Diary of an Amiga fanatic

Category Archives: Amiga Game Reviews

Home Alone - Title screenLet’s face it, you can only play/review this game around Christmas. Playing the game at any other time of the year just doesn’t feel right. So this time I wanted to be sure I review it before Christmas.

Home Alone - Settings trapsThe goal of the game is to set the traps before Harry and Marv enter the house. You can collect the objects by pressing F1 and to place them you press F3 when you see the indicator *here*. Try to place as many traps as you can before it is 9:00pm. If you are done before that you can press N.

Home Alone - I'm Ready!Once Harry and Marv are in the house you must lure them into the traps. They will not always trip the traps. Mostly they will trip them when they are near or chasing Kevin. On top of the screen you will have a tick or more next to Harry and Marv which represents 5 points. Both need 50 points of damage for you to win the game.

Home Alone - The chase

Home Alone - You've won!!!!!I remember when I played it for the first time I was full of excitement. Sadly it soon became clear that setting the traps and have Harry and Marv trip them is it. Sure that was the great part of the movie but the way the game presents it is rather dull. The graphics are not of the best quality to put it mildly. Still I play it once a year around Christmas. Especially after watching Home Alone (only the first two movies count) again.

Below you can see some ratings from various magazines from Hall of Light.

Home Alone reviews – Hall of LightTime to give it a rating. I played it again and every year around Christmas it does give you that nostalgic feeling. Still it is a poorly designed game and it could have been done so much better. I am sure that just like me a lot of people would still play it again after seeing Home Alone. But just once till probably the next year. That return to playing it every year and the fact that I love Home Alone 1+2 does give it some extra credit. Maybe that even counts for most of the rating.

The Bucket Diary gives it a rating of 32%.

I talked about this game before and that I wanted to review this one in the near future. That time has come and I am actually looking forward to it. This game I could never really play since the second disk had a read/write error. It turns out I did manage to play a little bit since I remembered the first part of the game. The object of the game is to get Ben Richards through 4 game zones and a TV studio. It’s show time!

The Running Man – How to jump on that beam?

Zone 1 is called the Ice Rink and contains the stalker SUBZERO which you will have to deal with. When I started with Zone 1 I remember that I did play this part before so the read/writer much occur after this part or during. Right away I remember that awful first part of having to get onto that beam. I kept trying for minutes while defending myself against the dog. While trying I suddenly had Ben running and that’s when it hit me that I most run and jump to get on the beam. If you move the joystick twice quickly in the same direction Ben will start running in that direction. And with my first try running and jumping I got Ben on to the beam. I am still annoyed by the fact I could not move on at the start of the game. When you are on the beam you have to move on to a next one right away and with the limited space it is difficult to get Ben running so you can jump. If this is the case for the whole zone and the ones to come I am going to be really annoyed. After getting on that beam and moving on I easily fall into a hole while having to jump and I start and the beginning of the game. Now I am frustrated.

The Running Man – Bad controls making it impossible to play

I am not even far in to the game and I get stuck at the jump part since the controls are so horrible that I keep falling in to the hole. Sorry but this game is just awful and I decided to stop right there. This game is not worth my time and effort any more. The horrible controls make it impossible to play this game. I am surprised that it is this bad that I don’t want to continue.

Below you can see some ratings from various magazines from Hall of Light.

The Running Man reviews – Hall of Light

Just have a look at those scores. How can you give the game such high ratings? CU Amiga gives it a whopping 79%. As part of there score they give it a 75% for playability. I wonder how many people based their purchased on that review. It’s not just CU Amiga since other magazines also rate it rather high. Can I actually give it a rating since I don’t even want to play after just starting the game? Not really. But the game has a nice intro and the rating you see below is just for that since the game alone would get a rating of 0%. Harsh? Not really since the game is awful and not worth spending a penny on. Especially when you consider I stopped out of frustrating just minutes in to the game.

The Bucket Diary gives it a rating of 5%.

I got some really good memories about this game. I was really determined to finish this game and tried I did. After a lot of tries I finally managed to finish the game. It can be really difficult at times especially in the second part. But the good thing is that you can hide somewhere just to think about your next move. I like games in which you can just stop somewhere thinking about what to do next without getting killed.

