James Bond on the Amiga
James Bond returns in the excellent Skyfall, the 23rd film in the series. 2012 also marks the 50th anniversary of the cinematic incarnation of the character.
The Amiga first appeared in 1985, the year that Roger Moore was making his final Bond film, A View to a Kill. Over the next ten years the Amiga rose and fell as a commercial platform but this time was a relatively quiet period for James Bond on screen.
1987's The Living Daylights did introduce a new Bond in the form of Timothy Dalton but he was only to appear in one more film. Despite an advertisement for a Living Daylights game which mentions an Amiga version it wasn't released on the computer.
Dalton's second and last Bond film was Licence to Kill which appeared in the summer of 1989. However, at the start of the year Domark released a Bond game based on Live and Let Die, Roger Moore's first Bond film from 1973. Originally a boat racing game called Aquablast, the licence was bolted on in a failed attempt to capture the excitement of the Louisiana bayou boat chase scene from the movie.
Bond was slightly better served by Domark's adaptation of Licence to Kill which did at least feature levels based on the film even if the result was an underwhelming vertical scroller. The pre-credit sequence Union Jack parachute from The Spy Who Loved Me makes an appearance in the game.
Domark's next stab at the Bond licence was 1990's The Spy Who Loved Me which was again based on a Roger Moore film. The adaptation of the 1977 film was more successful. The film itself is quintessential Bond and features a mad villain, a memorable henchman and a plot to destroy the world above water. The game's levels reflect the film and include a Spy Hunter racer, an underwater vertical shooter with the submersible Lotus Esprit and an Operation Wolf shoot-'em-up.
All three official games were brought together in a 1991 compilation called the James Bond Collection.
After Licence to Kill had appeared in the cinema there was a six year lull until 1995's Goldeneye, a film which is associated with the Nintendo 64's first-person shooter. There was no Amiga game based on Goldeneye because at this time the Amiga had ceased to be a viable commercial gaming system.
If official James Bond games on the Amiga were fairly underwhelming the story was a little different for games which spoofed the superspy or featured remarkably similar characters.
James Pond: Underwater Agent features, yes, a fishy secret agent foiling the marine machinations of Dr. Maybe. The game is decent and contains various Bond puns as level names. In the sequel Pond would gain bionic implants to become Robocod.
French publisher Delphine's Operation Stealth brought point and click adventuring to James Bond. Well, it was and it wasn't Bond. In Europe the main character is called John Glames but when the game was released in the US it was an official game called The Stealth Affair.
Covert Action was an action strategy MicroProse game featuring Bond-like spy Maximillian (or Maxine) Remington as he (or she) engages in espionage roles in various sub-games. The game was designed by Sid Meier of Civilization fame.
Back in the world of action games there are two similar sounding spies with Bond pretensions; Sly and Guy.
Sly Spy: Secret Agent is based on an arcade game by Data East. It also contains homages/spoofs/rip-offs of Bond characters. For example, Jaws and Oddjob make an appearance.
ReadySoft's Guy Spy And The Crystals Of Armageddon takes the animation seen in their Dragon's Lair and Space Ace games and adds some more gameplay. Although the game's protagonist is a spy some of his adventures owe more to Indiana Jones than James Bond.