Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Killer Computer Gaming Apps

There are many successful games, and many great games.  Some games are so successful that they helped establish the gaming suitability of a particular home computer, were extremely influential or have withstood the test of time.  For each home computer system, I have selected one game which fits the following criteria :

The system had to have some measure of success

The game was successful game that sold many units

The game was widely acknowledged to be a groundbreaking game or one of the best available for that system

The game was ported to many systems, remade or has fan sites or is still remembered today

Most of these games were original to the computer indicated.  All were released fairly early in the computer's lifespan.

Apple II - Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord

This game really helped bring Role Playing Games to home computers.  Programs were made how to hack this game and beef up your characters.  Sir-Tech released a program called Wizprint to print out your character's statistics.  Defeating its copy protection was frequently the subject of computer magazine articles.  

TRS-80 - Zork: The Great Underground Empire

Separate versions of Zork were released for the Model I and Model III , but this system was the first home microcomputer to receive a version of the mainframe game Zork.  All subsequent interactive fiction games would be judged in relation to this game.  

Commodore PET - Temple of Apshai

Although Apshai was originally released for the TRS-80, this platform has so few notable games that I decided to put it here.  Mainframe-style dungeon crawling brought to the home computer.  

Atari 8-bit - Star Raiders

No more advanced looking or sounding game was released in the 1970s.  This is what stores displayed when demoing the Atari computers.  

Commodore VIC-20 - Gridrunner

Jeff Minter's brand of game, the frenetic paced arcade-like game, begins here.  

Sinclair ZX-81 - 3D Monster Maze

A groundbreaking 3D maze game, notable especially for a system with no color and no dedicated sound hardware.

IBM PC - Microsoft Flight Simulator

Showed that there was some advantage to using an 8088, as this version ran much faster than the versions on other home computers.  Also famous as a compatibility tester for PC clones.  

TI 99/4A - Tunnels of Doom

While the TI software library is rather limited, this gave a first person maze perspective for exploring the dungeon and a third person perspective for fighting monsters before Ultima III.  

Commodore 64 - Impossible Mission

"Another visitor...Stay awhile, stay FOREVERRR..."  One of the best non-sidescrolling action adventure games ever made.  

Sinclair ZX Spectrum - Jet Set Willy

According to the BBC TV Movie Micro Men, this game gave Sir Clive Sinclair fits because it seemed to him that people weren't taking his cheap computer seriously.  Did it really matter when the game helped him sell sold millions of his little home computer?

BBC Micro - Elite

Pioneered the 4x Space Exploration Genre, one of the very few British or European computer games to cross the pond stateside in the 1980s.  

TRS 80 CoCo - Dungeons of Daggorath

Oh be still my beating heart.  Real time 3D dungeoneering providing some extremely intense gameplay.  
IBM PCjr.& Tandy 1000  - King's Quest

Graphical adventure games are invented, helping to keep Sierra Online from bankruptcy.  

Apple Macintosh - Dark Castle

Very popular adventure game for this platform, showed that even the monochrome Mac could play games.  

Atari ST - Dungeon Master

Most Atari ST owners had a copy of this game.

Commodore Amiga - Defender of the Crown

Another "Wow" game, the sort of software that Commodore should have included with every Amiga sold.  
Apple IIgs - Will Harvey's Zany Golf

The IIgs had very few exclusive games, but this one is superb and was widely ported.  

PC Clones - King's Quest IV & King's Quest V

The first was a very persuasive in persuading people to buy or upgrade to the 286, EGA, a sound card, and a hard drive, the second helped drive 386 sales and VGA cards.  KQIV originally came on an insane, for the time, nine disks.  

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