Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Ports of Entry: MicroProse

Unknown lead platform:


Crusade in Europe

First released for Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64 in 1985

Ported to Apple II in 1985 by Jim Synoski

Ported to PC in 1986 by Edward N. Hill Jr.

James Hauge's list says that the Apple II version was ported from the Atari codebase, while the PC version was ported from C64.


Decision in the Desert

Released for Atari 8-bit in September 1985

Released for Commodore 64 in 1985

Ported to Apple II in 1985 by Jim Synoski

Ported to PC in June 1986 by R. Donald Awalt


Hauge's list once again says that the Apple II version was ported from the Atari codebase.


Conflict in Vietnam

Ported to Apple II in April 1986 by Jim Synoski, earliest release

Released for Commodore 64 in May 1986

Released for Atari 8-bit in June 1986

Ported to PC in September 1986 by Edward N. Hill Jr. and Randall Don Masteller

Hauge's list here says that the PC version was ported from the C64 codebase.



First released for Commodore 64 in October 1986

Released for Atari ST and Commodore 128 in 1986

Released for DOS in September 1987

Released for Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum in 1987


Stunt Car Racer

Released for Amiga, Atari ST, and Commodore 64 in 1989

Ported to DOS & ZX Spectrum in 1989

Ported to Amstrad CPC in 1990 by Pete Cooke


Formula 1 Grand Prix

Released for Amiga and Atari ST in December 1991

Released for DOS in October 1992


Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares

Simultaneous DOS/Windows release on 11/22/1996

Ported to Macintosh on September 1997

Select chronology: 

Atari 8-bit era:
Title Date Contemporary ports
Floyd of the Jungle 1982
Hellcat Ace 1982 1983 port to C64
Spitfire Ace 1982
NATO Commander 1983-11 1984 ports to Apple II & C64
Solo Flight 1983 1984 port to Apple II
F-15 Strike Eagle 1984 1985 ports to various computers


Commodore 64 era:
Title Lead Platform Date Contemporary ports
Crusade in Europe ??? 1985 Same-year releases on Atari 8-bit & C64
Same-year port to Apple II
1986 port to PC
Decision in the Desert ??? 1985-9 Same-year releases on Atari 8-bit & C64
Same-year port to Apple II
1986 port to PC
Silent Service Commodore 64 1985-10 Same-year ports to Apple II, Atari 8-bit, & PC
1986 ports to Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, & ZX Spectrum
Acrojet Commodore 64 1985
Kennedy Approach Commodore 64 1985 Same-year port to Atari 8-bit
Conflict in Vietnam ??? 1986-4 Same-year releases on Atari 8-bit & C64
Same-year ports to Apple II & PC
Gunship ??? 1986-10 Same-year releases on Atari ST, C64, & C128
1987 releases for Amstrad CPC, DOS, and ZX Spectrum
Sid Meier's Pirates! Commodore 64 1987-6 Same-year ports to Amstrad CPC & PC
1988 ports to Apple II, Apple Iigs, & Macintosh
Airborne Ranger Commodore 64 1987-12 1988 ports to Amstrad CPC, DOS, & ZX Spectrum
Project Stealth Fighter Commodore 64 1987-12
F-19 Stealth Fighter DOS 1988-9
Red Storm Rising Commodore 64 1988-10 1989 ports to Atari ST & DOS
MicroProse Soccer Commodore 64 1988 Same-year port to Amstrad CPC by Smart Egg Software
1989 ports to Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, & ZX Spectrum
Stunt Car Racer ??? 1989 Same-year releases on Amiga, Atari ST, & C64
Same-year ports to DOS & ZX Spectrum
1990 port to Amstrad CPC


