|Daniel Thomas MacInnes - 08/05/2011|
The greatest video game ever made for the Atari 800. Whenever I see a new computer or game console, the first question in my head: Can this baby run 4-player MULE?
It's worth getting yourself an Atari 800 (or a Sega Dreamcast, cough, ahem) just to play this. Double Bragging Rights if you have this game in its original "record album" packaging. EA had such terrific covers for their games back in 1983.
|Greg B. - 26/02/2011|
One of the best multi-player computer games EVER. RIP Dani Bunten.
|Lars Henriksson-Kruse - 23/02/2009|
M.U.L.E. was one of the best games ever, for the 8-bit scene, this one, together with Lords of Conquest, Jumpman and a few others made my childhoot;)
|Enrique Ganem - 09/02/2008|
My favorite game ever. Nice graphics (and music) and a design that encourages cooperation. If you do not try to gobble up a certain resource (like smithore), the robots will behave more or less decently. I regularly win, and the colony makes 70,000 points or more, when I do not try to monopolize a resource. Some emulators (like atai800 under linux) are a little slow, even on a 64 bit computer. Again, some emulators have a switch that allows you to use real-time emulation. I love the music, and it sounds ok only with r/t emulation on.
|Heaven/Taquart - 09/08/2007|
Great...Great...Great... reason for me searching for an PAL 800 (not XL) just to get the chance to play it with my mates...
a real master piece!
Kudos to Dan(i) Bunten for this all time classic. would be perfect for Xbox live! arcade version... sad that she can not see what a great game she designed...
|Jim Kuchera - 02/04/2007|
Well, here we go again. M.U.L.E. sold today without packaging, even in the wrong sleeve,with no guarantee it will work for $179.00 on eBay. It just shows one more time that there are folks who regard this game as legend. They right! By the way, an oddity is that the cycling of colors and hues in the opening screen within the word M.U.L.E. uses GTIA graphics which replaced the CTIA graphics on earlier Atari 800's. I think I'll go to my 800 and boot this bugger up just to hear the music, and let the computer play itself. Even THAT is fun! What a marvelous piece of history nearly 30 years old! Thanks again, Dan(i) wherever you are.
|Jim Kuchera - 13/12/2006|
An unopened copy of M.U.L.E. sold on eBay last week for over $300.00!!! It's worth it because this game is the best multiplayer game ever made for the Atari computer. My sons and I used to have a ball playing this together, and what a great learning tool!!! If you've got a youngster who you believe could be a C.E.O. (or even C.F.O.) someday, then this is the game for you. Bunten was a true gift to the 'industry', and his/her presence is sorely missed. Buying an Atari 800 off eBay is worth it just to play this game. But don't pay $300.00 for a copy of M.U.L.E. unless you already own a Lamborghini!
|Nixon - 16/04/2006|
A real cool game indeed, esp. the random events etc. i liked much about it
..and one of the few early games involving a female programmer (Danielle Bunten was her name think)
|Mike - 17/01/2006|
Couldn't get my brother off this one. It's a good, fun game in itself when you play it on your own, but when there's two or more of you playing it comes into it's element. Then the trading becomes much more interesting as you charge the earth for your fellow competitors to get what they need. It's ruthless!
|Other version with the same title: |
Check out the very nice (unofficial) sequel called Mule Wars.
Missing original disk image!
Comments by Dani Bunten found here...
MULE was part of the group of games that launched Electronic Arts in '83. It won numerous awards (including Computer Gaming World's Hall of Fame) and sold reasonably well (despite being the "most pirated game" at the time according to the publisher of the magazine). Curiously, it happened as a result of the fact that Trip Hawkins (the founder of EA) couldn't get SSI to sell him Cartels and Cutthroats. I convinced him we (at that point I had formed Ozark Softscape and had five employees) could do it better. I took the auction from Wheelers, the graphic real-time aspects from Cytron Masters, some of the production ideas from Cartels and let it evolve where it needed to. This was the game that taught me the value of play-testing where you watch and talk to real people about the game while it's under development. After all, games are a form of communication that can only be confirmed by checking whether it works against an audience.
A couple of design pieces really pleased me about this game. I think the auction with the sellers on top and the buyers on the bottom of the screen and a timer was particularly cool. Sellers would walk down the screen thereby lowering the price they were offering to sell at and buyers would walk up the screen raising their bid. When the two met, units of commodity would zip from the seller to the buyer. This led to a lot of dickering and cajoling by the players trying to get each other to move closer using all types of justifications to support their inability to move themselves. When the timer started running down, this could lead to a lot of frantic maneuvering.
Another neat thing was the invention of the MULE itself. In order to make the auctions interesting, there had to be commodities that players needed and also made (so some became sellers and others buyers). From a strategic game model, what was needed was some way for players to say "I want to produce commodity A on plot X" but text entry or even menu selection seemed uninteresting. What if you picked up a machine somewhere and dragged it to your property to produce what you wanted. This "machine" eventually became a "Multiple Use Labor Element" that you got from the coral in the town, dragged into an outfitter shop of the right kind for the commodity you wanted and took out to your land and deposited there. Voilà, we had the info the model needed and with the addition of a timer, we had an interesting play element.
My only disappointment with the game is that it only exists on long defunct hardware and it looks awful (since those machines only offered 48K of memory and I used it mostly for program rather than graphics). I almost got a SEGA Genesis version through EA in '93 but at the alpha phase, they insisted on adding guns and bombs (or something similar) to "bring it up to date". I was unable to comply. I'm still amazed at how well loved it is (there are a number of web sites devoted to it) and I'm hopeful I can find a way to bring it to life again - possibly on the Internet.
| Electronic Fun · October, 1983||Rating: 4 / 4 |
One of the most tragic things about this world today is that we've run out of distant continents to discover, claim in the name of his Sovereign Majesty King Philip Morris, and colonize. And, to date, space colonization is really out of the question. This is why we have computers. Using them you can set up camp just about anywhere in the universe. This is the main idea behind M.U.L.E., an... [more]