The Acorn Archimedes is a family of home computers designed by Acorn Computers of Cambridge, England. The systems are based on Acorn‘s ARM RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) architecture with a 32-bit CPU (using 26-bit addressing) and were manufactured from 1987 until the mid-1990s.
The Acorn Archimedes was used predominantly in UK schools throughout the late 1980s and 1990s and was one of the first home computers to use a multi-tasking WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pull-down menus) operating system which is commonly known as RISC OS. The very first Archimedes models were initially BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) branded computers, but the name “Acorn Archimedes” is commonly used to describe any of Acorn‘s contemporary designs based on the same architecture.
The Archimedes is a capable machine in terms of graphics and sound and a wide variety of 2D and 3D games appeared on the system, including many original games, a lot of clones, plus a number of official conversions of arcade games and games popular on its 16-bit rivals, the Amiga and Atari ST.
RISC OS still lives on today on the Raspberry Pi, on other devices, and in emulation. Raspberry Pi computers use ARM RISC chips and a more modern version of RISC OS exists (at the time of writing) as RISC OS Direct. Original Archimedes computers, and the Raspberry Pi, are popular with computing hobbyists and Archimedes fans still keeping the flame alive.
I don’t profess to be an expert on the subject of RISC OS or the Acorn Archimedes – in fact I’m relatively new to it – but I do like what it is capable of, and I do like many of the games. So this week I’m going to be featuring some of my favourite Archimedes games and their associated screenshots. It’s also worth noting that many of the games are legally available to download for free from the The Archimedes Software Preservation Project, although you will need either ADFFS or CDFaker installed in RISC OS to be able to mount and run their associated disk images.
Here’s a full list of what was published during our Archimedes special: