The Amiga computer, massive in the 1980s and 1990s, is now little more than a footnote in computing history. But what about all its games?
Some 1,755 games were released during the platform’s heyday of 1985–1995. Rather than being lost to time, enterprising Amiga fans have kept them alive. Amiga-compatible operating systems, entirely new hardware, and emulators are all available. Indeed, some Amiga games have been revived and re-released for mobile devices!
Mobile gaming is massive, but sometimes you might want to steer away from the big-hitting franchise titles and find something low-key. Alternatively, you might be an emulation nut who loves playing old games on modern hardware.
Here we look at 10 of the best Amiga games that you can run on Android, available from the Google Play Store. These titles have either been remastered, cloned, or repackaged and bundled with an emulator to run on Android.
Updated and Remastered
We’ll start with this collection of top updated and remastered titles. These games have either continued since the 1990s, or have been polished up with HD graphics and sound and repackaged for Android.
1. Alien Breed ($2)
Originally released by Team 17 in 1990, Alien Breed had two broad eras of release. The first ran from 1991 to 1996, during which six versions were released. The second spans 2009–2010, where four titles were released.
While latterly 3D/FPS titles, Alien Breed initially offered top-down Gauntlet-style gameplay, inspired in part by the Alien movies. Now on Android, the top-down gameplay has been revived. You’ll find both a classic 16-bit mode, and a polished “enhanced mode” with improved graphics. This version includes six original levels, four new levels, and twelve enhanced mode levels, which is a good deal for the price!
2. R-Type ($2)
Although not an Amiga exclusive — it was originally an arcade game — R-Type is also available for Android devices, with support for MOGA controllers. It’s arguable that the Amiga version of R-Type was the best, and the graphics in this version are certainly evocative of that 1988 port.
R-Type is a side-scrolling shooter in which you pilot the Arrowhead craft. Your mission is to destroy the Bydo Empire. Each level ends with a boss, which you can defeat through skill, timing, and practice. Weaponry ranges from the standard low-power cannon to a wave cannon. You’ll also get a choice of additional guns controlled by a Force, which attaches these secondary guns to the front, side, or back of the Arrowhead.
The Android version features two difficulty levels and a total of eight bosses to overcome. Don’t miss one of the most creative shoot ’em ups of all time! The sequel, R-Type II, is also available for $2.
3. Another World ($4)
One of the most striking Amiga games of them all, Another World (known as Out of This World in the U.S.) has been released with updated HD graphics. Happily, you can easily switch back to “16-bit mode” to enjoy the game as it was originally intended. Another World puts you in control of physics researcher Lester Knight Chaykin, who find himself cast into an alien world. Can he escape?
Compatible with Zeemote joysticks and offering three difficulty modes (including an option easier than the original, which makes a huge difference), Another World also has on-screen controls and remastered audio.
Recalling the original in a way that the other games here do not, this version of Another World is unmissable.
4. Dizzy Prince of the Yolkfolk ($2)
If egg-shaped characters are your thing, then you may already be aware of Dizzy, “the most fantastic eggventurer of all time.” Capable of running, rolling and somersaulting, Dizzy occupies the kingdom of Keldor, where he must undergo a quest to rescue his girlfriend, Daisy.
This is a side-scrolling arcade adventure, with challenges to complete before successfully reaching Daisy. During the game, you’ll encounter underground caves, treetops, and even Saint Peter, before the Pearly Gates!
Quaint and charming, this HD remake of the Amiga title has been warmly received by fans of the original.
5. Worms 4 ($5)
Finishing this section is Worms, the game first released on the Amiga in 1995. Currently up to Worms 4, previous Android releases include Worms 2: Armageddon and Worms 3. Released by Team 17 Digital Limited, these games have maintained the quality of gameplay while expanding the audience for Pythonesque, team-based cartoon war. The developers have used some of the industry’s top comedy writers throughout the Worms series to get the humor exactly right.
Worms 4 features classic Worms play, Wi-Fi and hotseat multiplayer action, plus various game modes and achievements. It (and the rest of the Worms series) is great fun, and suitable for all ages.
Cinemaware Classics on Google Play
Video games that resemble movies are not a recent invention. Back in the early days of the computer game industry, aspirations towards a cinematic level of presentation were common. One proponent of this type of game was Cinemaware. Thus, many of its games were produced with a movie feel, combining action sequences with strategy.