DOS era:
Title Lead Platform Date Contemporary ports
F-15 Strike Eagle II DOS 1989-8 1990 port to PC-98
M1 Tank Platoon DOS 1989-10 1990 port to Amiga & Atari ST
Sword of the Samurai DOS 11/3/1989
Knights of the Sky DOS 1990 1991 ports to Amiga & Atari ST
Silent Service II DOS 1990 1991 ports to Amiga & Atari ST
Sid Meier's Covert Action DOS 1990 1991 port to Amiga
Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon DOS 1990 1991 ports to various 16-bit computers
F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter
DOS 1991
Gunship 2000 DOS 12/5/1991
Formula 1 Grand Prix ??? 1991-12 Same-year releases on Amiga & Atari ST
1992 release on DOS
Sid Meier's Civilization DOS 1991-12 1992 ports to Amiga & PC-98
B-17 Flying Fortress DOS 1992 1993 ports to Amiga & Atari ST
Rex Nebular and the Cosmic
Gender Bender
DOS 1992 1993 port to Macintosh
Darklands DOS 1992
The Legacy: Realm of Terror DOS 1992
Master of Orion DOS 1993-9
Return of the Phantom DOS 1993
BloodNet DOS 1993 1994 port to Amiga by Teeny Weeny Games
Pirates! Gold DOS 1993 1994 ports to Windows 3.x & Macintosh
Pirates! Gold Genesis 1993 1994 port to Amiga CD-32
Dragonsphere DOS 1994
Sid Meier's Colonization DOS 1994 1995 ports to Windows 3.x, Amiga, & Macintosh
X-COM: UFO Defense DOS 1994 Same-year ports to Amiga and Amiga CD-32 by Climax Productions
1995 port to PlayStation
Master of Magic DOS 1994
Transport Tycoon DOS 1994
Grand Prix II DOS 1995
Transport Tycoon Deluxe DOS 1995 1996 port to Windows by Fish(UK)
X-COM: Terror from the Deep DOS 1995 1996 port to PlayStation


Early Windows era:
Title Lead Platform Date Contemporary ports
Sid Meier's CivNet Windows 3.x 1995
Sid Meier's Civilization II Windows 3.x 1996-3 1997 port to Macintosh
Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares
??? 11/22/1996 Simultaneous DOS/Windows release
1997 port to Macintosh
Magic: The Gathering
Windows 95
X-COM: Apocalypse
DOS 7/15/1997


Windows 9x era:
Title Date Contemporary ports
Civilization II: Multiplayer Gold Edition 1998 1999 port to Macintosh by Worker Bee Software
X-COM: Interceptor 6/15/1998
Mech Commander 6/24/1998
European Air War 11/5/1998
Falcon 4.0 1998-12 1999 port to Macintosh by Westlake Interactive
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3/12/1999
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Birth of the Federation 1999-5
MechWarrior 3 1999-5
Civilization II: Test of Time 7/28/1999
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Corkscrew Follies 11/15/1999
Risk II 3/17/2000 Same-year port to Macintosh
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes 9/22/2000
Grand Prix 3 7/28/2000
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Gold Edition 12/6/2000
X-COM: Enforcer 4/19/2001
Grand Prix 4 6/14/2002


  1. Dear Lord, Microprose. This list has some SERIOUS nostalgia for me. X-Com, Master of Orion, Masters of Magic...

  2. The Atari ST version of Gunship was released in 1988, after the DOS version. Amiga port was delayed until 1989. I vaguely remember the long wait for 16-bit Gunship, news blurbs in the gaming press ("out soon") and the many delays. The review dates on Mobygames pretty much confirm this. The system list in CGW's March 1987 review seems to include all platforms the game was announced for rather than what had actually been released.

    I don't think there's a separate C128 version of Gunship. In fact, outside of the later Infocom games, I can't think of any 128 only releases. Can't be too many. Ultima V utilizes 128's bigger memory for background music and faster load times, but even that was the same release as 64.

    Formula One Grand Prix is probably a true multi-platform development, it's not always possible to distinguish a lead platform between the two 68000 machines, Amiga and ST.

    1. The Mobygames release notes state that there was a C64/C128 dual release with C128-specific hardware support, though I have no idea what difference it makes. This raises the possibility in my mind that Gunship might have been developed with C128 as the lead platform, and C64 compatibility is downscaled to its abilities. Do you know anything about the C128 support that might lend or discredit credence to this theory?

