As much as I would love to have real retro hardware all setup in my own little gaming room, that is not going to happen anytime soon. If I had my original Atari 2600, my original Commodore 128, and my original Amiga 500 it would be a different story. But I stupidly got rid of those items decades ago.
I will certainly keep my eyes open for any local opportunities to get my hands on original hardware, but for now emulation is how I play those old games.
Here is a list of the emulators I can currently using. I will also supply links on where you can go to acquire more information and download the emulation software. There are many different emulators out there, these the the ones I use. You may want to do a little research and see if there is something that you may prefer.
Atari 2600: Stella
Stella is a multi-platform Atari 2600 VCS emulator released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It was originally developed for Linux by Mr. Bradford W. Mott, and is currently being maintained by Mr. Stephen Anthony.
You can learn more and download Stella here: Stella
Commodore 64: VICE (Cloanto C64 Forever)
For many years I had been using VICE for my Commodore 64 emulation needs. It really is a great emulator. However, Just last year I purchased Cloanto’s C64 Forever software package that uses the VICE emulator and like it a lot. To me the Cloanto emulation package is simple to use and makes things easy for people to get into running old C64 software.
Claonto has a free Express Version of their software which is worth checking out. They also have a Plus Edition that costs a few bucks, but comes with some really nice features.
You can read more and compare here: Cloanto C64 Forever
Commodore Amiga: WinUAE (Claonto Amiga Forever)
When I first got into emulating the Amiga 500 several years ago I used WinUAE, WinFellow, and FS-UAE. All are great for emulation, but I preferred WinUAE the most.
Just like with the Commodore 64 above, last year I also purchased Cloanto’s Amiga Forever software. Cloanto owns the rights to the Amiga Kickstart ROMS which are needed to make the Amiga emulation software work. Anybody can go and download the emulators for free, but without the Kickstarter ROMS they won’t work.
When you purchase Amiga Forever from Cloanto you get a sweet software package with all the various Kickstarter ROMS that allows you jump straight into easy emulation. Emulate any Amiga you want, from the 1000, 500, 501, 600, 1200, 2000, 4000…etc… you get the idea.
You can read more and buy the software and Kickstarters here: Clonato Amiga Forever
While I love using WinUAE for most of my Amiga emulation, when it comes to making video game videos for my YouTube channel I prefer to use FS-UAE for straight gaming.
You will still need to get your hands on the Kickstart ROMS to make FS-UAE work (see Amiga Forever above). But once you have them FS-UAE is probably the best app out there you can use for the sole purpose of Amiga video game emulation. It’s very simple to use, whether you are using ADFs or WHDload games.
FS-UAE integrates with WinUAE for accurate Amiga emulation with a friendly user interface for gamers to get into game quickly and easily.
You can check out FS-UAE here.
I also do a little retro gaming using a Raspberry Pi 3 b+ and have it hooked up to a 55 inch TV in my living room. RetroPie is software that can be used to manage a wide range of emulators quickly and easily. You can emulate arcade games, pretty much any game console or computer manufactured between 1977 and 2000, and a whole lot more.
I use my RetroPie setup to play many C64 and Amiga RPGs from my easy-chair in front of my big screen TV. I use a wireless mouse, keyboard, and controller with the Raspberry Pie to make it all happen.
If you have not heard of the Raspberry Pi or RetroPie you can learn more here: RetroPie
If you have an old laptop or desk top, or like me a Raspbery Pi400, you may be interested in buying AmiKit. You can turn that old PC or Pi400 into a modern Amiga capable of running all the new and old software.
AmiKit emulates Amiga computers in a powerful and modern way with a retro feel. It comes preloaded with 400+ pieces of legally bundled software and games, and regular updates as long as you keep up your subscriptions.
For more information on AmiKit check them out here: Amikit
Retro Games Ltd
Retro Games Ltd has done a wonderful job bringing back Commodore gaming to the masses. They have licensed and released some excellent pieces of hardware: TheC64 (mini and full size versions) as well as an A500 Mini (hoping to se a maxi version someday), that have made it very easy to plug and play the games made for the C64 and Amiga computers.
You can find most of their hardware items on Amazon, such as TheC64 Mini.
If you haven’t, check them out on their website for the latest news! Retro Games Ltd
Upstairs Room Software
Because of the ease of use of modern emulators I’m able to go back and enjoy some old school gaming from my youth back in the 80s and early 90s.
To learn more about Upstairs Room Software check out my ABOUT page.