I’ve had a strange relationship with my Amiga CD32. It was the first retro console I owned, when I was much younger (and my Amiga 2000HD and massive collection of Amiga magazines were my constant companions) the news of the CD32 stirred me passionately.
An Amiga console!?
Finally Commodore were going to show a world of Nintendo and Sega fan-boys what I already knew; that Amiga rocked hard. But it wasn’t to be, and for a range of reasons Commodore – and by extension the CD32 – flopped, floundered and then died. The CD32 has been up till now largely a talking point of my collection rather than something I actively used. People know about the NES and the Master System, but they can’t place the CD32 and usually have a few questions about its origins. In terms of playing it though, for the most part it sits gathering dust. It’s not that I don’t love Amiga games, because I do! It’s that the CD32 had a fairly small library of releases, an even smaller subset of which I actually own. So the machine just didn’t get a lot of love. I wanted to play all the classic Amiga games of my youth on my 1200HD or 500, but they both have shoddy disk drives and I can’t seem to get the motivation up to dabble in the whole flash card/WHD loader gig that many have told me is the answer.
Then I discovered – completely by accident – that some very clever folk made some incredible CD compilations of Amiga games created specifically to launch from the CD32 itself. The compilations, typically referred to as ‘888’ or ‘444’ etc for what I can only guess is the total amount of files on the CD, are more than just a collection of games. They are run by a menu at the start of the CD that contains details and
screenshots of the games, the scores they received in magazines of the era, and even collections of music and demos from the Amiga scene.
In short, these discs are pure unadulterated gold. The CDs do take a while to load and the menu system is a touch sluggish, but these are tiny prices to pay for the chance to play hundreds and hundreds of your most cherished Amiga games in one place. I’ve hit up Fire & Ice, Body Blows, Aunt Arctic’s Adventure and many more besides. My CD32 has gone from a loved but unused display piece to being permanently hooked up to my TV. So many games to play, so may Amiga memories to experience. Do yourself a favor, if you have a CD32 then hunt the .iso images down online, burn them off to disc and behold the greatness that was (and still is) Amiga gaming.