      On Amiga vs. Atari ST, I tend to assume that if a game uses the OCS chipset, Amiga is the lead platform, and if not, it's Atari ST. That said, the early Bitmap Brothers games disprove this assumption. I also have to question if F1GP might have actually been developed for DOS first and delayed. Probably not, but I still have to wonder why this game didn't get a DOS release first when pretty much every other MicroProse game of the era did.

    2. Gunship:
      The game's manual says: "The C-128 GUNSHIP uses the C-64 emulation mode. However, it does take advantage of the greater speed and processing power of the C-128 where appropriate." I suspect this simply means higher frame rates. The game was probably developed primarily with C64 in mind and the better speed of C128 was just a little bonus that was relatively easy to implement in a 3D game.

      The game is a UK production by Geoff Crammond and his team. Amiga/ST were still the main computer game platforms in Europe in 1990/91 when the development took place. On that note, your list seems to be missing games published by MicroStyle ('Prose's UK label in the late 80s/early 90s) and MicroPlay (US label for externally developed games at the same time).

      At least with British games, ST tended to be the lead platform in 1986-1988 as it took early market lead and was a bit more developer friendly (less Guru Meditation). By 1990 the tables had turned on the market share and developers were also more eager to utilize Amiga's graphics chips. But this of course varies game by game and you can't always know without inside knowledge of the development process.

    3. Thanks for the info, and good call on MicroStyle. I figure I should at least add Crammond's Stunt Track Racer to the list. Any insight on what its lead platform might have been? Mobygames gives a simultaneous Amiga/ST/C64 release, with same-year ports to DOS and ZX Spectrum by Tim Ansell and Pete Cook.

      MicroPlay, on the other hand, as you say, was for publishing other developer's games, most of which had been already published overseas without MicroProse's involvement. I guess MicroProse Soccer ought to be on the list? Wikipedia suggests it was originally developed as a C64 game.

    4. The One's August 1989 issue has a review of the apparently finished ST version of Stunt Car Racer (to be released in September), and it also has blurbs mentioning "[Amiga] version is in production and should be ready for an October release" and that a PC version is almost complete and should be released in September. C64 version seems to have been reviewed generally at the same time as the Amiga version, a month or two after the ST version. All signs point to ST being the lead platform but who knows when Crammond started working on the C64 version as all his earlier work had been on 6502/10 machines (BBC Micro and C64). The DOS version seems to have been reviewed in early 1990, probably wasn't quite ready yet in September. Quick DOS port for a British game of this era, though, perhaps due to MicroProse's involvement. Then again, F1GP's DOS port took almost a full year, but that's an enhanced version (256 colors, road textures).

      Many games published under MicroPlay in the US were Rainbird/Firebird games in Europe which were also MicroProse's labels at this point. But there were also American games like Challenge of the Five Realms and XF5700. And Ozark's later games (Command HQ, Global Conquest). Externally developed, sure, but I'm not sure the situation is all that different from Master of Orion (Simtex) and X-Com (Mythos).

      MicroProse Soccer is definitely a C64 original, it was made during Sensible Software's C64 period and they were highly regarded for their skill with the machine.

    5. I guess games like Master of Orion, X-Com, Rollercoaster Tycoon, etc. just feel on-brand for MicroProse in a way that Carrier Command and Command H.Q. don't. I don't know if there's any logically consistent rationalization, and it could well just be a double standard biased by my perspective as a U.S. consumer, but it feels weird to exclude the former games from the MicroProse canon, and okay to relegate the latter to their respective developer's lists.

      Not trying to argue the point, just explaining where I'm coming from.

    6. I totally get that, and in the 90s there definitely was a dedicated effort on MicroProse's part to bring the externally developed games more firmly under their brand (thus dropping the MicroStyle/MicroPlay labels). Also the success and classic status of those games makes it easy to put them on the same continuum with the likes of Railroad Tycoon and Civilization.


Most popular posts