Sep 092009

In the early 80’s my father became interested in home computers and was determined to get one.  After a lot of research he finally packed me and my younger brother into the car for the long trek out to Lechmere to purchase a brand new Atari 400.  He also picked up several perhipherals.  A tape drive (as in, audio cassette tapes) and a 5.25″ single sided disk drive.   We also came home with Frogger (on cassette.  8 minute load time) and this interesting looking game called M.U.L.E.

M.U.L.E. as a game is combination real time economic simulation, action game (land grabs, hunting Wumpuses.  Wumpii?) and space colony sim.   Resources must be managed, deals struck with up to three other players all while scheming on your own to win the game.  All on an 8 bit Atari.

Dan Bunten (later Dani Bunten Berry) of Ozark Softscape was one of the developers of this title (which oddly enough only sold about 30,000 copies) had a fantastic influence on the computer gaming industry.  I know I was very much influenced by titles like M.U.L.E. and 7 Cities of Gold.

I’ve just recently learned that Ozark Softscape has re-launched, being helmed by Bunten’s children.  Their first project looks to be an internet multiplayer version of M.U.L.E.! I’m hoping they’re not ruling out other platforms (like iPhones).  This is fantastic news as far as I’m concerned. I honestly can’t wait to introduce my kids to this game.

We have opened the vault to our dad’s extensive gaming portfolio and have been approached about making some of dad’s old games relevant in todays gaming world with updated graphics and playability.  It looks like M.U.L.E. is going to be the first one out of the gate.  We’re hoping for a revamped internet version late this summer.


[tags]M.U.L.E., video games, 8-bit[/tags]

About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

 Posted by on September 9, 2009

  5 Responses to “The triumphant return of M.U.L.E.”

  1. // popular today…

    story has entered the popular today section on…

  2. Pooka pooka pooka pooka pooka…..

    I think that is what it sounded like.

  3. I was thinking more

    Wermp wermp wermp wermp but yours would work too.

  4. Mischievous Glak elves have broken into the store and stolen all the food!

    I have seen at least a half dozen independent attempts to re-implement the game. It is surprising to me that so many failed, as it is not that complex and does not have a lot of hidden state. I think there have been a couple successes already though.

    I played a game against three Mechanoids in an emulator last month. Don’t wait, show your kids today!

  5. I briefly mucked about with M.U.L.E. on an emulator with little success. But that was years ago. I may give it another go. Only my oldest is up to understanding the basics though so I’m not in a rush. Another 3 years and I’ll dive head first into it with them.

    Now, when are they going to remake 7 Cities?

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