The Average Gamer

The Chaos Engine Is Back

The Chaos Engine - Classic Mode TreesWay, way, way back when the Commodore Amiga was ruling the roost as the home computer to own in the 1990s, The Bitmap Brothers were the most famous developers in the industry. The games they released between 1987 – 1996 are some of the finest Amiga/Atari ST games ever made. Games like Xenon, Speedball, Xenon II: Megablast, Cadaver, Gods and The Chaos Engine. I spent up umpteen hours of childhood playing every single one of them. Their games were seen on TV (Xenon was on kids show Get Fresh) and featured music from pop stars like Bomb The Bass and Betty Boo. The Bitamps were rock star developers.

But when the Amiga died in the late 1990s with the onslaught of the new consoles (PlayStation, Saturn and N64) so did the Bitmaps and they faded into history.

Now, thanks to Abstraction Games and Mastertronic you can play the best Bitmap game of all. 2-player, top-down steampunk Victorian-era run and gun shooter The Chaos Engine is coming to PC, Mac and Linux this month. The brilliant Amiga original along with an enhanced version, which looks a bit nicer and has Steam integration (i.e. achievements) are both included.

The developers have also released a hands-on video showing off a few levels and the awesome music from this new version.

When the game was originally released in 1993, the in-game dynamic soundtrack was a big thing. The pace of the music adapted itself to reflect the on-screen action. Stand there and do nothing and the music was all kinda chilled out; rampage around shooting everything and it became all punchy and high-tempo. I loved it, but then the composer Richard Joseph is one of my favourite videogame musicians.

The Chaos Engine is Amiga gaming at its finest. Beautiful graphics and sound combined with tough, competitive 2-player top-down shooter gameplay. It’s best played with a mate as although the computer AI is good, it’s just not as satisfying as mopping up all the cash from under your mate’s nose.

The Chaos Engine will be released on the 29th August 2013 for PC, Mac and Linux.