Something to look forward to: For many people, this writer included, the Commodore Amiga home computers of the late eighties and early nineties were a huge factor in their love of games and tech. Now, like many retro machines of old, it’s making a comeback in mini form: THEA500 Mini.
As we explain in The Commodore Story: Gone but not forgotten, the company introduced its first machine to carry the name, the Amiga 1000, on July 23, 1985. But most people familiar with the computers owned an Amiga 500. That model was released in January 1987 and, thanks to its 16/32-bit CPU, 512Kb of RAM, and amazing graphics and sound—for the time—went on to become the best-selling Amiga.
As the name suggests, Retro Games’ THEA500 Mini is based on the Amiga 500. It will feature 25 built-in games, twelve of which have been confirmed: Alien Breed 3D, Another World, ATR: All Terrain Racing, Battle Chess, Cadaver, Kick Off 2, Pinball Dreams, Simon The Sorcerer, Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe, The Chaos Engine, Worms: The Director’s Cut, and Zool: Ninja Of The ‘’Nth’’ Dimension.
It’s great to see Chaos Engine, Another World, and Speedball 2 in there. Hopefully, North & South, Sensible World of Soccer, and Syndicate will be among the remaining 13 unannounced titles. The Secret of Monkey Island would also be a welcome addition, if Retro Games can secure the rights.
Even if the console is missing some of your favorite Amiga classics, users can load their own games via USB, and the console has full WHDLoad support, allowing you to install Amiga games, which originally came on several 3.5-inch floppy disks, onto a hard drive.
Also read: The Commodore Story: Gone But Not Forgotten
Elsewhere, buyers get an original-style two-button mouse along with a newly engineered 8-button precision gamepad. The keyboard itself isn’t functional, but you can plug in a standard PC keyboard if required. It also runs at a selectable 50Hz or 60Hz in 720p via HDMI, comes with multiple scaling options, and has a CRT filter for nostalgic types.
“In this initial mini version of A500, we have created what we believe gaming fans will love, and will see as the evolution of mini games consoles”, said Paul Andrews, MD at Retro Games
THEA500 Mini will cost $139.99 when it launches early in 2022. In the meantime, you can try out the remastered version of Zool, Zool Redimensioned, later this month.