7 Great shoot ’em up games for the Amiga 500

The Commodore Amiga had some great shoot ’em up games and made it very popular in the gaming community during the 80’s. The Commodore Amiga 500, is the first low-end Commodore Amiga 16/32-bit multimedia home/personal computer. It was announced at the winter Consumer Electronics Show in January 1987 and competed directly against the Atari 520ST. Here are 7 great shoot ’em up games for the Commodore Amiga 500 during the 80’s.

Wings of Fury is an action game with some minor simulation aspects, in which the player assumes role of pilot of an American F6F Hellcat plane aboard the USS Wasp in the Pacific during World War II. The game is a horizontally scrolling shooter set over a number of World War II missions. The player starts each mission by taking off from an aircraft carrier, which he/she has to protect from attacks by Japanese planes. The goal is to defeat the Japanese by destroying enemy bunkers, turrets and barracks on a series of islands and killing enemy soldiers either with bombs or by machine gun. The weapons to complete these objectives, besides machine guns, are a limited number of bombs, rockets and torpedoes.

Hybris is a vertically scrolling shoot ’em up video game for the Amiga home computer developed by Cope-Com. Players choose a player character commander from either Lovett or Maverick and begin play, controlling a spaceship which can be moved up and down the screen, as well as left and right. Airborne alien enemies and groundbased defensive weapons appear as the game scrolls upwards constantly, these can be destroyed by the player’s weapon fire. More advanced weapons can be collected in the form of power ups.

Battle Squadron is a vertically scrolling shooter for the Amiga. Battle Squadron supports both mouse- and joystick-controlled styles of play. Players play the game from the perspective of elite fighter pilots of the Earth Defense Fleet, known as the Battle Squadron sent to rescue two human agents, Commanders Berry D. Mayers and Lori Bergin, from the clutches of the ruthless alien empire, known as the Barrax. The player’s fighters carry unlimited projectile weaponry and a finite number of Nova Smart Bombs. Players acquire weapons by shooting down Barraxian Artillery Gunships which carry weapon Power-Up icons. The game was on the most popular Amiga games during the 80’s and a new remastered edition was launched for AmigaOS 4.

Silkworm was released at a time where side-scrolling shooting games were among the most popular genres. Silkworm had interesting graphics and relatively fast-paced gameplay. The player can take control of a Jeep mounted with a machine gun or a Helicopter mounted with forward and downward firing guns. Two players can work simultaneously and cooperatively against enemies, with one playing as the Jeep and one as the Helicopter. Silkworm featured a fairly wide variety of enemies, some of which had specific weaknesses, such as the armoured AA guns that could only be harmed when their shields were down to fire. Most famously, there was the “Goose” helicopter – a giant, heavily armoured “mini-boss” helicopter that was composed of several smaller vehicles that connected together.

R-Type is set in the middle of 22nd century, and the player flies a futuristic fighter craft called the R-9a “Arrowhead” with a mission to destroy the evil Bydo Empire. The game is composed of several sequential levels, with a boss enemy at the end of each. The player controls a small spacecraft and must navigate terrain and fight enemies using the various ship weapons. The player’s spacecraft has, by default, a weak but rapid-firing main gun; and a more powerful gun called a wave cannon, which requires the player to hold their fire to build up power for the cannon. When released, this fires a concentrated bolt of energy which can do more damage to larger enemies, and can pass through entire waves of weaker ‘single hit’ enemies.

Cabal offerd one player and two-player modes of gameplay. Each player assumes the role of an unnamed commando trying to destroy several enemy military bases. There are 5 stages with 4 screens each. The player starts with a stock of three lives and uses a gun with limitless ammunition and a fixed number of grenades to fend off enemy troops and attack the base. The commando is seen from behind and starts behind a protective wall which can be damaged and shattered by enemy fire. To stay alive, the player needs to avoid enemy bullets by running left or right, hiding behind cover, or using a dodge-roll. An enemy gauge at the bottom of the screen depletes as foes are destroyed and certain structures are brought down. Cabal was somewhat innovative in that it featured a 3D perspective in which the player character was situated in the foreground with an over-the-shoulder camera view, similar to modern third-person shooters.

Xenon is a 1988 vertical scrolling shooter computer game, developed by The Bitmap Brothers. The player assumes the role of Darrian, a future space pilot called into action by a mayday report from his superior on a nebula space station. As of late, the colonies of mankind have been under attack by mysterious and violent aliens called the Xenites and it is finally time for Darrian to engage them. The game’s story was only revealed in the game’s instruction book. Unlike most scrolling shooters, the player can move in any direction instead of straight up. The player craft has two modes, a flying plane and a ground tank. The transition between crafts can be initiated at almost any time during play (except during the mid- and end-of-level boss sections, as well as certain levels where a certain mode is forced), and the mode chosen depends on the nature of the threat the player faces. Destroying some enemies released power-ups the player could catch to enhance their ship.

news source: Wikipedia / image source: GenerationAmiga

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