Just like Back to the Future II this game was high on my to do list of games to review. The game is divided in 3 scenes with scene 1 having 3 sub parts and scene 2 has 2 sub parts. The game actually follows the story of the movie which (you can read later on) is really helpful. Let’s get 007 started with his mission.

Licence to Kill – Scene 1 part 1

In scene 1 part 1 you have to control the helicopter and make sure you do not get hit and fire back at the buildings. At the end you have to drop off James so scene 1 part 2 can start. This is a fairly easy part building up your confidence for the next part.

Licence to Kill – Scene 1 part 2

For me scene 1 part 2 is the most difficult part of the game. But since you can hide behind objects you have time to think. What I don’t like about this part is the way you use the gun. Aiming it to the correct position will almost every time fire a bullet. If you are aiming it (fire button and the controls) and at the same time you let go of the fire button and move into a direction it will not fire a bullet. But the risk is that you are in the firing line and will get hit. It’s not ruining this part for me but it surely is annoying. This part of the game is my favourite part of the game. I guess the reason for this is that my favourite type of games are games that have this kind of layout and play. Like for example Ikari Warriors, Dogs of War and Rambo 3 to name a few. I always got the feeling the C64 had more of these kind games compared to the Amiga.

You have to get your self through all the baddies and make it to the helicopter in which Felix is waiting for you. You can shoot at the oil barrels which will blow up after 4 hits. This will allow you to take out your components. Of course shooting them directly will only cost you 1 bullet. Along the way you can pick up new magazines to make sure you won’t run out of bullets. If you move forward to shooting thugs they will run away making it easier for you to shoot them. If you play this part for a while you know their routines and it will be easier to get through to the end. Once we reach the runway we have a few thugs to take care of before we can enter the helicopter and go to part 3.

Licence to Kill – Scene 1 part 3

For me it was unclear what I have to do in this part of the game. It is clear that you somehow need to “catch” the plane. That’s why I love games that follow the movie since if you watch the movie you know the plane is being hooked at the tail. And indeed once you hover over the tail of the plane you can see the indicator and when you press the fire button you will hook the tail of the plane. On to scene 2 part 1 007.

License to Kill Scene 2 part 1 (JPG)

License to Kill – Scene 2 part 1

Scene two has two parts but it is a continues play. For this scene I also consulted the movie which just gets you extra points with me. Once you kill one of the divers (while avoiding getting hit by them or by the boats) you get his harpoon which you shoot at the plane so you can tail behind it. And that is exactly what I did and at first I thought I had to do that for a while till I reach a certain point. But time passed and nothing happened till I consulted the movie and saw that 007 actually climbed in the plane.

Licence to Kill – Scene 2 part 2

Back playing the game I noticed I was able to move in on the plane till I could enter it and end this part of the game. Of course I still had to move around the obstacles while trying to enter the plane. Once we accomplish this we are going to the very last scene of the game.

Licence to Kill – Scene 3 dropping 007 on to the truck

First we need to drop 007 on to the truck. This part is not that difficult. Scene 1 part (hooking the plane) is more difficult.

Licence to Kill – Scene 3 destroying other trucks

Once you take control of the truck you have to destroy several other trucks till you reach the last one controlled by Sanchez. Once you destroy that truck you have finished the game. You have to be careful since there are Jeeps driving around firing Stinger missiles at you. It’s not easy to accomplish this last part of the game. I remember that great feeling when I finished the game.

Below you can see some ratings from various magazines from Hall of Light.

Licence to Kill reviews – Hall of Light

License to Kill will always be on my top list of Amiga games. This is really my kind of game and of course it does carry a lot of sentimental baggage. Between the 3 James Bond games on the Amiga; Licence to Kill, Live and let Die and The spy who love me I give the award for best Amiga Bond game to License to Kill. To me it outshines the other two by miles. For me the sentimental value certainly adds some points for the score but even leaving that out it still would score rather good on my list.

