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Amiga 500 Mini - £119.99, due 2022


moosegrinder
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This is looking like quite a nice list of games. It’s not the most obvious choices and there are some big gaps - no Psygnosis, no licensed stuff - but the games seem to be chosen to characterise the style and feel of Amiga games. Lost Patrol is an Amiga game to the core; it’s also much less well-known than the usual suspects like Shadow of the Beast and Super Cars II. It’s nice to see some more obscure games given some attention - it’s probably done more through necessity than through a genuine desire to sign up system sellers like Dragon’s Breath, but it still feels like what you’d actually see if you looked into an Amiga owner’s disk box. 
 

They should have cracked versions as bonus extras, just to maintain the atmosphere of being sat on someone’s bedroom floor, carrying out any number of secret rituals and tics in the vain hope that Moonstone might load this time, rather than crashing during the intro as usual. 

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They’ve said you can stick additional games on there. They haven’t said how (ie whether you need to plug in a USB stick or an SD card, or whether there’s enough internal memory to chuck a few more games on there) or how difficult it will be, but I can’t imagine it’ll be too difficult and Amiga games are tiny my modern standards. 

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If it doesn't allow me to play directly from floppy disk, so I can enjoy playing Le Chuck's Revenge in all its disk-swapping glory, then what even is the point?

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15 minutes ago, gingerling said:

But you can side load any game you want? 

Dunno. I think we'd already worked out this is going to use WHDLoad files rather than ADFs. And side-loading WHD installs would, as far as I can see, involve booting into Workbench in order to run them. Which would mean they would have to include Workbench on the device, and no one seems to be claiming they've done that. 

Unless they've created a front-end/carousel system that has the facility to launch side-loaded WHDLoad packages. 

Or unless the built-in games are all WHDLoad installs, but you can side-load ADFs. 

 

If the C64 Mini / Maxi give us any clues, then I think those machines kept all the emulation stuff quite well hidden away. But then C64 emulation is a good bit less complicated than Amiga emulation, and you can probably manage just about everything you need to do from a simple front-end/ carousel. I can't see that working as well with an Amiga setup. Games that use more than one disk, for example, will be tricky to manage. I'm sure they will have put some thought into this and come up with a user-friendly experience, though. Or they won't have done, and it will be a mess. We'll probably just have to wait and see. 

 

 

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RetroArch / RetroPie lets you boot WHD files with little fuss, in the same way that you can boot console game ROMs. It’s a bit more fuss to set up, but from a user perspective it’s just a matter of making sure the WHD files are in the right directory, and then you can just select them from a menu, just like you would with SNES / Mega Drive / etc games. You don’t need to boot through Workbench. 

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10 hours ago, Mike said:

Hope they can get SWOS and the lesser loved GOAL! on it.

Myself and @disperse and recoagulatealso loved “Multiplayer Soccer Manager” but I can’t see that getting added.

I loved MSM too, was great fun with others and you could zip through a season I good time. 

 

I also really liked Goal! too, but I know it wasn't all that well-received at the time. I remember players having momentum (like Emlyn Hughes) and being able to play side-on or vertically too, which was good. There was a chunkiness to it and it looked good to boot.

 

Not bad selections (still wouldn't buy this though.) 

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Alien Breed, the classic top down title you probably remember, and Alien Breed 3D, the desperate "Amigas can do FPSes too, we're not being left behind by PCs" Doom clone. That runs in a tiny window and is blocky as fuck.

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Playing FPS games on comically underpowered hardware was a nineties rite of passage, surely? Alien Breed 3D was a technical miracle for the time, given that it had proper 3D-modelled enemies, allowed for bridges and tunnels, and had water that properly refracted what was underneath. Obviously, on an unexpanded A1200, it did this at about 10fps, but it's still very impressive. Hard to play now admittedly - it's less impressive out of context, and probably not a great choice for inclusion on the Amiga Mini - even on an emulated A4000 with shedloads of RAM, it's very fuzzy and runs in a tiny screen.

 

Someone did a complete conversion of the game into a Doom wad last year, with all the same textures, enemies, and effects (apart from the water). It's a fascinating experience playing it through in crystal clarity, at 60fps, and with mouse and keyboard controls - the level design is not bad, and it feels like quite a confident, expansive game given that it was effectively made by one person, a student. If they could stick that version on, then great, but not sure about the original.

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