John’s Top 5 Amiga Games

Anyone who knows me knows that the Commodore Amiga is my favourite home computer of all time (with the Commodore 64 a close second place).

I have seen many top 5 games lists in my time for all different computers and consoles, but none have been so varied and different as the top 5 Amiga games lists I’ve come across over the years, so to come up with my own list will undoubtedly be just as different and contentious as all the rest. Some games will overlap on other lists but likely in a different pecking order and maybe my choices won’t even be on other lists at all, but as it stands all I can do is offer my own personal choice of Top 5 games for this amazing computer – the Commodore Amiga!

01 // WINGS

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Released in 1990 by Cinemaware at the peak of the Amiga’s popularity, Wings holds a very special place in my heart and is a game I return to often on my own Amiga.

Set in World War 1, Wings is a game of three parts — ‘dogfighting’ (which is quite hard to master!) that places you in the cockpit of a bi-plane (with a tendency to have its machine guns lock up just as you’re about to fire on the
enemy!); ‘top down strafing’ where you’ll attack convoys and supply lines (whilst avoiding red cross ambulances of course) and ‘top down bombing missions’ to destroy strategic targets such as aerodromes and ammunition caches.

All of this is set to a continuous backdrop of wonderful storytelling by reading the diary notes of your protagonist everyday to a lovely musical score which makes you feel quite part of the timeline. The graphics for the game are detailed and very well drawn and the gameplay is easy to pick up and quickly becomes absorbing although the dog fighting is a little bit harder to master than the other sections of the game.

02 // Defender of the Crown

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Another game by Cinemaware — it was a real toss of the coin between this and Wings as to which of them would be my number one! To think that a game of such high quality in graphics, music and gameplay came out in
1986 is astonishing! This is a real testimony to what the likes of RJ Mical and his colleagues could achieve with the amazing hardware in the Amiga and programming ability to match. Set in the middle ages of chivalry and conquest in England, the objective of the game was to take on the role of a Saxon lord and help shake off the yoke of the Norman invaders by building armies, besieging and raiding enemy castles, rescuing maidens, winning
jousting tournaments and expanding your kingdom. The game has it all. Action sequences and turn based strategy with the aforementioned
amazing graphics and sound.

03 // The Secret of Monkey Island

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There is something very special about The Secret of Monkey Island. From the opening bars of music followed by the game’s graphical intro you really feel that you’re in for a treat. You play Guybrush Threepwood and your goal is to become a famous pir

ate! The journey to achieve pirate status is a proper fun filled and challenging adventure. I hadn’t played any other
Lucasfilm games before Monkey Island so this style of game was new to me. The point and click interface, the humour, beautiful graphics… this game kept me enthralled for weeks! My friends would come over during the summer and we’d play it until the wee small hours. We all helped puzzle out the challenges and get to the next task. Such good times.

Created by the talented Ron Gilbert and released by Lucasfilm Games in 1990, the Secret of Monkey Island came on four disks within the by now expected ‘big box’ format. You certainly felt like you were getting value for money.

04 // Sensible Soccer

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After being disappointed in the quality of football games on my computers for years I thought we were getting somewhere when I bought Microprose Soccer for my C64. It was a real step change to what came before and it was a brilliant game. When I finally got an Amiga and then got Kick Off I thought that finally this was it… a proper football game that was in equal measure difficult to play as it was fun once you’d got used to the style of play. I didn’t think anything could match it… I was wrong in a BIG way! My very first game of Sensible Soccer back in 1992 had me hooked! Adopting the top down view similar to Kick off, the fast pace and clever play style made for an instantly playable game which when played with friends is a total blast!

The detail of the games as they progressed and the options to manage your team line up, formation and so on whilst competing in whichever league or tournament you want to is so much fun and often leads to hours of play in
a single session.

05 // Dune II

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Before Westwood thrilled us all with the massively popular Command and Conquer series, it cut its teeth on the Amiga with this absolute gem of a game! Launched in 1993 through Virgin games, the game came on five disks. Based on the Frank Herbert book and the subsequent 1984 film, this forerunner of the Real Time Strategy genre begins with asking you to choose your ‘house’. The houses are essentially the warring factions (Atreides, Harkonnen and the Ordos), all vying for supremacy and the right to sole production of the drug ‘melange’ or ‘spice’. From choosing your house you are quickly into the action, building your bases, defending and attacking in equal measure and crucially mining for ‘spice’ (whilst avoiding the Worms that would rear out of the sand and destroy vehicles if you weren’t on hard ground). This game had me hooked! Many blurry eyed mornings were the result of playing this game,

The Amiga and its games have provided me with many, many years of enjoyment and it was really hard to pick a top 5 when other games such as Speedball 2, North and South, Cannon Fodder, the Settlers, Another World, Flashback, Alien Breed, Lemmings, Syndicate and so many others are pretty much up there too! 

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