The problem with reviews is that you get a lot of different opinions. What is great for one is rather disappointing for someone else. I have seen people loving and hating this game. This game certainly will bring you some Friday or Saturday evening fun. I have kept playing it over the years and I will still do this in the years to come. I would give it a rating of 93% if I add the sentimental feeling I have about it to it. But I will also rate it without.

The Bucket Diary gives it a rating of 87%.

Back to the Future Part II

This game is on my top list of games to review for some time already. I remember it as a game that did not really impress me. But since I could not remember it very well after the first level I might be proven wrong. Also I watched the movies recently so I feel like pretty excited about the game and it might change my opinion about it. I had the first level demo of the game before it was released and I played it a lot. I was frustrated by the controls and also it was a really long level doing the same routine. I really did not like hovering with the skateboard (from now on called hoverboard) and hitting your opponents and picking up stuff. Maybe because I played the demo too much? Time to find out. On to the review Marty!

Back to the Future II – Level 1

With 5 levels to finish we are starting with level 1 having to guide Marty on his hoverboard through the streets. Just as I remembered the controls are not pleasant and after a short while I started to dislike this level. The memories are coming back and having to do the same routine forever (it certainly feels like this) I can’t help thing when will this level end? First time players might still feel good about it for some time longer but soon they also will realize it’s the same routine over and over again. Will level 2 be better? Let’s find out.

Back to the Future II – Level 2

In level 2 we have to get Jennifer out of the house. The controls had me confused and I had to consult the manual. You have to open the doors so she can move around but all the other occupants in the house will start moving. It is a sort of puzzle and sadly not the last one. Level 1 suddenly seems so much better. All in all a really poor level. It surely does not look promising and I am wondering what level 3 will hold.

Back to the Future II – Level 3

In level 3 the objective is to battle your way through Hill Valley and reach the DeLorean. This is a really difficult level since often you have a lot of bad guys coming at you at the same time and due to the limited options you have you won’t be able to get rid of them all. I find this a boring beat em up level. At least it is not that long as level 1 and I got to see Strickland. Actually this seems to be the best level so far which says a lot about the game. On the level 4!

Back to the Future II – Level 4

Level 4 is a puzzle game which makes me think about Terminator 2 which also had such a puzzle game like this. I don’t like these kind of puzzle games. Maybe I just don’t have the patience for it. So far this is the worse level of the game. Time to play the last level.

Back to the Future II – Level 5

Great Scott! Level 5 is just like level 1. The objective is to stop Biff giving the sports almanac to his younger self. Same shit different level. At this stage you can’t help yourself thinking “Why would I still try to finish it?”

For me the game is really disappointing. For me level 3, the simple beat em up game, is the best level of the game. I do enjoy the music but who does not like the theme song of Back to the Future? Unfortunately the music is not going to make up for the rest.

Below you can see some ratings from various magazines from Hall of Light.

Back to the Future II reviews – Hall of Light

Now comes the part of rating the game. After playing it for the review I won’t play it for a long time to come. I won’t class it as a one time play since I surely will play it again at some time in the future. But I am pretty close to classing it as a one time play. I am sure for the people that play it for the first time might give it a few more attempts. Being such a big fan of the movies I wish they made a better game than this. Personally I feel that a game that carries a movie title should adopt itself to the movie. What you see in the movie is what you have to do in the game also. That clearly is not the case with Back to the Future II. That alone will cost you points in my book. On to the verdict.

The Bucket Diary gives it a rating of (great Scott) 20%.

When I was looking for my next game to review and going through some Amiga game sites I spotted Beverly Hills Cop. Instantly I knew I wanted to review this one. It has been a long time since I played this game. I remember that my second disk had a read/write error so I was never able to finish the game. The game is divided in four parts and I remember the first two parts. Every time you watched Beverly Hills Cop you wanted to fire up the game to be Axel.

Beverly Hills Cop

The warehouse

Beverly Hills Cop – Warehouse

You start in a warehouse gunning down baddies. The controls feel a bit clumsy especially when you have to shoot the enemy standing on a crate. The only way to hit them is to move forward in such a way that you also will take some hits. The start of the game is not really exciting and you start wondering if the next part will be any better.


