Welcome Back, M.U.L.E. !

In late 1984, I happened upon a game for my Commodore 64 named M.U.L.E.  M.U.L.E. was a multiplayer strategy game where one used a Multiple Use Labor Element (M.U.L.E. ) to attain various resources on the planet Irata  … “Atari” spelled backwards.  Those resources could then be bought from and sold to other players.  The computer played the parts of any missing players in the four-player game.

I sill enjoy watching the old C-64 intro to the game:

This game was unlike the text-adventures and arcade shoot-em-ups that I was used to at the time.  M.U.L.E. was a game that pioneered multi-player capability and was a simulator of sorts.  One had to endure various kinds of storms and events that would affect those commodities that could be attained by the robot M.U.L.E.s.

After almost 30 years since its inception on the Atari 8-bit computer line in 1983, Comma 8 software is bringing M.U.L.E. to smartphones in a game called M.U.L.E. Returns:

The web site for the new game is here: http://mulereturns.com/

The classic M.U.L.E. game has won numerous awards including a 1997 PC World magazine ranking of number five of the top ten greatest PC games ever.

More detailed information about M.U.L.E. can be found at this Wikipedia page:


Additional information about M.U.L.E.’s creator Dan Bunten / Danielle Berry can be found here:


Bunten’s children maintain a tribute web site for Ozark Softscape ( Bunten’s software company  ) here:


( You can actually buy M.U.L.E. tee-shirts at the above link.  Very cool ! )

It’s nice to see this game make a comeback.  I’m kind of anxious to see how the multiplayer angle works in the new edition. Do all of the players need to buy a copy or can one person buy and three others play ?I intend to find out.

Welcome back!


About Jim Lawless

I've been programming computers for about 36 years ... 30 of that professionally. I've been a teacher, I've worked as a consultant, and have written articles here and there for publications like Dr. Dobbs Journal, The C/C++ Users Journal, Nuts and Volts, and others.
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One Response to Welcome Back, M.U.L.E. !

  1. Nice! Thanks for the info concerning this game. 🙂 From what I read in your post, it was certainly a game that was ahead of its time.

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