Happy Birthday to M.U.L.E., which turns 25 today! Interestingly enough, M.U.L.E. was actually SKU #1 for EA, marking quite an impressive debut. Although the game was essentially a flop – selling around 30,000 copies for the Atari 400/800 and Commodore 64 – it is remembered today as one of the most innovative, compelling, and fun social games ever made. I have made the comparison before, but M.U.L.E. and its designer (Dan/Dani Bunten) are our industry’s Velvet Underground. The old joke about the Velvets was that only a few thousand people ever bought their albums, but all of them went out to start their own bands. So it is with Bunten. Will Wright dedicated The Sims to her. Sid Meier inducted her (posthumously) into the AIAS Hall of Fame. Warren Spector revised his top 10 to include M.U.L.E. Raph Koster routinely references it as the perfect multiplayer game. The list goes on and on.
Tragically, there is no way to play M.U.L.E. on modern systems. Emulators (or old computers) are the only options. Personally, I’ve been able to get it working on the CCS64 Commodore 64 Emulator. Here are some links for further M.U.L.E. reading: