|Amiga Report Top 100 Games Of All Time|
The votes are in, the sums have been done, and finally, after much blood, sweat and broken calculators we can bring you the results of the first Amiga Report Top 100 (hereafter known as the AR100).
We had over 750 direct votes from the main web page, and another few dozen e-mails, all voting on the author's personal favourite 10 Amiga games from the last 12 years. We were quiet overwhelmed by the response, and glad to see there's still such enthusiasm and vigour in the Amiga scene.
Of course, nothing went as smoothly as we'd have liked. I (Ken) changed jobs in mid-July, meaning for a while, half of the votes were stuck on a server I couldn't access. Also, the e-mail acknowledgement system steadfastly refused to work from day one, so apologies to everyone who's still waiting for a reply e-mail.
The range of votes was staggering. Games I've never heard of popped up in every second vote, and there were just as many nominations for shareware or PD games as commercial. A couple of people got very confused and voted for Miami, Voyager and AWeb - strange games indeed. And a couple of wags voted for Myst - obviously in crystal ball mode, and there were more than a couple for Doom and Quake.
More surprising were the games which DIDN'T appear. No Bubble Bobble - it's stuck at #141. Wizkid made #207. SuperCars II, #186. And not one single person voted for Troddlers. I'm shocked and stunned, ladies and gentlemen.
When counting the votes, we've decided that each separate game should count, even if they're a sequel or even just a new version. That's why Worms and Worms DC both feature in the AR100. In cases where people voted for a game without specifying a version number - for example, Megaball - we've taken the vote are referred to the latest version. Most votes, however, were quite clear about which title in a series they were nominating. Any votes for "all of the Lemmings series" or "Monkey Island 1 and 2" had their vote distributed evenly between each title. And don't worry, no-one from Amiga Report voted.
Finally, I'd like to thank Matt and Sean at the Data Haven Project (DHP) for the web space and excellent service, aTmosh for adding the IRC FAQ, Nik Shearer and Mark Wilson (tecno on IRC) for testing, Seppo Typpo for the explanations on his vote, and finally Carter USM for the soundtrack to the votecounting.
So, in true Miss World fashion, we'll start at number 100 and work our way
to the top ...
|--- THE AMIGA REPORT TOP 100 : 1997/2 ---|
#100 BLOOD MONEY (Psygnosis/DMA Design) - 55 points
Dave Jones chucked in a job in the Timex factory in Dundee, Scotland (the city where I work, fact fans) to found DMA Design. The first release was Menace, a simple shoot'em'up, and it was quickly followed by Blood Money; another shoot'em'up, pushing the Amiga further than anyone else had at the time. The game now looks ridiculously simplistic with set-pattern aliens and boring graphics. The intro can still impress, however, and it's good to see people taking a long-term view to Amiga games rather than only thinking about the last two years.
#99 MORTAL KOMBAT II (Virgin/Probe) - 55 points
Long after the craze for simple martial arts games had died away (leaving IK+ as one of the greats; sadly, it's unlisted this time), the whole beat'em'up thing flared up again, this time with combination moves, special powers and alien players. Mortal Kombat was converted from the arcade with mediocre success; Kombat II manages things better and faster, with only the lack of a hard drive installer marring things for the angry player.
#98 DUNGEON MASTER II SKULLKEEP (FTL) - 56 points
Although the original Dungeon Master already had a sequel of sorts - Chaos Strikes Back - it was really little more than a level add-on kit, and the world waited for the true follow-up. Six years afterward, it finally arrived, and unfortunately little had changed. The characterisation of the Eye of the Beholder series or the imagination shown by Tony Crowther's Captive and Liberation hadn't rubbed off on FTL, and we still were forced to use an archaic control system and predictable - and frankly, boring - level design. The legion of Dungeon Master fans could forgive this, and soon began reliving memories of exploring and slashing around in grubby dungeons.
#97 RAINBOW ISLANDS (Ocean/Grafgold) - 57 points
The follow-up to the classic Bobble Bubble, Rainbow Islands is perhaps the only game in the AR100 that can really be dubbed "arcade perfect". The graphics were taken directly from the coin-op original, and the gameplay has been carefully honed to mimic the arcade parent perfectly, even down to the infinitely complex bonus system. The Braybrook and Turner partnership at it's very best.
#96 SHANGHAI (various) - 58 points
The ancient Chinese game of tile-picking seems popular with our readership. No-one bothered to specify which Shanghai they were voting for; somehow, I'd tend to favour one of the public domain versions rather than the Activision "official" release. If in doubt, pick your own favourite.
#95 ANGBAND (public domain) - 59 points
Another Un*x port, basically NetHack with a different name. The usual character-based dungeons and goblins style romp.
#94 THE KILLING CLOUD (Mirrorsoft/Vector Grafix) - 59 points
Three-dimensional flying fun, set in a lawless cyberpunk city. The Killing Cloud was one of a handful of games to attract the attentions of civil rights group Amnesty International. A subgame involved "interrogating" a suspect, using various dubious methods of torture to get your information. Amnesty appealed to Mirrorsoft's owner, the late "Capt'n Bob" Robert Maxwell, who intervened and removed the scenes by proxy.
#93 MECHFORCE (Shareware) - 60 points
BattleTech clone, in which you pit two huge lumbering piles of technology against each other, armed only with Windows 95 and a soldering iron.
#92 SPEEDBALL (Mirrorsoft/Bitmap Brothers) - 60 points
Second in line to the throne of futuristic sports sims (the crown belonging to the sequel), Speedball has the Bitmap trademarks of groovy graphics and superb sound coupled with the charms of football and extreme violence. It's very much the poor brother of the sequel, but it set a standard on it's release.
