Amiga games

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Amiga games are computer games compatible with the Commodore Amiga.

The Amiga was an important platform for games in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Of all the 16-bit home computers, it was the one to gain the greatest success as a games machine due to its graphic and sound subsystems, which were widely considered to be far ahead of their time. A game made for the Amiga platform generally had much better sound and graphics than the same game running on an IBM PC, and it was also a more powerful machine than its nearest rival, the Atari ST.[citation needed]

Contents

History

From the Amiga's introduction in late 1985, through to the early 1990s, Amiga games were developed in parallel with the Atari ST as both machines utilized the Motorola 68000 CPU. The Atari ST was, by default the industry's primary focus for 16-bit games development because it initially had a larger user base than the Amiga. Additionally, developers found it easier to develop for, and it was easier to port from ST to Amiga than the other way. This was due in part to the ST's minimalist hardware design, which consisted of the 68000 CPU which controlled a bitmapped framebuffer chip called Shifter. The ST's graphics hardware was similar to previous computers, such as the Apple II or ZX Spectrum, which made the transition to 16-bit easier. In contrast, the Amiga uses 2 chips to form its graphics hardware, making it a more complex architecture than previous generation of computers. This made programming the Amiga a harder task in comparison to the conventional design of the ST.[citation needed]

A major proportion of games developed from 1985 to 1988 were written specifically for ST, then converted to the Amiga. As a result, many Amiga games of this period were, in most cases, identical to the ST version. These games were usually called "straight ports" and did not utilize Amiga specific features, such as the blitter and hardware sprites (useful for animations), copper (useful for raster effects) and superior color capabilities (the Amiga has larger color palette and can display more colors at the same time). Additionally, games that did not make use of the Amiga's hardware often ran slower on the Amiga because the ST's CPU was clocked slightly higher at 8 MHz versus the Amiga's 7.09 MHz. This went against the Amiga's design philosophy of using hardware acceleration to reduce the load on the CPU. The only major difference in these games were apparent in audio effects and in-game music. The Amiga used digitally sampled audio for realistic sound and music, while ST used a Programmable Sound Generator, which were used in older 8-bit computers.

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