Beverly Hills Cop – Driving

Great driving and shooting! At some moments you might end up in the grass and there is no way you can move the car back on to the road. You will hit post guaranteed. Actually ending up on the side of the road will happen a lot since you speed up and there are a lot of curves in the road resulting in loosing control. Another issue is that if you end up on the side of the road you have 8 seconds to get back on to the road. I had a hard time not hitting other cars and I thought by driving slow I might make it but surprise you have cars hitting you from behind. The whole driving part does not feel right and it annoys me a lot.

Outside the Mansion

Beverly Hills Cop – Outside the Mansion

I never played this part in the past so let’s hope it will get better. When it starts the game for some reason it is in the mouse control mode and not joystick mode control. After consulting the manual I found out that the J key will allow you to switch. It seems Axel has mind of his own since he keeps moving while I desperately try to gun down some baddies before they gun down me. After a few attempt I am getting really frustrated with the game. And yes the graphics are horrible. If this was baseball it would be the end of it since on my score card it has 3 strikes. I don’t have much hope for the last part of the game but I would love to be proven wrong.

Inside the Mansion

Beverly Hills Cop – Inside the Mansion

Right away I get that Doom feeling the way this part is set up. Since the previous part I have the manual on standby and already know that the controls are the joystick but you require the keyboard as well. The Z key will move your sight to the left and the X key will move your sight to the right. This combination does not work very well since when you move in to a room and have to move your sight and there happens to be a bad guy you will already have taken hits before you can fire a single shot. From all four parts of the game this does score the highest but that does not mean it is that good. It starts good but gets boring as you wander through the mansion getting lost and not seeing a lot of baddies.

Well what can I say? They really did do a poor job on this game. I have to say that there was this urge to finish the game. I think I have to contribute this to the movie. You sort if have this feeling it will get better. I really wish they would have made it more like the movie and since they did not they should have made a much better “OK, it is not like the movie but it still kicks ass” game. The only great thing about the game is the music. Everyone knows right away what song it is when you hear those first notes. For me it really is a one time play and not a Friday evening filling game. Friday evening filling game? Yes, that one game that keeps you busy all Friday evening and also any other Friday evening.

Below you can see some ratings from various magazines from Hall of Light.

Beverly Hills Cop reviews – Hall of Light

There is a big difference in the ratings when you see that the lowest is 42% and the highest is 85%. My opinion is that the ratings given by those magazines are far from reality.  So what will be my rating for Beverly Hills Cop? I was never able to play past the first two stages and if I deed I would have realized at the time it was not a very good game. The only part that scores good is the title music. I would love to hear everyone else’s opinion about Beverly Hills Cop.

The Bucket Diary gives it a rating of 10%.

“Hi, I’m Martin Shaw. This is Run The Gauntlet. If you want to see Action Sports…. This is the place to be!” This is how you will be greeted when you are playing Run the Gauntlet.

Run the Gauntlet Title Screen

Lucky enough they also showed Run the Gauntlet on Dutch television. Today you got massive amounts of channels to choose from but at that time we only had three public channels.  They also created a Dutch kids version of Run the Gauntlet so being able to play it on your computer was wonderful. For me it has some great sentimental value. I vividly remember the times when I played this game.

What is Run the Gauntlet about?

The run the gauntlet challenge is divided into three events which are
picked at random from the many instore. Each event consists of three
segments which can be either on land, water or the hill (assult course).
Complete the challenge with the best score and you’ll be awarded the Run
The Gauntlet trophey. The vehicles you will be competing with are fast and

During the game you will be able to control the following vehicles:

Hovercraft – Tricky to handle
Speedboats – Very fast and manoeuvrable
Jet Skis – Fast with very tight turns
Inflatables – Moderate speed
Meteors – Very fast 2 man buggy
Buggys – Fast 1 man buggy
Quads – Fast 4 wheel bikes
Supercats – Amphibious 6 wheel all-terrain vehicle

(Info taken from Lemon Amiga)

Run the Gauntlet - Select Country

It seems I suppressed some issues since after playing it I immediately feel this huge urge to scream about the shitty controls. I happen to start with the Hill which right away reminds me how awful the controls are. But soon you will discover it goes for all the parts of the game. To be honest I really wanted to stop playing the game right away. In fact that is exactly what I did.