#91 INDIANAPOLIS 500 (Electronic Arts) - 62 points
Before Formula One Grand Prix, Indy 500 provided the most realistic way to race on your Amiga. Fast(ish) filled vector graphics and plenty of ways to tinker with your car made up for the fact you were really only roaring around the same track for infinity.
#90 DUNE (Virgin/Westwood Studios) - 63 points
Westwood, better known for the Eye of the Beholder series, took on the challenge of converting the cult book and film into a computer game. Inferior to the classic sequel, more on which appears below.
#89 SWIV (Virgin/The Sales Curve) - 64 points
.. or SilkWorm Is Vertical, as it was dubbed at the time. The unofficial follow-up to the classic Silkworm (appearing below) combined great gameplay with technical excellence. Using a technique only seen before in an obscure Sales Curve coin-op conversion, "St. Dragon", SWIV avoided the traditional "please wait" messages usually encountered when accessing the floppy by continually loading the next area of the playfield. As a consequence, SWIV had no real levels, just one big long vertically-scrolling area to drive your helicopter or jeep through. Detailed graphics and thumping, woofer-shaking explosions help SWIV earn its rightful place in the AR100.
#88 ALIEN BREED (Team 17/Andreas Tadic/Rico Holmes) - 65 points
The game that made Team 17, and the first entry from ex-demo coder Andreas Tadic, who brought the Amiga the once-popular sequencer Games Music Creator. Alien Breed was little more than a Gauntlet clone with familiar graphics and squelchy sound effects, but it provided atmosphere and terrific entertainment. The storyline worked well with the format, providing opportunity for manic dashs to lifts and exits whilst being chased by acid-spitting baddies. Special mention must go to Alistair Brimble's classic soundtrack - one of the best pieces of Amiga music ever.
#87 XENON 2 MEGABLAST (Mirrorsoft/Bitmap Bros) - 66 points
A huge hit at the time of it's release, partly due to the incredible hyping it got in the flourishing 16-bit press, mainly due to the soundtrack. The Bitmaps obtained the rights to use the track Megablast, formally a minor hit for Tim Simeon's acid/house group Bomb The Bass. David Whittacker was drafted in to convert vinyl to module, and a brilliant job he made of it. The game was little more than a vertically-scrolling shoot'em'up, with nice big weapons and reasonable graphics. It's dated terribly since then, and the music remains the most memorable feature.
=85 BATTLE CHESS (Electronic Arts/Interplay) - 67 points
Battle Chess caught the public imagination soon after it's release; the merging of the traditional with the latest technology was an perfect vehicle for new Amiga-owning teenagers to demonstrate the power of their purchase to technophobic parents. The chess engine behind the gloss isn't a particularly strong one, and the graphics can become monotonous. However, Battle Chess is still one of the games user's load after buying their first hard drive, just to see if it's any better without the horrendous delay in loading the animations from floppy.
=85 DELUXE PACMAN (Shareware/Edgar M Vigdal) - 67 points
The best adaption of the arcade classic. Featuring the cult Eighties' hypochondriac pill-popper, Deluxe Pacman keeps the adrenaline, the ghosties and the "wokka wokka wokka chomp" effects, and introduces the Amiga's presentation skills in all the right places.
#84 SILKWORM (Virgin/The Sales Curve) - 68 points
Near-perfect arcade conversion, with the winning combination of a jeep and chopper blasting the baddies along a horizontally-scrolling landscape. The sequel, SWIV, did it the other way around with perhaps more technical flair, but the original's simplicity places it higher up the chart.
#83 INDIANA JONES IN THE LAST CRUSADE (LucasArts) - 70 points
Another point'n'click graphic adventure from the team behind the Monkey Island series. The graphics, involving plot and wry sense of humour kept many people puzzling long into the night.
#82 SKIDMARKS (Acid/Guildhall) - 71 points
Popular with the Amiga magazines purely for the opportunity to crack cheap gags, Skidmarks was a cheap'n'cheerful racing game, with lightening-fast buggies roaring around the screen and into each other. Skidmarks was blighted by featuring the system stability of a one-legged man doing the hokey-cokey; in other words, regular players could expect one guru every half hour.
#81 F/A-18 HORNET (Domark?) - 73 points
More flying fun; not overly technical, which is usually a good thing for a flight sim, but with enough aeronautical nonsense to keep the odd frustrated fighter pilot satisfied for a few weeks.
#80 AMBERMOON (Thalion) - 74 points
Spooky role playing from the German masters of hardware bashing, Thalion. It's yet another dungeon romp, but with plenty of expert coding pushing the Amiga to the limits, creating a very intense atmosphere from the poor Amiga.
#79 BATTLE SQUADRON (?) - 75 points
One of the first games really to push the power of the Amiga's fledgling chipset. Battle Squadron, a shoot-em-up with few frills, could easily be mistaken for a mid-eighties arcade game.
#78 BLACK CRYPT (Electronic Arts) - 76 points
A game which placed much of it's appeal in the fact you required a 1Mb Amiga to play it; at the time, meg Amiga's were the preserve of the rich socialite, rather than the poor common A500 owner. Still a reasonable D'n'D romp.
#77 THEME PARK (Electronic Arts/Bullfrog) - 77 points
Bullfrog's last game for the Amiga (or is it?), they took on Maxis (of Sim City/Earth/Ant fame) and almost beat them at their own game. Little people wandering around, paying money to go on your rides, eating your hamburgers from your stalls and eventually throwing up on your nice clean grass is cute fun.
