Retro Gaming: Commodore Amiga CD32

When the Commodore Amiga CD32 was released in 1993, I only gave it a brief glance and what I saw at the time didn’t  really impressive me. It seemed too little to late for Commodore, considering that the next batch of next gen consoles was just around the corner. In addition, the CD32 software library just wasn’t that inspiring too. Most were almost straight ports of existing Amiga 1200 games transferred to to CD or shovelware ports containing the odd FMV intro sequence.  It’s also around this time that early PC hits such as Doom and X-Wing were turning heads and luring gamers into the world of IBM clones.

The CD32 console is based around the Amiga 1200 Advanced Graphic Architecture (AGA) chipset & Motorolla 68EC020 CPU offering similar specifications to the A1200 home computer albeit new console casing and a CD-Rom drive instead of floppy disk drive.  Further expansion modules, like the expensive SX-1, could be used transform the console into a fully functional Amiga computer including inputs for a keyboard, floppy disk and hard disk drives. These modules are highly sought after now and can often fetch a premium on eBay.

CD32 boot screen.

The CD32 controller isn’t the best I’ve used either, it’s clunky and angular and not the most comfortable to hold for long periods. Games such as Cannon Fodder or Lemmings, original mouse based, are quite difficult to use with this controller (or is it just me 🙂 ) but thankfully the CD32 input ports  support standard Amiga mice.

It wasn’t until a few years ago, I found one virtually being given away at a boot sale with a stack of  games. Sadly, it’s been boxed and gathering dust ever since, but after picking up a few more titles on Friday, I thought I’d take a look at it again.

Armed with a handful of CD’s and a tube of toothpaste (great for cleaning old CD game titles) I spent the afternoon with the CD32 and one thing became clear…it’s actually rather good! Forgetting for an instance that at the time of it’s release the CD32 offered nothing new, a large proportion of the games are some of the finest Amiga ports ever released and those that had been enhanced to take advantage of the CD medium and AGA palette could be considered as the ultimate Amiga edition?

I’ll be posting more about some of these cracking titles over the next week or so. Until then, Rise of the Robots anyone…no?


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