Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is episode 4 of 15.

This week Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly take a look at the legendary M.U.L.E. by Ozark Softscape. Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

  • We played the original Atari 8-bit version of M.U.L.E. using the Altirra emulator
  • Supports 1-4 players
  • There is a free modern remake available on Planet M.U.L.E. that can be played offline or online
  • There was also a remake called Space HoRSE published over a decade ago, that was not allowed to take “M.U.L.E.” name
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The series theme is the delightful “Adventures in your sleep” by The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra.

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6 thoughts on “Side by Side: M.U.L.E.

  1. M.U.L.E was designed by Dani Bunten. But my favorite game of all time was designed by her too. It was Cytron masters and considered the very first RTS game. The reason I liked it was because it was so slow moving and game me time to think, like in a turn-based game which I prefer.

    I got it running on my iMac with the Virtual II app.

  2. Dan, thanks for dropping in some references to Cytron Masters! I’ve referred to it previously in Last of the Darwinians and The Unwritten Story of the RTS Grunt. Any excuse to mention old favourites.

    Cytron Masters was a really interesting game; I think we had reservations about the missiles which could suddenly collapse the game to a twitch fest. It felt sort of unfair, in a similar way the Apocalypse spell in Archon II would completely sweep away the entire history of the game. These were attempts to escape the slow death march phase where one player could not be beaten but takes awhile to win outright. Classically, of course, the solution to that is to resign from the game.

  3. Hello Joel. I’m sure glad to know that I’m not the only living person left who knows Cytron Masters. Yep. Those
    missiles were hard to control. They are impossible to control on an iMac with nothing available that allows accurate analogue input like those old Apple II paddles with knobs that your turned.

    And I’m really glad for the links to those articles. I now got some really interesting reading to look foreword to.

  4. Admittedly I don’t talk too much about the old days – all of that stuff is loaded under the category “Atari Days” – but it’s nice to dip in now and then for the historical reference.

    I see from your Twitter profile that you’ve been living in Japan a long time. I lived there myself for five years! I wrote one piece about my time there although I’m sure one such as yourself could tear down my Japanese grammatical forthrightness đŸ™‚ I still miss the place and although I return occasionally it’s the life I had not the country I miss most. Things change.

    On the Atari, the missiles were controlled by joystick and this arrangement seemed to favour the missile launching player rather than the defender. But still interesting; it is on the possible agenda for a season two if we make one (no guarantees at all). I think some of the older multiplayer still offers great value.

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