#76 KICK OFF 2 (Anco/Dino Dini) - 79 points
Kick Off dominated the Amiga world for a few weeks; Kick Off 2 followed on and brought things to a standstill for months. There was a kind of hysteria about the game; Future Publishing (publishers of Amiga Format) had a severe problem with the staff spending all day playing the game and not writing magazines. Nowadays, it appears dated, with a lack of control in the gameplay meaning it's more like pinball than football.
#75 POWERMONGER (Electronic Arts/Bullfrog) - 80 points
Bullfrog established themselves with Populous, but they went one step beyond with PowerMonger. Taking a slightly different approach to the God-sim genre, PowerMonger presents itself in a pleasing rotatable three-dimensional landscape, and is more strategic and long-term in it's gameplay than Populous. For extra entertainment value, leave one of the farmers alone on a hillside with a sheep for ten minutes, and watch closely ...
#74 GOAL (Dino Dini) - 82 points
Until the release of Sensible Soccer, Dino Dini's Kick Off games held the Football Simulation cup. However, after Sensible shook things up, Dino fell out with his old software house, Anco, and disappeared for a year or so, only to re-emerge with Goal, his last attempt at regaining the premiership title. However, it may be that there was just too much ground to make up, and Sensible kept the momentum and the pressure building. However, Goal is the best of the Kick Off series (Kick Off 3 wasn't a Dini creation), and is still good for the odd un-Sensible kick about.
#73 THE GREAT GIANA SISTERS (Rainbow Arts) - 84 points
An early Amiga title, first released when the Nintendo NES/Famicom was still going strong and everyone wanted to play Super Mario Brothers. Giana Sisters has all the elements of the famous Mario series: horizontally scrolling levels, bricks to headbut and secret passages to explore. Nintendo got a bit twitchy about the similarities, and eventually managed to remove the game from sale. The Amiga version had escaped, however, and soon found its way onto a thousand pirate single-file collections. I'd be willing to bet most of the people who still have a copy of Giana Sisters are faced with a bouncing "Red Sector" logo every time they load it up...
#72 MEGABALL (Shareware/Intangible Assets Marketing) - 85 points
A breakout clone which started it's life as a shareware title, before gaining sufficient popularity to go commercial, being sold by the US dealer Intangible Assets. Megaball takes the traditional breakout/Arcanoid route of bats'n'balls with knobs on, rather than the refreshing approach of Poing.
=69 THE BARD'S TALE (Electronic Arts) - 86 points
Old-fashioned role playing, dating back originally to the Commodore 64 and character-based displays. Still a favourite of those looking for authentic nostalgic goblin-bashing.
=69 SUPER SKIDMARKS (Acid/Guildhall) - 86 points
A revamped outing for the multi-player racer, with more fault tolerance for less off-screen crashes. Also includes the unforgettable cows on wheels.
=69 TV SPORTS: FOOTBALL (CinemaWare) - 86 points
Slightly wobbly American football sim by the (by then) reformed adventurers CinemaWare.
#68 NETHACK (Public Domain) - 87 points
A Dungeons'n'Dragons game, steeped in almost as much legend and mystery as the genre it portrays. Nethack developed and grew with the underground hacker culture, mainly in UNIX-ridden West Coast America. The hacker's bible, "The New Hacker's Dictionary" (aka Jargon) described Nethack as "a dungeon game similar to rogue but more elaborate, distributed in C source over Usenet and very popular at Unix sites and on PC-class machines. Nethack is probably the most widely distributed of the freeware dungeon games)".
#67 PROJECT X (Team 17/Andreas Tadic/Rico Holmes) - 88 points
Another classic from the winning Tadic/Holmes combination. Team 17, in their first few years of business, approached every classic genre of arcade game and tried to deliver the best yet, with varying results. Project X put forward impressive graphics, the usual excellent Alistair Brimble soundtrack and a fair wallop of speed, throwing graphics onto the screen at a rate of knots. It was just a bit on the difficult side, and the whole game showed no real innovation, unlike the excellent Apidya - sadly, unrated in this AR100.
#66 F-18 INTERCEPTOR (Electronic Arts/Bob Dinnerman) - 89 points
Popular in part because it was bundled with the best-selling "Batman" Amiga 500 pack and others worldwide, but mostly because it is perhaps the most approachable of any flight simulator. It doesn't waste time by confusing the player with unnecessary jargon or controls; neither does it sacrifice detail for playability. It entranced a whole clutch of people who would normally steer well clear of any flight sim, and is still played by many today.
#65 CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER (Domark) - 92 points
Ever since Kevin Tom's sat down at his ZX81 and gave the world "Football Manager", the European computer gamer has been fascinated with soccer management simulations. Night after night many an adolescant sat staring at screenfuls of figures and performance statistics, determined they could do on better on screen what the men in sheepskin jackets couldn't do in real life. Years later, the world was blessed with high resolution, high colour graphics with which to display the screenfuls of figures and performance statistics. Championship Manager engrosses the faithful with the best of them; here's looking forward to the sequel ...
#64 GUNSHIP 2000 (Microprose) - 101 points
Gunship 2000 is a game which achieves the tricky task of balancing technical accuracy with playability. It doesn't bog the player down with endless pages of numbers and statistics, and you can happily bounce your helicopter off the ground without worrying about falling out. It has lots of scope, starting the player off on simple fly-about missions, and giving the opportunity to retire and play general by directing others about. The kind of game that could keep the occasional player going for months.
