ParadigmImperative, Procedural
DeveloperFrançois Lionet and Constantin Sotiropoulos
First appeared1990; 34 years ago (1990)
Typing disciplineStatic
LicenseBSD style license
WebsiteAMOS and STOS
AMOS, Easy AMOS, AMOS Professional
Influenced by
Screenshot of the AMOS Professional user interface and code editor, displaying the start of a program included with the language

AMOS BASIC is a dialect of the BASIC programming language for the Amiga computer. Following on from the successful STOS BASIC for the Atari ST, AMOS BASIC was written for the Amiga by François Lionet with Constantin Sotiropoulos and published by Europress Software in 1990.

The language was notable for its focus on media and game development capabilities, allowing users to easily create demanding multimedia software and games. It featured full structured code and numerous high-level functions for loading and manipulating images, animations, and sounds. These capabilities made it a popular choice among Amiga enthusiasts, particularly beginners, for creating video games (especially platformers and graphical adventures), multimedia applications, and educational software.


AMOS competed on the Amiga platform with Acid Software's Blitz BASIC. Both BASICs differed from other dialects on different platforms, in that they allowed the easy creation of fairly demanding multimedia software, with full structured code and many high-level functions to load images, animations, sounds and display them in various ways.

The original AMOS was a BASIC interpreter which, whilst working fine, suffered the same disadvantages of any language being run interpretively. By all accounts, AMOS was extremely fast among interpreted languages, being speedy enough that an extension called AMOS 3D could produce playable 3D games even on plain 7 MHz 68000 Amigas. Later, an AMOS compiler was developed that further increased speed. AMOS could also run MC68000 machine code, loaded into a program's memory banks.[1]

To simplify animation of sprites, AMOS included the AMOS Animation Language (AMAL), a compiled sprite scripting language which runs independently of the main AMOS BASIC program.[2] It was also possible to control screen and "rainbow" effects using AMAL scripts. AMAL scripts in effect created CopperLists, small routines executed by the Amiga's Agnus chip.

After the original version of AMOS, Europress released a compiler (AMOS Compiler), and two other versions of the language: Easy AMOS, a simpler version for beginners, and AMOS Professional, a more advanced version with added features, such as a better integrated development environment, ARexx support, a new user interface API and new flow control constructs. Neither of these new versions was significantly more popular than the original AMOS.[citation needed]

AMOS was used mostly to make multimedia software, video games (platformers and graphical adventures) and educational software.

The language was mildly successful within the Amiga community. Its ease of use made it especially attractive to beginners.

One of AMOS BASIC's disadvantages, stemming from its Atari ST lineage, was its incompatibility with the Amiga's operating system functions and interfaces. Instead, AMOS BASIC controlled the computer directly, which caused programs written in it to have a non-standard user interface, and also caused compatibility problems with newer versions of hardware.

Today, the language has declined in popularity along with the Amiga computer for which it was written. Despite this, a small community of enthusiasts are still using it. The source code to AMOS was released around 2001 under a BSD style license by Clickteam, a company that includes the original programmer.[3]


Software written using AMOS BASIC includes:


  1. ^ The Creator, by François Lionet, 1990, "AMOS Basic includes special facilities which allow you to combine assembly language routines with your Basic programs."
  2. ^ "Computers". Archived from the original on 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
  3. ^ Amos & Stos » Main Download on (archived 2007)
  4. ^ "Making of Flight of the Amazon Queen: A 20th Anniversary Retrospective". Gamasutra. June 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Game 487: Black Dawn (1993)". March 2023. Retrieved 1 March 2023.