Sometimes you know when a game is going to be good and when it’s going to be bad by looking at the name of the developer and/or publisher. And thanks to the internet, it’s even easier to make a decision from countless YouTube videos, reviews and just general conversation about it. Unfortunately, that wasn’t so much the case back in the 1980s and 90s when the majority didn’t have access to the internet and mostly relied on magazines.
There’s always been bad games, no matter what the system. Sometimes it’s most the games and other times the good outweighs the turds. The Amiga is no exception to this, made worse by the fact there was no license to produce or publish for the computers. All you needed was the ability to understand Deluxe Paint and some basic knowledge of coding.
So with that, let’s look at some games that came to the Amiga which was pure crap.
SPACE STATION: PART ONE
It’s never a good idea to assume you’ll be producing more than one entry in a video game series until you have at least got the first out the door and seeing how well it does in the wild. Now granted, the stakes are different to what contributes as a successful game nowadays to the era of the Amiga. But it’s probably easy to tell that the fact we never saw a part two suggests it did poorly.
So, why am I talking about this game that no one has ever heard of and probably never bought? A game that’s likely still boxed in the hundreds if not couple of thousand somewhere in a warehouse in France. Well, unfortunately I may well be the only person that did buy this game. So what I say about it is totally one hundred percent accurate and in no way is me being angry I wasted money on something that makes you question the meaning of life.
To be honest, it should have been pretty obvious it was going to be bad with the number of red flags it had. Firstly, it wasn’t even boxed. Just a floppy disk in a plastic wallet with a piece of paper for the cover artwork and that’s it. It was also situated at the front of the counter in Electronics Boutique, on a shelf along with other similarly packaged “games”. The price was something insanely dodgy like £2.99. And finally my parents who genuinely knew little about games, especially my mother, was constantly questioning me if I actually wanted it.
Sure enough this is the worst game I think I ever played on the Amiga. And it’s not even by Ocean Software, US Gold or Titus Interactive. It’s by some nobody developer and somehow publisher called Paradox Software. Just look at those visuals!! What the hell is that!? It’s like something designed for the ZX Spectrum only worse. Like, they took a shit game they made for the lesser powerful computers and smashed it against the Amiga computer and then shipped it. It’s puke inducing.
The controls aren’t controllable. They are barely functioning. Like, at all. I don’t care if it’s set in space and you have a jet pack, this is fiction. You can make it control however you want. Physics be damned! But nope. They clearly never even played a game before and just assumed impossible to control is the way people got enjoyment.
The music and sounds. Well, there’s sound. And that’s what you think when you hear the music. It’s sound. The noises are also sound. So it’s basically listening to sound and sound over the top. And it’s worse than the Atari 2600. So that’s impressive.
This is the kind of game that scars kids for life and ask what they did wrong in life to receive such punishment.
STREET FIGHTER II: THE NEW CHALLENGER
I’m absolutely crap at fighting games. Never been able to get good at any without resulting to button mashing and hoping for the best. However I do remember playing Street Fighter II: The New Challenger on the Amiga. I never played any other version so my knowledge of what is a good port was somewhat none existent. And now that I have played other versions, including the arcade original, I can also say I don’t think the developers had any knowledge of how to make a good port. Amiga hardware was old and limited compared to the 16-bit consoles but I’m pretty sure they could have done a much better job that this piece of piece of shit.
It doesn’t play well, it sounds crap and it looks awful. It must have been outsourced to some poor desperate for work team of… oh no. It’s US Gold. That’s all I need to say about this game.
THEME PARK (THE NOT AGA VERSION)
This particular version I of Peter Mollyface’s Theme Park is not the Amiga 1200 version which at least looks like the PC counterpart. I can’t say if plays as well because I haven’t tried it. But it at least looks better. The version I’m talking about is the poor man’s Amiga 500/600 port. Yes, this game runs and looks like the kind of game Peter Mollyface would sell you with a sinister grin on his face while telling you that you can build an exact replica of Disneyland in the game.
It runs horribly, like really poorly optimised which is odd considering the Amiga is where Bullfrog got their start in development of games. The shops all look like they are Poundland versions of what you would actually find in a real life theme park. The staff are probably all ex-criminals too judging by their looks in this game. Note I’m not saying staff that work at theme parks have spent time in prison, nor have they ever broken laws. Though I’m sure some have.
You do get to have some very capitalist meetings though where the fate of your employees wealth comes in the form of how many pancakes are on the plate by the time you make the handshake. Just like real life.
There’s no Midland Bank sponsored intro, though their logo is everywhere in the game. So that rise’s eyebrows about the true intentions behind this game. There’s also no way to ride anything in your park. Though that’s probably for the better.
DENNIS AKA DENNIS THE LITTLE B******
Dennis, also known as Dennis the Menace but in the United Kingdom where that name is taken by an evil chav, is a game that was released on both Amiga 500/600 and the Amiga 1200. And it’s released by Ocean Software so let’s not spend too long on this pile of shit.
It makes absolutely no sense what so ever. Like, literally none. Why are random objects bouncing everywhere? Why do they all hurt you? Why is there like a thousand fish tanks in the old man’s house? Why is he chasing you like a man with ulterior motives than just chucking you out the house? I’m pretty sure he’s not like that in the comics, nor the cartoon series or the movie which is what this licensed from. He’s just angry, not dodgy!
And that was just the first level I was referring to. Outside is like Dennis took drugs and everything we see and do is his acid trip. I mean, there’s a giant flying fish for fork sake! What the hell is going on!?
Oh and to top it off, if you didn’t own the Amiga 1200 then this game is impossible to complete. The final jump at the end is not possible to jump over because they couldn’t be bothered to finish the game so said screw it, make it impossible. Well done Ocean.