#63 TURRICAN (Rainbow Arts) - 102 points
Rainbow Art's first crack at the Turrican format: silky smooth sprites, funky tunes and huge levels. They didn't get it quite as good as the hoped for, but righted the wrongs in Turrican 2: essentially the same game tarted up, and it's coming up later ...
#62 FAERY TALE ADVENTURE (Electronic Arts/Microillusions) - 103 points
I have to admit, I know absolutely nothing about this game. If you're a fan, please feel free to mail me and tell me more; this high a placing is sure to make the AR100 next time around.
#61 MARBLE MADNESS (Electronic Arts) - 104 points
One of the very first Amiga games; so old it can be persuaded to run on an original A1000 with Kickstart 1.0 and 256K of memory. It's actually an arcade conversion, being the first of a whole clutch of forced-perspective manoeuvring games. Marble Madness was the first for the Amiga, and inevitably the public, used to inferior 8-bit conversions, were wowed by the arcade-realistic graphics and mouse controls.
#60 SENSIBLE SOCCER (Virgin/Sensible Software) - 105 points
When veteran software coders Sensible Software announced they were going to have a go at beating Kick Off by writing a better soccer simulation, not many people took notice - others had tried and failed. Sensible actually delivered a beautifully playable game, popular even with those who hated football in real life. The realistic ball control, the twee players and the comprehensive and up-to-date team database all added to the annoyingly addictive gameplay. The only fault was the goalkeepers, who seemed to swing from unbeatable to utterly hopeless. And this was to be corrected in Sensible World Of Soccer ...
#59 SIMCITY 2000 (Maxis) - 110 points
Way ahead of it's older brother, SimCity 2000 added isometric graphics, more buildings and took away the speed and, sadly, much of the playability and character of the original.
#58 LOTUS ESPRITE TURBO CHALLENGE (Gremlin Graphics/Magnetic Fields) - 112 points
The sequel appears later, but the original Lotus makes a entry at #56. Magnetic Fields - former by ex-Gremlin coder Shaun Southern - made their name with car games such as the Lotus and SuperCars series, before striving to be different with the quirky platformer Kid Chaos. On it's release, Lotus took sprite-based racing games further than ever before, with extremely smooth and playably fast action.
#57 IT CAME FROM THE DESERT (CinemaWare) - 114 points
CinemaWare's graphical ability and the tackiness of a sixties B movie were made for each other. Placed as a stereotypical hero in a stereotypical town facing invasion by huge styrofoam ants, there's lots of tongue-in-cheek entertainment packed into It Came ... it even prompted a rare sequel, AntHeads, which was more of the same.
#56 TV SPORTS BASKETBALL (CinemaWare) - 115 points
Gorgeous still graphics and simple gameplay brought CinemaWare fame, but
not enough sales to keep them in the market. They reinvented themselves
with new programmers and a company shake-up, and started out in the arcade
game with the TV Sports series. The most playable of the lot is Basketball,
but then basketball sims aren't exactly thick on the ground, probably due
to the fact not a lot really happens in basketball, full stop.
[While not a big basketball fan myself, I just thought I'd say on behalf of everyone who might be that saying that not a lot happens in basketball is, well, arguable. Ken probably hasn't played NBA Jam. -Jason]
#55 INDIANA JONES IN THE FATE OF ATLANTIS (LucasArts) - 117 points
Yet Another LucasArts Adventure, with the same quality of graphics, gameplay and gags as it's stablemates.
#54 POPULOUS II (Electronic Arts/Bullfrog) - 125 points
The sequel to the ground-breaking classic, Populous II tidied up some of the loose ends and introduced a few new tricks to keep the would-be God at the computer.
#53 SUPER STARDUST (Acid/Bloodhouse) - 134 points
Asteroids brought kicking and screaming in the nineties. On the surface, Stardust's ray-traced boulders bear little resemblance to the jaggy, monochrome vector graphics of the Atari seventies arcade. However, the same shoot-or-avoid gameplay remains intact, with the addition of a stunning tunnel sequence between levels. Not the deepest or the most addictive of games, but a fine addition to the one hundred.
#52 EMPIRE (Interstel) - 135 points
A bare nuts'n'bolts war game that delivers exactly what many players want - a nuts'n'bolts war game. No fancy graphics, extraneous options or unwanted clutter, Empire delivered a strong opponent for the war fan. Empire was also popular with the pirate mail-traders, thanks to the play-by-mail option, where a file was saved to floppy and loaded on the other players machine.
#51 EYE OF THE BEHOLDER (SSI/Westwood Studios) - 136 points
The game that took on Dungeon Master and won. EOTB took DM's gameplay and folklore, added to the atmosphere, and gave it a small but vitally important extra - a plotline. This brought the characterisations alive, and gave the genre a new, dynamic edge. It still had the same dragons and spellcasting approach that people still love, but the added American gloss provided by SSI meant that DM's days as the top Role Playing Game were over.
#50 PIRATES (Microprose/Sid Mier) - 137 points
Swashbuckling fun courtesy of the king of sims. Nowhere nearly as sophisticated as Sid's later titles, but plenty of fun for the seafairing players, charging around the oceans, being generally unpleasant to as many people as possible.
#49 DEFENDER OF THE CROWN (CinemaWare) - 141 points
The screenshots echo'd around every fledgling 16-bit magazine for months; the graphics were beautiful, as was to be expected from CinemaWare. The gameplay wasn't quite as complete, however; great fun for a few rounds, but not a game to keep the player enthalled for months, especially combined with the horrendous floppy disk access; hard drives were still the preserve of the rich in the mid-80's.
