Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Top 10 Apple II games*

oh apple IIgs, you truly are the one that got away

Growing up I had several Apple II computers (yet no nintendos), the "e", the "c" and finally the "GS". It wasn't until around 1990 when it became clear that Apple had no interest in continuing the II series and were more focused on the underpowered but adorable Mac, that I jumped over to the PC. In almost a decade of Apple II gaming I was able to play hundreds if not thousands of games. This is a list of the best of that bunch.

And no, if you played it at school it didn't make the list. Games are for playing not learning.

Sid Meier's Pirates
Pirates was so good it was ported to anything that had a joystick. It's also been remade and updated for modern systems at least twice. The reason it's so awesome is no big secret. Sword fighting plus ship to ship combat mixed with some light RPG elements made for fun and amazingly deep gameplay.

Autoduel had a concept that would still work today. Buy a car, customize it with weapons, battle other cars in the area, then take it to the streets running drugs and parts for gangsters in a post apocalyptic future. This is a game that is begging for a remake.

Rescue Raiders
The plot of Rescue Raiders was simple. Baddies have gone back in time to help Hitler win world war two by stopping the allies at D-Day. Rescue Raiders employed the same basic strategy as almost every modern RTS. Build and deploy your troops to take out the enemy base while protecting them with your super bad ass bomb equipped chopper. This is still one of the hardest games I've ever played, it took me years to beat.

Test Drive II the Duel
The first Test Drive was an awesome game found on every system of it's day. Test Drive II upped the ante with new cars, better graphics and expansion packs! Seriously this was the first game I ever remember playing that you could buy an expansion pack for. You could add new courses and new cars, really allowing you to stretch the life out of an already great game.

It's no RBI baseball, but Hardball was still a fun baseball game. The games biggest flaw? If you were playing a friend you actually had to switch spots sitting at the keyboard when you moved from the top to the bottom of an inning. Or you could just be perma-batter, which is what we all wanted anyway.

Ultima IV
20 years later and Ultima IV is still one of the best games I've ever played. You could tell this game was special right at the opening sequence. Before you did anything, the player had to answer a series of moral questions and then the computer would determine his player class. I can't tell you how many nights I spent sneaking out of bed to play this game. If my floppies hadn't eventually stopped working, I may never have graduated elementary school.

Dungeon Master
The Disks Dungeon Master came loaded on might as well have been made of crack. This was the first "dungeon crawler" style game I ever remember playing. You started the game by picking your party from the "hall of champions", that alone would take me hours. After picking the right mix of fighters and wizards you fought a couple creampuffs and from that point on it was hours and hours of collecting and outfitting fun. I don't even remember if this game had a plot, I'm pretty sure the dungeon just went on forever and ever, kinda like Ms. Pac-Man does.

Winter Games
Winter Games was the game I'd pull out when I really wanted to show off the Apple IIgs. This was an update of the old Epyx game everyone had played, but it looked and sounded much better on the IIgs than it did on any other system. Just an absolute classic game.

Sub Battle Simulator
I must have played this game 1000 times and I don't think I ever completed a single mission. Who cares? Sub Battle Simulator wasn't about actually doing what the game asked you to do, it was about running silent and blowing ships out of the water. Then restarting the game after getting exploded by depth charges.

Karateka was the first game I ever played on the Apple II that felt like it was better than an arcade game. It put similar titles, like Kung Fu and Karate Champ, to shame. Gameplay was easy, punch and kick your way though the bad guys until you reach the princess. Just make sure you bow before you try and kiss her. Approach her while still in your fighting stance and she'll drop you like a sack of kittens.

*that I owned at one time or another.


Anonymous said...

might and magic is a cool rpg for the apple ii

Anonymous said...

gotta have more of the shooters on here: Starblazer, Repton, Choplifter, Star Maze, Aquatron, Sabotage, Stellar 7, and Gorgon (the Defender inspired game that was better than Defender).

More: Gemstone Warrior, Miner 2049er, Conan, Aztec, Lode Runner, Boulderdash, Crisis Mountain, you could go on and on with this!!



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