The Acorn Archimedes is hugely under-appreciated as a retro gaming platform. While it never had the largest catalogue, many of the games available for it are the best in their class.
And for titles that were released on the Amiga and the consoles as well, the massive hardware advantages of Acorn hardware at the time meant that the Archimedes version was often the best: it’s not a whole world away, but the graphics and gameplay are noticeably smoother.
And now, with the widespread popularity of the Raspberry Pi, it’s become much easier for casual retro gamers to dabble in some old school RISC OS gaming.
But even though we’re running these games on the operating system and CPU architecture they were written for, 30 years of computing is long enough that a few things inevitably change. I mean, where on earth’s the floppy drive? And 64MB stopped being a massive amount of RAM some time ago, so bye bye 26-bit memory addressing.
There are plenty of free tools you can download to fix these issues. But putting this all together has been complicated by the fact that the bits and pieces you need are somewhat strewn across the internet, with no real instructions to guide you through the whole process.
It’s even trickier if you haven’t touched a RISC OS machine in 25 years – or perhaps ever.
That’s where this comes in: A complete, step-by-step guide to getting old Acorn Archimedes games running on a Raspberry Pi.
It presumes no prior knowledge of RISC OS, and is a nice gentle introduction to a very interesting and idiosyncratic branch of computing. If you’re a Raspberry Pi tinkerer who is interested in playing these games – many of which have held up very well over the years, then check it out.
August is Games Month on the RISC OS Blog, where we focus exclusively on gaming, be it reviewing new games or taking a trip down memory lane with a look at a classic title. Stay tuned for more games articles throughout August!