#48 LEMMINGS II (Psygnosis/DMA Design) - 142 points
Following up Lemmings was always going to be a difficult task. Tinkering with the simple game mechanics could spoil the appear; so DMA decided to keep the basics and build on it. Larger levels and various new lemmings were the main changes. For some, it was enough, for others, the extra additions and lack of two player mode spoiled the broth.
#47 POPULOUS (Electronic Arts/Bullfrog) - 144 points
One of the many games in the AR100 that can claim to have created a whole new type of game. Populous casts you as an semi-omnipotent God, who can shape and control a world in which your followers must prosper, grow and ultimately beat up the baddies.
#46 HIRED GUNS (Psygnosis/DMA Design) - 146 points
The only notable post-Lemmings release from Scottish coders DMA, Hired Guns took the first-person isometric game style away from the castles and crypts of Dungeon Master and Eye of the Beholder, and into a futuristic environment (a la Captive, which I'm surprised to say didn't make the AR100). Hired Guns also broke ground by allowing four players to take part at once, one player to control all 4, or a combination of both. Gorgeous hi-res graphics and atmospheric sound create a wonderful atmosphere; fans of Hired Guns tend to be almost religious in their praise for it.
#45 GODS (Renegade/Bitmap Bros) - 149 points
Mythology, puzzles for the lateral thinker and platforms made Gods a surprise hit at the time of it's release, but the brilliant graphics and curiously intelligent enemies hooked many a gamesplayer for weeks. The Bitmaps took the Gods engine, changed the graphics and released Magic Pockets six months later, but it couldn't match it's predecessor for sheer class.
#44 CHAOS ENGINE (Renegade/Bitmap Brothers) - 152 points
The Bitmap's had long been working towards creating a more intelligent opponent in their games. Two-player games are fun, but there are always occasions where the player is alone, and computer opponents or assistants were usually wooden and predicable. The Bitmap's finally cracked it with the Chaos Engine, a top-down maze game, slightly reminiscent of Gauntlet, but with the puzzle element of Gods, and the usual pixel-perfect graphics. The Heath Robinson-esque backgrounds combined with the brilliant level design made a game which many people spent far too much time playing to the bitter end.
#43 PINBALL ILLUSIONS (21st Century Software/Digital Illusions) - 154 points
The final instalment of the Pinball saga from Digital Illusions; the men who left the demo/pirate scene to bring the world's first decent computer pinball simulation added multiball and a high resolution mode to the proceedings. This time, however, there were only three tables in the set to play, and as usual one of them was a duffer. The other two were up to the usual high standard, but one can't help feeling DI had lost the momentum by this point, and it took Liquid Dezign's Slam Tilt to show how things really could be done. However, there is no beating the "Babewatch" table and it's superb Beach Boys-style music ...
#42 SUPERFROG (Team 17/Andreas Tadic/Rico Holmes) - 155 points
Coded by Team 17's founders, Andreas Tadic and Marco Holmes, Superfrog was one of T17's finest hours, and certainly one of the Amiga's best platformers. Yes, it was cliched and stole ideas wholesale from other games (Sonic and Mario being the main influence), but Superfrog carried it off with a superb feel, a gentle difficulty curve and a touch of humour.
#41 LOTUS ESPRITE TURBO CHALLENGE II (Gremlin Graphics/Magnetic Fields) - 156 points
The pinnacle of sprite-based racing simulation, Turbo Challenge 2 improved on the technical excellence of it's little brother and delivers a stunning ride. The speed and smoothness of the corners and hills still impress people today, even in the age of texture-mapped Ridge Racers. Not quite as groundbreaking as the predecessor, with the lap-based format being dropped in favour of a multi-stage course, but a classic game earning a respectable placing.
#40 WING COMMANDER (Origin) - 157 points
The Wing Commander series is legendary in PC circles for it's involving plot, superb filmed sequences, intriguing character-based sections and complete lack of gameplay. Luckily, the latter curse only effected the sequels, and the original is a fine space shoot'em'up, using gourad-shaded graphics and dramatic orchestral music to get the pulse roaring. Not so much fun on a plain A500, but anything a bit more powerful should have no trouble.
#39 SIMON THE SORCERER (?) - 162 points
A graphic adventure of the usual making; perhaps with slightly inferior graphics to LucasArt's Monkey Island and Indy games, but making up for it in puzzles and plotline, with the obligatory daft sense of humour.
#38 GLOOM (Acid/Guildhall) - 163 points
The first real Doom-clone to hit the Amiga; it's actually more a Wolfenstein clone, having a strictly two-dimensional map rather than the floors and ramps of Doom and Alien Breed 3D. Still, it's a hugely enjoyable blast'em'up romp, and everyone should be looking forward to the forthcoming Gloom 3; hopefully we'll see it in the next AR100.
#37 PINBALL DREAMS (21st Century Software/Digital Illusions) - 166 points
The game that proved pinball could be transferred to home computer. Nintendo and Sega had laughable attempts at bringing the silver ball to their consoles; Atari even tried an arcade game - TimeScanners - with a computer conversion by Activision (under their Electric Dreams label), but no-one managed the fluid ball movement, the realistic flippers and bumpers and the flashing lights in a way which convinced. Then Digital Illusions, having cut their coding teeth as Scoopex on the pirate/demo scene (responsible for many games in this chart), came from nowhere with Pinball Dreams; 4 simulated tables of pinball bliss, with secret bonuses, great music and compulsive gameplay so addictive people had to be physically removed from the shift keys. Dreams led to a few sequels, but more importantly it proved pinball could be done on the small screen.
