The Amiga computer was a powerful machine back in its heyday that beat IBM PC's back then when it came to gaming, and quite a few other things such as creating music.
Up until now you had to rely on emulators running on the local machine to play Amiga games, demos and software on a PC.
Not only that, you also had to get your hands on so-called Kickstarter Roms, a prime requirement to use the emulator at all.
All of this changes with the Internet Archive's Amiga Software Library project. Basically, what it allows you to do is play Amiga games and other content straight in your web browser.
Update: Archive.org has taken the collection down. Reason given was that it was just a beta testing period.
No more fiddling around with emulator settings, finding Kickstarter Roms or Amiga discs: everything is just a click away from execution.
The Amiga archive works similar to other archives Archive.org hosts on its site. We talked about the Console Living Room project on the site for instance, which gives you access to classic arcade and console games -- thing Sega Mega Drive or Nintendo Entertainment System -- in your browser.
The Amiga software library on the Internet Archive holds 10,355 titles at the time of writing which includes mostly games and demos. While that covers a wide range of Amiga software, it is not a complete collection at this point in time.
You may sort the initial listing in various ways, by title or creator for instance, click on one of the letters at the top to filter games by their starting letter, or use the search to find a game of interest.
While you will find many popular games listed, some like the excellent Moonstone or games by the Bitmap Brothers or Microprose are not listed.
To play a game you simply click on its title. This opens the emulation interface with a big play button in the middle. Click on that button and wait for the site to retrieve information and start the emulator.
This may take a while, and one of the negative things is currently that you don't get any feedback during the process. There is no loading indicator, and since the loading takes a while, some users may even go back or close the site completely in frustration. This is especially the case for games that are clearly not working at the time.
New stuff is added on a daily basis currently however so there is a chance that games that are not available yet will become available at a later point in time.
Another thing that you may have difficulties with is that there are not any instructions on how to control games. While some work fine with the mouse, like the Lemmings game on the screenshot above, others cannot be played with the mouse.
Keyboard controls are provided. You move the cursor using the arrow keys on the keyboard, and fire with the left Ctrl-key. Enter is also used in menus and such.
I had no chance to test the use of a joypad connected to the PC but it is likely that this will work fine as well. Keyboard emulation is used when no joystick is detected by the emulator.
The Amiga collection on Archive.org holds demo and public domain content for the most part currently. There is a good number of games available as well, but the bulk of the collection is made up of that other stuff.
If you like demo scene releases, you will find plenty there including complete or nearly complete disk mag compilations.
The Amiga archive is a work in progress though with content regularly added to the collection. Good place to relive childhood memories or check out what the Amiga was all about.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.