Run the Gauntlet - Speedboat

You won’t fill up a Friday or Saturday evening with Run the Gauntlet. When I played it when I was young there surely was a moment it felt good to play, just before playing the game when it was loading up or the first 3 seconds after the start, and that must have been the memory my mind has enhanced and tricked me in thinking this was a lot of fun.

Run the Gauntlet - Jet Ski

Run the Gauntlet - Hovercraft

Below you can see some ratings from various magazines from Hall of Light.

Run the Gauntlet reviews - Hall of Light

It is strange to see a lot of high ratings for the game. I could not agree more with Stuart Campbell from Amiga Power who gave it a rating of 15%. His comments are really funny and at the same time spot on. So what rating would I give it? I am sure some people would have a bit of fun with it at first and unlike Predator it is not all the same since you got different events. But the fact that it disappointed me hugely ways heavily on the score. One thing we can all agree on is the controls which are just terrible. I think I am on par with Stuart Campbell when it comes to the rating.

The Bucket Diary gives it a rating of 15%

Predator Title Screen

Predator is a game I never played back in the day. Seeing the screenshots at Hall Of Light I got intrigued. I admit the graphics are not of great quality but it looks like my kind of game. Walking around in the jungle with a gun and shoot your enemy is the type of game for me. After the helicopter dropped me off I start to move and shoot the enemy. After a short while you notice it is rather all the same when you move further in to to the jungle. But hey this is just Level 1 and the game has a total of 4 levels so let’s get Level 1 done first so we can have a crack at level 2. It turns out Level 1 is really all the same. You come across some enemies and shoot them but that is about it. Sadly Level 2, 3 and 4 are also the same. It is really just walking to the right and shoot enemies in all four levels.

Predator Level 1 - Helicopter Drop

Predator Level 1 - Under Attack

I ended up being really disappointed about the game. This is a one time play for me. There is not much else to say about the game. It starts really promising but soon you realize you are going to have to do the same stuff for four levels.

Predator Level 4

Below you can see some ratings from various magazines from Hall of Light.

Predator reviews - Hall of Light

So what is the rating from The Bucket Diary? It did excite me and made me want to play it just by seeing some images of the game but that is it. Maybe because I really love the film I thought I might actually be able to do exactly that what I saw in the film. But besides the name and that you are shooting in a jungle the game has nothing in common with the film. Let me know what you think about the game and if you agree/disagree with the rating.

The Bucket Diary gives it a rating of 8%.

Sometimes you remember a game from the past being excellent but once you played it years later it kind of disappoints you. ThunderCats, at least for me, is the opposite. I never played it much when I was young. I usually played it a short while when I watched the cartoon on the television. But all together it was not that much. The weird thing is that with ThunderCats I started to love it more when time passed by. I can play it for a whole afternoon and not get bored one second of it.

ThunderCats title screen

ThunderCats - Jumping water

ThunderCats - Running away?

(Pictures are taken from Hall Of Light)

I like the title music a lot. That kind of tune that sticks in your mind. Something else that also sticks is the sound when you use the sword. Currently I am playing it on my A1SE with RunInUAE without a joystick but with the keyboard. Soon I will be playing it on my A500/A1200 with a real joystick which is going to make it even more fun.

Playing ThunderCats August 2001 (1)

Playing ThunderCats August 2001 (2)

I am a retro game fan and having to admit that today’s games are visually stunning they don’t get me as ecstatic as the old games. Of course we wanted better graphics back in the day but also the playability of those current games. It seems we lost the playability. At least in my book. Take for example games like Ikari Warriors, Dogs Of War and Rambo III. Games to keep you busy and give you a lot of fun on a rainy day. Do you notice the character in the screenshot of Ikari Warriors looks more like John Rambo than the character in the screenshot of Rambo III? Both Ikari Warriors and Dogs Of War are also great when playing with two people.