#36 ANOTHER WORLD / OUT OF THIS WORLD (Delphine Software) - 171 points
The predecessor to Flashback, Another World has rather more primitive graphics but with the same quality of animation and detail. By using filled vectors rather than sprites, the designers were free to zoom in and out of the action as the game required. Delphine's adventure background is evident in Another World, but despite this Another World suffers from being just a bit easy to complete.
#35 EYE OF THE BEHOLDER II (SSI/Westwood Studios) - 176 points
Using much the same game engine as it's prequel, Beholder II is superior due to better level design, more non-player characters and acres of dungeons and crypts to wander through. Extremely involving, and the sense of accomplishment on completing the game is enough to provoke you to start all over again.
#34 ALIEN BREED 3D - (Team 17/Andy Clithero/Ocean) - 177 points
The Amiga public almost demanded that their favourite Alien romp follow the trend and have a go at being a Doom clone. The result was a brilliant game, using a blocky but fast engine, wonderful squelchy sound effects and intelligent aliens. Unlike the sequel, the difficulty curve was just about perfect, and the plotline makes sense. The best feature is the level design; clear, sensible and with plenty of opportunity for exploration.
#33 BREATHLESS (Power Computing/Field of Dreams) - 179 points
Yet Another Doom; probably comes off second best technically with The Killing Grounds, but still a fine romp for the beefier Amiga.
#32 CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AGA (ClickBoom) - 185 points
Modern-day beat'em'up; the genre has been slowly dying since the heady days of Ye Ar Kung Fu and The Way of the Exploding Fist. The pinnacle of Amiga beat'em'ups was probably IK+, which despite the simple gameplay and fact it shipped on a single disk, provided just the right "feel" for the player; as the old Chinese saying goes, "a game that feels right is a game that is played often". After Street Fighter II, a beat'em'up HAD to include strange alien characters (complete with unpronounceable names), extra-sensory/kinetic powers, and enough pixels flying around the screen as to confuse ten players at once, never mind the standard two. Capital Punishment is the Amiga's answer to all of this; forgoing the constraints of emulating an arcade game, and concentrating on using the Amiga's hardware to the maximum and delivering a fine, playable bout of non-serious violence.
#31 ELITE (Firebird/David Braben/Iain Bell/Mr Micro) - 186 points
It's hard to imagine anyone doesn't know of Elite by now; suffice to say it's probably the ultimate space combat and trading simulation. First released for the BBC Micro (all 32K of it), it's been ported to every format imaginable, including a fairly respectable Amiga conversion (complete with the "Blue Danube" docking theme). Sadly, the Braben and Bell partnership disintegrated soon after Elite was written; it is Iain Bell we have to thank for Elite's gameplay - Braben was all for making Elite far more like the sequel, "Frontier", an ambitious project for a 32K machine.
#30 SHADOW OF THE BEAST (Psygnosis/Reflections) - 202 points
Probably sold more Amiga's than all of Commodore's advertising, ever. After all this time, Beast still looks drop dead gorgeous, with countless layers of paralax scrolling, smooth animation and photographic stills. There's very little game behind all this gloss, of course, but who wants to play when you can just drool?
#29 RAILROAD TYCOON (Microprose/Sid Mier) - 206 points
An early attempt by Sid at corporate simulation, and is really the predecessor to the more Maxis-influenced A-Train. Still, the old school style appeals to many, and like all of Meier's games it's curiously compulsive.
#28 XTREME RACING (Acid/Guildhall) - 216 points
One of only two attempts at recreating "Mario Kart" on the Amiga. XR is technically very clever, but the level designs are a bit naff; however, there are plenty of replacement tracks available in the PD, and multi-player racing is a guaranteed laugh.
#27 CANNON FODDER (Virgin/Sensible Software) - 221 points
Richard Joseph's music kicks in - "War has never been so much fun", the vocals sing, and you feel good. And then you're into a sombre, beautiful soundtrack accompanying a field full of gravestones and recruits - the cannon fodder - lining up at the gate, and you begin to realise what a waste of time war really is. A true game of conflicting interests, Cannon Fodder is perfect in just about every respect; the controls allow the player to activate a whole range of manoeuvres without moving their hand from the mouse, the difficulty level is pitched steeply but not unfairly so, and there's the odd macabre humour which never really goes so far as to offend.
#26 TURRICAN II (Rainbow Arts) - 222 points
Hardware banging at it's best. Super smooth platform action, Turrican II isn't massively different from it's predecessor; it's almost as if the author's went back to Turrican and decided to polish it up a bit. Lovely half-chip, half-sample music and the same gameplay polished up and buffed, Turrican II can still impress; indeed, it has become the de facto game with which to test Amiga emulators on other platforms.
#25 SPEEDBALL II - BRUTAL DELUXE (Mirrorsoft/Bitmap Brothers) - 228 points
The highest placed of the five Bitmap Bros games in the AR100. Based on the same "sport" as the prequel, it's slicker, better, faster and more of the same; build up a technologically-enhanced team of brutes, barge each other around the pitch and score goals whilst beating each other up. Great soundtrack with the classic "ice cream!" sample between goals.
#24 FLASHBACK (Delphine Software) - 233 points
The sequel to Another World; combining the two-dimensional filled vector graphics of the original and beautiful rotoscoped characters, giving a realism of movement in the animation of the main character not seen since Broderbund's Prince of Persia. It's a large game, too, with an intriguing plotline and fine attention to detail. The fluidity of the graphics make it a great game to watch as well as play.