Three of these are currently available on Android. They’re presented as authentic, emulated experiences with new mobile controls, rather than full-blown updates.
6. Rocket Ranger ($2)
Of the three movie-style games from Cinemaware (which also includes It Came from the Desert and The King of Chicago), it is this B-movie superhero adventure that remains memorable for many gamers. It’s styled after a Saturday morning adventure serial, and predates Disney’s 1991 movie The Rocketeer by three years. Rocket Ranger pits you as a lone hero against an ever-expanding Nazi empire.
Your aim is to prevent the invasion of the U.S. Save the nation via air combat (versus enemy fighters, zeppelins, and anti-aircraft guns), ground assault, and boxing. Ultimately, you must head to the moon and destroy the Nazi mines there, halting their galactic spread.
Certainly, this is a game that fans remember fondly. The German version of the game is also available, in which invading aliens supplant marauding Nazis.
7. Defender of the Crown ($2)
Another genre that Cinemaware was notable for focusing on was historical combat. Although these games maintained the same style of graphics as the movie-esque releases, gameplay was a little more fluid and strategy-focused.
Such an example is Defender of the Crown, a game whose description opens with “The Age of Chivalry! A time of lusty wenches and black hearted villains…” Victory is assured by leading Saxon knights against the invading Normans, with joust tournaments, damsel rescue, and castle siege missions forming the action.
While the control mechanism for this game isn’t as successful as for Rocket Ranger, it remains a fun experience.
8. Wings! ($2)
1990’s Wings! plunges the player into a World War I air campaign against German targets across occupied Europe. Wings! features an amazing 240 original levels, dropping you into epic dogfights, strafing runs, and bombing missions.
This is another emulated game with updated controls. If you prefer a more polished presentation, try the fully remastered HD version. You can see it in action below.
As with other Cinemaware titles, Wings! is fondly remembered by those who spent hours building their pilot careers with the aim of reaching the Ace standard. In the days without ejector seats, the life expectancy of air combat pilots was low (new recruits were known as “the 20-minuters”) so survival in this game is all-important. Fail to survive a mission (crash landings are possible) and it’s time to start again.
Amiga Clones for Android
Developers have cloned several games popular in the 1980s and 1990s for the Android platform.
9. Alite (Free)
Over the years there have been many Elite clones, trying to evoke the spirit of David Braben and Ian Bell’s 1984 original. Most recently, we’ve seen the Elite: Dangerous game, a successful crowdfunded sequel. But back in 1991, Frontier: Elite II did the same job, bringing Elite to a new generation of hardware.
Unlike the original, Frontier had no plot or scripted missions (until the sequel, First Encounters), but other than this the game was a faithful update of the original. It was also one of the first games to use procedurally generated star systems, a technique used in the recent No Man’s Sky.
Alite is a fan-built version of Frontier, with trading and space combat thrown in alongside bounty missions. The aim is to make as much money as possible, buy bigger ships, and become the elite!
10. Giana Sisters
Itself a cheeky rip-off of the Super Mario Brothers games (also available on Android), the original Great Giana Sisters is a rarity, thanks to legal action from console manufacturers. So popular was this cultural insurrection, however, that the game has not one, but two versions available for Android.
First up is Giana Byte, a faithful 8-bit style recreation (the Amiga version didn’t take full advantage of the platform’s graphical power) which is available free in the Play Store. As with the original, this is a run-and-jump platformer, with 30 all-new levels. It finishes with a spider boss, and holds many hazards along the way.
Joining this is the polished Giana Sisters for $1, with improved HD graphics and controls. It also revises the original soundtrack and 32 levels based on the originals. Ready some retro platforming fun?
Which Amiga Games Are Your Favorites?
You can play these ten Amiga classic games on your Android device without an emulator — though there are many Amiga games you should play with an emulator, too! Some are free, some are a few dollars, but they’re all faithful recreations, updates, or ports. Experience your favorite classics on-the-go, or try out some of gaming’s past gems for the first time.
But have we missed one? Do you have a favorite Amiga game you play on your Android phone or tablet? Perhaps another 16-bit era title takes up all your mobile gaming time? Tell us about it in the comments.