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Old 10 December 2013, 20:37   #1
quahappy
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What was the first paid-for commercial Amiga game in the UK?

I always thought it was a cinemaware game like Defender of the Crown but after Googling, I've come up with no results!

So.... as per thread title - what was it?

(Curiosity more than anything)

Last edited by quahappy; 11 December 2013 at 14:15. Reason: Inserted missing word: "title". Note to oneself; read back what's typed!
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Old 10 December 2013, 21:06   #2
Simmo76
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Well, looking at HOL and searching by year of release:-

1985 is the earliest year listed and the results for commercial games are as follows
7 Cities Of Gold
Archon: The Light And The Dark
Delta Patrol
Hacker
Mindshadow
One-On-One (Electronic Arts)
Planetfall
Seven Cities Of Gold

Defender of the Crown is listed as a 1986 release.
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Old 10 December 2013, 21:11   #3
TCD
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I think quahappy means games that 'hit the shelves' in the UK Some (or all) of the 1985 games might have only been released in the US.

Interesting question btw. Not sure if I can contribute any facts, but I'll have a look tomorrow.
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Old 10 December 2013, 21:29   #4
Simmo76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCD View Post
I think quahappy means games that 'hit the shelves' in the UK
Yeah, that was my understanding too. I was just suggesting that looking in HOL (if he hadn't already) - and maybe starting with those games in particular - might be a good starting point.

Seem to remember at least some of the games listed made a UK appearance, (in fact, I think I bought Planetfall back in my Amiga owning days,) although I completely take your point that they may well have been after 1985 in the UK...
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Old 11 December 2013, 01:19   #5
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The german Wikipedia article about Amiga says, that Mindwalker was called the first Amiga game, because it was provided with the first A1000s. I don´t know if that is for U.S. or Europe. But I think doing a research on Mindwalker would be a good idea.
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Old 11 December 2013, 01:28   #6
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ISTR the A1000 wasn't available in the UK until 1986, and Mindwalker was about then. ISTR it was reviewed in ICPUG, which mentioned available software, but I lost all my ICPUG mags years ago and there is no on-line repository.
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Old 11 December 2013, 04:44   #7
Mark Wright
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In terms of commercially distributed (i.e. chain-store shelf-space) and mass marketed (e.g. magazine-advertised/reviewed) Amiga games, the first ones that I can *clearly* recall would include the early ST ports from Psygnosis (Brataccas and Arena from late 1986, for example) and Microdeal (Jupiter Probe and Time Bandit, from early 1987).

Early UK (PAL) adopters of the Amiga either lived off the occasional ST port that was locally published/distributed, or snapped up US (NTSC) imports at inflated prices - mirroring the UK market development of the Atari 8-bit that had gone before it. The UK games came from the most unexpected of sources, with almost all of the major contemporary 8-bit publishers holding out for at least 18 months, backing the ST instead.

For a long time it looked like the Amiga would go the same way as the Atari 8-bit - I should know, I was an 800XL owner at the wrong time and didn't want to back the wrong horse again. That said, I got my first A500 in October 1988 and by then, there was probably something in the region of 300 titles readily available. By fair means or foul :-)

EDIT: Commodore Computing International is the magazine that because Amiga User International in 1988. There are some issues to read here from 1986/87. It was the first UK magazine to really get behind pushing the Amiga - take a look at the November 1986 issue, for example, at the link below:

https://archive.org/search.php?query...rt=-publicdate
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Old 11 December 2013, 21:12   #8
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Thanks for all the responses, guys! Guess I've got you all head-scratching too lol.

TCD is indeed correct; the first commercial paid-for Amiga game to hit retail shops in the UK is what I'm intrigued to know.

I did look at HOL too Simmo76 to start with and as your search results revealed - few games, but not knowing for definite if it was one of them, or could had been another that was first available in UK.

Yep, it was frustrating initially to see ports from the ST as you mention Mark Wright, and none of the Amiga powers utilized but like everything; it was early days for this humble home computer.

Interesting find, Zak! Not even played that one (Mindwalker). It makes you wonder if there were any Amiga magazine articles that reveals facts and figures did print what the first commercial Amiga game was....

In the meantime, I'm still Googling using other search terms - you never know! Of course, if any of you guys come up trumps.....

(Edit: rushed post - real life playing a major intrusion atm with one thing or another!).
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Old 12 December 2013, 04:19   #9
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Here's a UK statistic I can't really back up (though I've read it several times in different places citing Atari UK marketing) but apparently, by late 1987 and after nearly two years of being officially available, the ST in all its various guises had outsold the Amiga by about 10:1. Install-base estimates for both machines in Britain were in the region of 150,000 STs compared to 12,000 or so Amigas.

No wonder the major publishers gave it a wide berth for so long. The Amiga didn't really take off over here until the A500 became affordable in mid 1988, coupled with all of the magazine screenshots that Speccy/C64/Amstrad owners were now drooling over.

But, back to 1986 for a moment.

Surely it would have taken a suicidally brave company to so wantonly fly in the face of such widely-available data by putting out the machine's first UK title? I think not. In the US, Commodore had ties with companies like EA to provide some launch titles, along with its own in-house efforts. There were no such provisions in place over here. Therefore, I am going to place my stake on the first UK Amiga release being a vanity title, published by a company desperate for attention and publicity, happy to forego huge financial reward for its efforts.

Psygnosis, then. Born out of the ashes of Imagine and its infamous vapourgames, Psygnosis fits that bill nicely. Therefore, I reiterate what I said in my earlier post - I'm naming "Brataccas" by Psygnosis as being the first UK Amiga release that it was possible to actually buy, in a proper box, proper duplicated disk and so on. Made for the QL in 1985. Rewritten for the ST in early 86, ported to and released for the Amiga circa mid '86. Of course, it was a terrible game, so the magazines filled their Amiga pages with coverage of US imports instead, until the mid-87 invasion of UK-licensed Euro games (mostly German - Kingsoft, Reline, Rainbow Arts, EAS) piqued their interest. (As an aside, several UK mags were by now reviewing Euro "import" games (presumably acquired due to the high circulation of cracks) that had no UK distributor, leading to page upon page filled with critiques of games you couldn't even buy.)

Anyway, any advance on Brataccas?

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Old 14 December 2013, 00:19   #10
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Interesting investigations and read there Mark. Thanks!

I suppose it's like any home computer/console that's ever been released - when you think about it logically, does anyone ever recall going into WHSmiths or any other games shop and finding the first ever paid-for game for the latest home computer/console at the time? I sure don't. There would had been at least a dozen by this point to attract custom.

In fact, it's like my ZX81 days - a lot of those games were mail order only before they became popular enough to grace the shelves of WHSmiths (which, incidentally, is where I bought 3D Monster Maze lol). First commercial ZX81 game to hit the UK? I don't know that either.

As I mentioned in the first post; more of a curiosity than anything. The Amiga game that can take it's claim to be the first ever paid-for game in the UK - an accolade in itself. These days it's all too easy to know what was the fastest selling game, or games that hardly sold. Statistics are everywhere these days.
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Old 14 December 2013, 02:20   #11
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i believe marble madness was released in 1984... (apparently i'm wrong HOL says 1986

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