#23 PINBALL FANTASIES (21st Century Entertainment/Digital Illusions) - 236 points
The second, and in the eyes of the AR100 the best, of Digital Illusion's famed Pinball series. Not much was added technically, but the design carried through the same quality of tables which made Pinball Dreams such a success. The "Party Land" table remains probably the finest computer pinball table ever.
#22 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX (Microprose/Geoff Crammond/Pete Cooke) - 237 points
The legendary Geoff Crammond built on the success of his classic BBC Micro game Revs and presented us with Formula 1 Grand Prix. The vector graphics may look a little primitive today, with the evolution of texture mapping and shading, but the engine is still one of the most realistic around, and a whole legion of racers still compete for the best lap times.
#21 SIM CITY (Maxis) - 240 points
The first, and most would say best, of the Sim games. Curiously, Sim City is available in two Amiga versions: the European version and the far superior US version. I've no idea which one everyone was voting for, but it's irrelevant, as Sim City was a trend-setting game, converting action game fans to the more sedate world of strategy games. You just can't help joining up those little roads to make a bypass, and then adding another department store, and then making another little road, and ...
#20 STUNT CAR RACER (Microprose/Geoff Crammond) - 259 points
Another vintage title, Stunt Car is a combination of simulation and fantasy. Racing an almost-indestructible car along roller coaster tracks is improbable but excellent fun, especially in two-player serial link mode. Unfortunately, the twelve tracks aren't enough after almost a decade, and the often promised follow-up hasn't made it to our screens ... yet. In the meantime, however, for the best results we would recommend as big a viewing screen as possible. Playing on a 21" monitor, expect to experience vertigo and that sinking feeling in your belly ...
#19 DELUXE GALAGA (Shareware/Edgar M Vigdal) - 288 points
The most popular shareware game in the AR100, Deluxe Galaga is a revamped version of the old 80's coin-op, Galaga. It's Space Invaders with knobs on, but those knobs fairly spice things up. Money to be spent in shops, memory games, asteroid belts, and more aliens that is entirely sensible, Deluxe Galaga have been tweaked across several versions to provide just the right feel to the controls and enemies. It's a shame development seems to have stopped now, and I hope the author, Edgar M. Vidal, is inspired by your votes and starts the next version as soon as you've all paid your shareware fees.
#18 COLONIZATION (Microprose/Sid Mier) - 290 points
The long-awaited follow-up to the hugely successful Civilization. The gameplay was loosely similar to Civ, taking the exploring and developing concept a little closer in, but still keeping the engrossing gameplay. The Amiga version was a particular delight, as it broke the mould of PC ports by taking advantage of the Amiga's multitasking and comprehensive GUI facilities.
#17 SYNDICATE (Electronic Arts/Bullfrog) - 306 points
Bullfrog finally shook off the ghost of Populous and delivered Syndicate, a storming blend of shoot'em'up, strategy and corporate capitalism. The player aims to achieve world domination by corrupting, kidnapping, assassinating and usurping, which of course makes it jolly good fun, especially with the sound turned up.
#16 UFO - ENEMY UNKNOWN (Microprose/Julian Gollop) - 311 points
Julian Gollop is a legendary name in certain RPG circles; he wrote many classic 8-bit games, still played by many nostalgia freaks on the multitude of emulators. Bringing his talent to the Amiga, UFO is a huge exploratory romp, seeking out the alien intruder without being squashed - all in a strategic way, based on thought rather than reactions. Long-term entertainment for the more cerebal player.
#15 SENSIBLE WORLD OF SOCCER (Renegade/Sensible Software) - 327 points
Sensible's world class Soccer game, backed up by an unusually complex management and fronted by an easy-to-use interface. The goalkeepers even behave properly in the soccer game to end all soccer games; thanks to regular team updates and the multitude of ways to play, SWOS remains the best soccer game on any platform, ever.
#14 SLAM TILT (21st Century Entertainment/Liquid Dezign) - 334 points
Truly a case of the young pretender usurping the throne. Liquid Dezign entered the pinball games area from nowhere and immediately resigned Digital Illusion's series of games to the second division. Slam Tilt had all the standard features - multiball, tilts, themed tables - but added enjoyable fun sub-games, and for once every table was worth playing. We called it "Smooth, fast, playable" and "extremely addictive", and at number twelve, we're glad you agree.
#13 WINGS (CinemaWare) - 336 points
CinemaWare's finest hour, according to our voters. The usual quality of graphics and characterisation, with even more character and depth of gameplay than would normally be expected of the author's graphic adventures.
#12 ALIEN BREED 3D 2 - THE KILLING GROUNDS (Team 17/Andy Clithero) - 338 points
The culmination of the legendary Alien Breed series, The Killing Grounds throws everything it can at the Amiga hardware. With a powerful enough machine, TKG provides the ultimate "Doom" engine, with superlative lighting effects and super-intelligent opponents. On a less porky box, it crawls slightly; furthermore, the difficulty curve, so well pitched in the prequel, climbs like a rocket and makes things very tricky, even in the early levels. This said, TKG is the best way to convince PC owners that the Amiga can still cut it when it comes to first-person perspective games.
#11 THE SENTINEL (Rainbird/Geoff Cramond) - 343 points
A real surprise. Over ten years after it's release, The Sentinel appears as Geoff Cramond's top game. The Sentinel is almost totally unique - set on a mountainous chequered 3D landscape, the player must teleport their way up to the highest position and absorb the ever-watching "sentinel". However, get in it's line-of-site and it'll absorb you. Basic graphics enhance rather than detract from the atmosphere, and there's a curiously eerie air as you hunt for the hunter.
