I was randomly browsing the app store for free games. After downloading a few, I started playing Giant Moto, a little dirt bike, motocross obstacle racing game.

Does this remind anybody of some other, oooold game?

The game above is called Excitebike for the NES, ... 25 years old and another Nintendo classic! Both games have an almost identical gameplay with mostly the same game features, such as a "turbo", which will eventually overheat the engine if you overuse it or similar jumps and obstacles. 

So if you liked Excitebike and you are looking for a mobile version, that is close to the original, you should give Giant Moto by Tim Miller a try!

If you don't have an iPod touch or iPhone, but still own a NES, this is even cooler. Nintendo Entertainment System is pure nostalgia!

Click the image and download Giant Moto from iTunes.


Amiga: Silk Worm

After all the cuteness of Mario and his friends, this blog requires some serious side-scrolling action! It is time for:


Be prepared for some heavy shooting, literally hundreds of enemies will appear around you, getting more with each level. Choppers, tanks, mines, missile launchers and jets will swarm around you to eliminate your helicopter or jeep and all you can do is fire back as much as you can!

This game by Tecmo was released in 1988/89 and was available on most platforms, such as Commodore C64 / Amiga, Amstrad, Atari ST and NES...

This video pretty much sums it up, a good game for in between with a decent level of difficulty! Sometimes I just insert the disk and let the intro theme play. Another fantastic tune by Barry Leitch, who also composed the music to Lotus Turbo Challenge 2, as I already mentioned in my previous article on that game.

For all of you who want an easy job - here is the cheat: Scrap 28 in the options menu!


Nintendo 64: Mario Kart 64

Todays article will be dedicated to Nintendo's arcade classic ...

... Mario Kart 64

It is early 1997, the N64 has not been out on the market that long, as me and my friends are craving for the sequel of the entertaining Super Mario Kart for Super Ninento consoles. Once again Mario and his friends promised us many hours of fun, chasing each other in multiplayer mode with new characters and "weapons".

And they kept their promise! In Mario Kart 64, four different types of game modes exist. Grand Prix, Time Trial, Versus - up to 4 human player can compete against computer opponents; and Battle Mode - human vs. human, you shoot off 3 balloons, which are tied to the Kart, with weapons like bananas or turtle shells.

Choosing your character wisely, also adds to the varying level of difficulty, represented by the engine size of your Kart, that can be either 50, 100 or 150 cc. Peach and Yoshi e.g. are limelight and will therefore accelerate more quickly than heavyweights such as Bowser, Wario or Donkey Kong. And of course Mario and Luigi are god-tiers and offer the best ballance!^^

Grab your controllers and have fun!


Emulator vs. the real thing

Dear readers!

have already made some posts about games on the Amiga, hopefully reviving the memories of that great era. But in the heat of the moment, I almost forgot to tell you about emulators: a wonderful and easy way to "virtualize" a whole Amiga setup on your PC.

There are two popular freeware emulators around, UAE (available for MS Windows, Linux, Mac-OS) and Fellow. Both have been out for many years now and I tested both of them. I ended up using WinUAE though, since it ran stable and gave the majority of tweakable parameters.

It offers you default setups for standard A500, A600, A1200, A2000 and so on! Speed them up by adding RAM, pick another processor, choose Input devices, add hard-drives - no problem, just a few clicks! WinUAE can even emulate the god-like chattering sound of the floppy-disk, while it is loading into memory.

So for those of you who want to play around with an Amiga, but do not own one anymore - try an emulator, it is close to the real thing!

Along with the emulator, you might also need:
  • Kickstart 1.3 and 2.0 ... that is the firmware, stored on the ROM chip of the Amiga
  • Amiga Workbench ... the OS, you might need it in order to run some games or text-to-speech in "Say" ;)
  • games!
The problem here might be the copyright. Nevertheless all of the software can easily be found on the internet^^

Have fun and happy guru meditation!


Amiga 500: Lotus Turbo Challenge 2

Game #2 on my list of must-haves for the Amiga is

Lotus Turbo Challenge 2

 Marks - Set - Go

Lotus 2 is part of the famous Lotus trilogy and came out in 1991, developed by Magnetic Fields and published by Gremlin. It is a pseudo-3D arcade racing game, like many others during that time. But still, Lotus 2 is outstanding.
- It has an absolutely fantastic intro-tune and even the little jingles between each level are remarkable!

I am pretty sure, that all of you people, who had an Amiga during their childhood will remember this great game. If not, listen to the intro theme I am posting below and I promise your memories will return.


Amiga 500: North & South

So when I go back in time, remembering the good old Amiga days, this fine game here is one of the first, which comes to my mind:


I didn't have my own 500 yet, so I used to play this classic at my friends house. As far as I can remember, it came out as a single disk release in 1989 and offered lots of action, inside jokes, two player mode and even a little strategy;)

Check out this longplay youtube video. Instant amiga atmosphere!!

In the following...

I will continuously present and comment on

- classic video games & software, mainly for the Commodore Amiga and Nintendo consoles.

- some vintage movies every now and then also.

Feel free to leave a message and share your precious memories