Amiga Forever 2013 Review
After downloading my copy of Amiga Forever, I came across a friend who was so excited for this emulator that he’d changed his status to “Amiga Forever” on Skype. What I’d taken as a simple emulator (with a little hype behind it) was actually something that others had supported for years (since 1997), people who had awaited the official release over modern AAA titles. What was it about this pack that got these people so excited? What can Amiga Forever do that other such emulators fail to?
The Amiga brand covered a series of PCs in the eighties and nineties, and although their computing power was decent enough to be used across a variety of different applications (including graphic design, simulation and more), it is for the video games playable on the system that it has entered popular conciousness. Many of our favourite developers got their break on Amiga, and a lot of classic franchises began there as well.
Whether we’re talking Prince of Persia, Lemmings or Another World, the list of hit titles is massive. Games that didn’t start on the system (like Prince of Persia) were almost certainly ported across, meaning there’s a treasure trove of thousands of titles, many of which are even worth playing.
I kid of course, but there are definitely more than a few duds in the Amiga back catalogue. It’s hard to get too wound up about today’s gaming problems when you can remember buying a full price game that had only enough entertainment value for two or three plays (topping ten minutes sometimes). Or in which the controls didn’t work. Or which just crashed as you hit play.
Amiga Forever is a preservation suite, and while I don’t believe for a second they’re looking to specifically preserve games of the kind mentioned above, it’ll successfully play anything you wish to throw at it, classics or otherwise. More than that, you can create your own games in there, or edit code, play around with ancient operating systems, watch videos, read articles and check out demos. By purchasing Amiga Forever, you’re also purchasing the best Amiga ever, and that means more than games to somebody who loved the system in the nineties.
The experience is emulated even down to the loading noises, which catapult like an arrow of nostalgia through your speakers. Loading times can be excessive, graphics don’t always work as they should – it’s the perfect Amiga experience.
Included in the install are a number of great old titles, although for those games that have been released and re-released in more recent years – especially in the wave of ports to iOS and Android devices – you’ll need to look a little further afield. Sometimes developers will have released the original Amiga game file for free on their website, other times you’ll need to come across old roms, complete with the original hacker’s splash screen (sometimes even telling you to connect to certain numbers in order to get other latest releases). Depending on the game, there will be various legality issues, so check that out before you download.
Amiga Forever is as close to owning an Amiga as you can get without having to drag out your floppy disks.
You won’t have to venture too far into the deep dark web to find yourself just about any Amiga game you wish to check out. With that said, there are plenty included with the base package, enough to keep you going, and which will have been heavily tested with this suite. There’s plenty of variety in there, and coupled with a modern mouse or Xbox 360 controller, control of these games has probably never been better. There’s also a series of options to control how you play and display each game, speeding things up if you so choose.
As an emulator Amiga Forever does exactly what it should, but it’s in how it allows you to catalogue your games that it goes one step further. It’s incredibly convenient.
Amiga Forever is a fantastic piece of software, limited largely only by its source. If you love the Amiga and haven’t yet bought Amiga Forever, you’re really missing out. Younger gamers probably won’t fancy the occasional hiccoughs and the fiddling to source games. With that said, there are some gems that everybody should play, and Amiga Forever is the best way to do it.