#10 FRONTIER - ELITE 2 (Gametek/David Braben) - 371 points
The world waited for the follow-up to Elite, and waited, and waited, until finally Frontier appears, and many were more than a little disappointed. The game map had been expanded beyond belief, making it very easy to get lost, and the dogfighting, so beloved of the original, was made so easy as to make it irrelevant. Die-hard fans immersed themselves in the game, and reaped the rewards; the legends of wormholes and secret ships soon popped up and continue to do the rounds on Usenet. Truly a game that gives back what you put into it.
#9 SETTLERS (Blue Byte) - 374 points
Unlike other "God-sims", The Settlers is a much gentler game. There's none of the fire and mythology of Populous, or the cut'n'dried world of SimCity. The Settlers is almost rural in it's approach, very laid back and therefore quiet relaxing to play. The calm way in which your worker saunter around the playscreen, chopping trees, fishing in the rivers or feeding the pigs (with the absolutely delightful oinks eminating from the speakers), it's an undemanding but treacherously addictive game.
#8 DUNGEON MASTER (Mirrorsoft/FTL) - 419 points
Probably responsible for the sale of more Amiga peripheral hardware than any other game. Dungeon Master was originally released on the Atari ST to critical acclaim. The port to the Amiga should have been a simple one; however, once Intuition and the background system had grabbed it's chunk of the memory, the game itself wouldn't fit into the standard half meg of memory the vast majority of the A500-owning market possessed. Sales of half meg trapdoor expansions rocketed. Nowadays, Dungeon Master looks dated compared with Eye Of The Beholder or the clutch of first-person perspective games, but it started the market and still can grab the attention of the role-playing fanatic.
#7 WORMS (Team 17/Andrew Davidson/Ocean) - 439 points
It's less than 2 years since Worms was released, yet it's firmly entrenched in the Amiga's history as a gaming great. Critics say it's just an artillery clone, but what a clone - silky-smooth presentation, polished beyond belief, with dozens of unorthodox weapons and an extremely silly sense of humour. What makes it more remarkable is that it was written by just one guy (the infamous Andy Davidson), using a single Amiga and a copy of Blitz Basic, and from there it's gone on to be a best-seller on every format from PC to PlayStation.
#6 THE SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND 2 - LECHUCK'S REVENGE (LucasArts) - 445 points
Just as much fun as the original, and with even more disks. In the days before adventures came on CD-ROMs with voice-overs and huge animated sequences, Monkey Island 2 managed to cram a whole film, complete with sub-plots, witty dialogue and believable characters onto thirteen (count 'em) disks. The same quality as it's prequel, just more of it.
#5 WORMS - THE DIRECTOR'S CUT (Team 17/Andy Davidson/Ocean) - 465 points
Little surprise the both "Worms" games make it to the top ten of the AR100. The Director's Cut adds a few extra weapons to the original game, along with more options to design levels and customize the game. Underneath it all, however, it's just Worms, and only the most fanatical fan will own both. On the other hand, every Amiga owner should own at least one, and Worms DC is the logical choice.
#4 THE SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND (LucasArts) - 492 points
The humour, the graphics, the plot, the scale, what can you say about Monkey Island that hasn't been said before? It is _the_ classic graphic adventure, carving a place in adventuring history as much as The Hobbit did in 1984.
#3 DUNE II (Virgin/Westwood Studios) - 550 points
After the impressive but little-bought prequel, it was a bit surprising Westwood decided to follow on. However, Dune II set the foundations for the hit PC game Command & Conquer, several clones of which are making their way to the Amiga this year. Dune II has the quality Westwood coding, the gameplay of Sim City and the ambition of Civilization, and hopefully the C&C clones will carry through the good qualities set by this classic game.
#2 LEMMINGS (Pysgnosis/DMA Design) - 562 points
Probably the best known Amiga game ever. Lemmings was released at the very peak of the Amiga's popularity, and even though it hence appeared on every format thinkable, it's still thought of as very much an Amiga title. On the face of it, guiding tiny stick figures from A to B doesn't sound much fun, but Lemmings was a game where losing was almost as much fun as winning - with the "bler!" as they smack into the concrete after a long fall, the "oh no!" as they detonate, and the unrivalled pleasure of nuking a whole gaggle of lemms and watching them pop into tiny tiny pieces ... couple this with the much-underrated (and unique to the Amiga, it would seem) two-player mode, and it's a real pleasure to see Lemmings achieve such a high place in the AR100.
#1 CIVILIZATION (Microprose/Sid Mier) - 873 points
This is it - the game that you've decided is the best Amiga game ever, and
I must say it caught me by surprise. Sid Meier's conquest game is
intriguing and addictive; challenging the player to evolve with their
charge through the ages, from primitive man to present day and beyond.
Hugely absorbing, the game sucks in the player and has been responsible for
many late nights and bleary eyes. The recent re-issue on CD should ensure
Civ stays at the top of the AR100 for a while yet.
So there we have it. By my calculations, the Bitmap Brothers come level with CinemaWare as the top coders, and Team 17 have seven games in the AR100, making them the premier publisher. Sad that all of these talented people have deserted the Amiga ...
That's it over with for now. The AR100 will be back early next year, so
keep watching for details of how to vote again. If you've spotted any
mistakes or errors in the chart above, please let me know so that we can
get it right next time. Thanks once again for making the AR100 a success,
and we'll do it all again in six months ...