Ikari Warriors

Dogs Of war

Rambo III

(Pictures are taken from Hall Of Light)

Enough about existing games. How about games you would have loved seeing on the Amiga but never existed? For me this means films turned into a game for the Amiga. If you ask me at this very moment which films I would love to see turn in to a game for the Amiga I would have to say..

First Blood

First Blood

War Games

War Games

Remember I talked in the beginning about me being a great fan of retro games and not the modern type games? Well I talked about that for a reason of course. If I would turn those two films into a game I would do it “retro game” style. No modern style version of it but the way it would have been if it was made in the Eighties or early Nineties. How’s that for a concept? I would love to start on this myself. My problem with game design is that I am no graphics artist and even my drawing of a stick men looks terrible. So if I would try this I would have to team up with others to get this project started. Maybe there are others out there with the same ideas on this and it actually might happen in the future? Who knows.

Thursday afternoon around 3:00pm and enjoying a nice cold beer outside when the temperature is just a bit above the 35 degrees. This is a time when fast drinking is advised since this heat will make that cold beer a warm beer in just a matter of minutes so to speak. Good thing there is a bit of a breeze otherwise this heat is just killing you. Now would be a good time to compile my top 10 list of old school Amiga games. If you read my blog before you know I could never make a permanent top 10 list. It is more of a feeling at that moment when making such a list. Chances are I would make a few changes within a week anyway. Mostly I would be adding “forgotten” games or move a game somewhat up or down the list. If I would have to make the list right now it would look like the one below.

1 – Kick Off 2

2 – Shadow of the Beast

3 – License to Kill

4 – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Adventure Game)

5 – Run the Gauntlet

6 – Hybris

7 – Thundercats

8 – Ikari Warriors

9 – Dogs of War

10 – Pirates

Remember this is just a snapshot of my findings at this very moment. A lot of games I surely must have forgotten which will come to me at a later stage which will influence my top 10 list. Like I said before my top 10 list (or more) is never permanent.

Kick Off 2 is number one because I played this game the most. No game got played more on my Amiga’s. I did play the first version for a bit but when version 2 came out I jumped on it and never looked back. I never really played modern soccer games but I can tell you that none of them could give me the feeling that Kick Off 2 did. Anyone remember when the game just got stuck and nothing happened anymore no matter how long you waited? If you did a substitute the game would come back to life again.

Shadow of the Beast is just one of those games you showed everyone to impress them with the capabilities of the Amiga. The music, the graphics…. The first one is still the best one of all three versions. Remember you had to press and hold the left mouse button and joystick button (cracked version) after the intro for the trainer?

From all 3 versions of James Bond games released on the Amiga License to Kill was by far the best one. What I liked about it is that it followed the movie story a bit. That came in handy when I did not know what you do after I shot the harpoon into the back of the airplane. I was stuck behind it thinking I had to do this for a while to get to the next level. After watching the movie I saw he got into the airplane. After figuring out how to get closer to the airplane I indeed got into the airplane and to the next level. This is a game I really wanted to finish and did. Not many games gave me that urge of wanting to finish it as badly as this one.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Adventure Game) is one of those games you give up on a thousand times and also try it again a thousand times. A friend of mine had the PC version and together we tried to figure out the clues and get further in the game. After giving up once again you watched the movie (I remember always around Christmas) and you gave it another try. The best adventure game on the Amiga, period.

Run the Gauntlet was a game I played a lot mainly because I was also watching the event on television. Soon they also had a Dutch version of Run the Gauntlet which made we want to play the game even more. I have some really fond memories of playing this game.

Hybris was a stunning looking game for a 1987’s game. This one I also played a lot and was really addictive. It is hard to explain having Thundercats up there but for some reason this game grew on me. I played it not so long ago to see if I was not mistaken and I started to even love it more. When I played it first it did not do much to me but this is one of those games you just start to love more and more over time. I am also really fond of Ikari Warriors. My fondest memories are the two player mode. Dogs of War is also one of those games that is in everyone’s top 10 list. To end the list I have Pirates. A game I seem to play a lot during the winter season. I have some really fond memories of snow outside and having hot coco in front of the Amiga playing Pirates.

I am really a sentimental geezer. 🙂