Discuss your latest vintage Amiga finds!
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Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:21 pm

As is my nature, I'm always on the hunt for games created pre-1992 and typically (but not always) those aimed at the North American Amiga market as it guarantees a seamless NTSC experience. In the past few weeks many of the games that have intrigued me are oddly of a war-themed nature. I'm not a huge war gamer in general, but these games all sounded really good.

The first one was Silent Service by Sid Meier, which I'm still in the middle of learning and playing. So far I like it very much.

But my latest acquisition is called Empire. It was originally created as a computer game in 1977 in FORTRAN for Caltech's computers (originally conceived as a game as early as 1971!) by the very talented and renowned programmer named Walter Bright.

Empire was the grandaddy of turn-based war games and its game play is considered to have inspired later games like Civilization.

Originally the game was a text-based experience. By the time it was ported to the Amiga in 1987 it was given a fully realized mouse-driven graphical user experience with pull-down menus and huge maps. It makes me wonder if Empire was the first game to implement a "fog of war" concept.

In any case I've only just barely touched the surface of this very innovative and oft-imitated game and plan to give it the time it deserves later this year.

My copy is in pristine condition, has everything it came with back in 1987, and works! I've installed it to the hard drive (no copy protection). I've contacted Mr. Bright via email to see if he'll grant me permission to host an ADF of the original game here on Amiga Love.
Box cover of Empire. Art by the renowned Star Wars (among many other franchises) artist Dave Dorman.
Empire for Amiga fits on a single disk. There is no copy protection and it can be installed to a hard drive.
empire_keyboard commands.jpg
Inside the box is also a reference card for keyboard commands. Don't worry, though - the Amiga provides a lot of functionality via pull-down menus.
Empire's manual looks pretty intimidating at first. The truth is the first half is mostly about just setting up the game and getting started, so it's not a scary as it looks.
Better take this warning seriously and think twice before playing!
Intro graphics for Empire, based on the box cover art.
You first need to set your initial "production" meaning forces for land, air or water that your cities will crank out. You can always change what a city produces later and each thing (aircraft, battleship, etc.) has a certain time-based cost.
The map of cities you need to conquer is incredibly massive. Note the horizontal and vertical scrollbars. You can only see a small portion of it and this is complicated with a "fog of war" concept.
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Worksop/ UK

by ptyerman posted Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:18 pm

I spent many hours even days playing this on my A500 back around 1989/90, it was very addictive. And you can really see where the Civilization games gained their inspiration from, Empire truly was a game before its time.
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Zippy Zapp

by Zippy Zapp posted Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:29 am

Empire was one of my favorite games. Actually there were 2 games named Empire that I liked a lot in those days. One was this one and the other was a BBS game written as a Module for Color64 BBS called Empire and later an expanded version called Colony. I still have them with my BBS system, circa 1989 that we ran for a number of years. Great fun.

As for Empire, Wargame of the Century I have the C64 version now not the Amiga as I didn't get my first Amiga until 1988 which I sold in 1988 and bought again in 1990 when my friends finally were all upgrading their C64s... (yeah I'm a nut)

The Amiga version is superior but both are still fun. Good stuff.
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Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:44 am

Well you can get the Amiga version now - clean as a whistle. I posted the downloadable ADF to the Game ReviewI posted last night, and the current license holder granted me the kind permission to do so here. I think AmigaLove.com is the first and only place to have been given this permission for the Amiga version anywhere online, which is just beyond awesome. Very cool dude indeed - Mark Kinkead (aka Mok)!
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Zippy Zapp

by Zippy Zapp posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:35 am

That's awesome! Thanks for doing that. My house has been in a shambles lately trying to organize my Commodore/Amiga/Mac and DOS systems. What a pain. I plan on getting my Amiga's setup again soon so I can play this and other games I have in the queue.
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by McTrinsic posted Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:54 pm

I also played this a lot. It was one of the first computer games I'd play against another human. The very first was M.U.L.E., though.
Empire was such a challenge that it kept a friend of mine and me from other games to play 'together'.

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