name that wireframe evolution Amiga game from 1990ish!
August 16, 2005 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Name that 3D wire-frame evolving-creature-in-a-hostile-environment Amiga game from 15ish years ago.

It might have been called "Eco," but memory fades. It was old-school wireframe graphics, with (maybe) some filled polygon stuff for the terrain. I was running this on an Amiga 500, and it couldn't have come out much later than 1990 or so.

The basic gameplay was a third-person view of your creature as you scrabbled about on the landscape looking for food and trying not to get killed. You started as an ant-like creature (or occasionally as a small flying creature) and had to puzzle out what you could eat and what would eat you. There were much larger beasts about: bipeds, quadropeds, and flying things.

I recall a "DNA" interface that would come up between rounds, wherein one could twiddle a bit of information (shown as a string of strange alien glyphs) to alter the nature of their avatar-creature in the game. The idea (so far as I could tell at the time, with a pirated version and no instructions) was to learn to evolve your creature through manipulation of its code into whichever form (and whichever variation) you so chose.

I can not find this goddamned thing anywhere.
posted by cortex to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Sounds a lot like Will Wright's upcoming Spore.
posted by TonyRobots at 1:15 PM on August 16, 2005

Best answer: Eco indeed.
posted by TonyRobots at 1:18 PM on August 16, 2005

Response by poster: !

TonyRobots, I salute you. I'd forgotten about that damned skull-and-spine timer graphic. It'd keep craaaawling up as you desperately tried to find sufficient nutrition.

Oh, for a PC port. I suppose there's always emulation.
posted by cortex at 1:34 PM on August 16, 2005

Ever play SimLife (also by Spore creator Wright, of course)? Its gameplay was along similar lines, if memory serves.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 2:02 PM on August 16, 2005

Response by poster: I never did (having found the flurry of SimNotCity games that started pouring out a bit underwhelming [SimFarm? Blech!]), but now I think I might.
posted by cortex at 2:04 PM on August 16, 2005

Yea, it wasn't quite SimCity level addictive, but I found it quite enjoyable, and not as boring as SimAnt or SimEarth (yes, I was quite the little Maxis fan back in the day. Ah, elementary school...).
posted by cyrusdogstar at 2:09 PM on August 16, 2005

More evolution games: There was also EVO for the Super Nintendo, and Seventh Cross for Dreamcast. SimLife and Spore have already been mentioned. Any others?
posted by patgas at 2:27 PM on August 16, 2005

I vaguely remember playing Eco at school once or twice, but then I dropped out of the "gifted program" because it was a waste of time, so I no longer had access to an Amiga.

I loved SimEarth, though. Oh, man, some of the prebuilt worlds were literally impossible to get to lively homeostasis. I particularly remember one barren moon on which you had to get something going... water was easy (drop comets on it), but keeping those first single-cells alive was a bitch. I must have played that game for hundreds of hours back in the day (I was, perhaps, 12?).

I don't remember any other evolution games, but I did once work out a set of algorithms by which to generate alien worlds for RPG campaigns for a game I never ran.

I really hope Spore comes out soon... that almost seems worth installing Windows for.
posted by Netzapper at 3:03 PM on August 16, 2005

Note to cortex -- I was sufficiently intrigued by this game, and managed to hunt down an Amiga disk image and get this running in Windows. Since this is of questionable legality, I won't post explicit instructions, but I can tell you that I have it running in WinUAE (an Amiga emulator) using the kick30.rom kickstart rom. Good luck!
posted by TonyRobots at 3:15 PM on August 16, 2005

To emulate it officially (i.e. legally) go look at Amiga Forever - it's an awesome preconfigured package containing the disks, ROM images, applications, etc. Well worth the piddly amount of money they're charging - and makes a great gift for someone you know who use to have an Amiga! :-)

For what it's worth, there's a couple of good Amiga forums where you can get answers to these kind of questions - and
posted by Chunder at 4:08 AM on August 17, 2005

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