The 10 Greatest Games for the Apple II

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6. Castle Wolfenstein. This game was not cartoony. It felt like serious, grown-up entertainment. The day our Apple IIe came to life and barked “halt!” at me, in a credible German accent? That day I knew fear.

7. Star Blazer. I loved Scramble in the arcade, and this was a totally playable take on the side-scrolling, shoot’n’bomb genre. Oh, the cat-and-mouse games I played with that damn tank. It’s been a long time, old friend.

8. Wizardry. Actually, Wizardry kinda sucked. I mean, it was a good idea. Combine D&D-style gameplay with computer graphics, and what do you get? How bad could it be? Well, it was actually pretty boring. But still sort of awesome. I mean, D&D plus a computer! Come on!

9. Battlezone. I spent the summer of 1981 in a pub in Oxford pumping their weird foreign coins into a Battlezone machine and yanking the bejeezus out of its double-joystick controls. How stunned was I when a couple of years later, it turned out I could get back into that weird wireframe world through the portal of our Apple IIe.

It was a strangely serene world. Everything was smooth and perfect and platonic. You wanted to hang out there even if there was no one to shoot. Later we moved onto Stellar 7, which was a souped-up clone. That was even better.

10. Archon. The idea behind Archon, as far as I can tell, was to take the holographic chess game they played on the Millennium Falcon, where the pieces fought each other for real, and duplicate it on the Apple II. It work. If I actually liked chess, and didn’t suck at it, I would have enjoyed Archon a lot more than I did. But it was still great.

Honorable mentions to Escape from Rungistan and also Bilestoad, which was a bizarre medieval combat game in which you viewed the combatants from directly over their heads. It looked unbelievably cool. For the 4 seconds before it hung on our machine. I put a lot of thought into imagining the lifelike virtual axe combat I would engage in, if I only had a little more RAM.

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4 comments
oldgamer
oldgamer

The tank in Star Blazer took exactly a quarter of a second to kill! Also, Wizardry did not suck.

BryanG
BryanG

Great article!  I grew up with an Apple IIe in the house as well and love the nostalgia of old computer gaming.  Spent many hours playing a variety of games that I thought should be worth mentioning, in the event that anyone else might be looking for more after whetting their appetite on your article...My favorites include Ultima I-IV, Chivalry, Conan, Karateka, Hard Hat Mac, Transylvania, Crypt of Medea and Stephen King's The Mist.  I was elated to find Virtual ][, a mac-based Apple II emulator recently and have been playing some of the old games.  The emulator is great, and I highly recommend it to anyone who longs to relive their good ol' days!

abubin
abubin

what plugin did you use for separating your article into 2 pages? Standard WP does not have this good look and I have been searching for hours and still can't find something like this.

AdamColbert
AdamColbert

You mentioned not being able to find a good link for Bolo. Unrelatedly, a few days ago I stumbled across virtualapple.org where you can play all Apple 2 games (through a Firefox plugin), and Bolo is on there ---> .org/bolodisk.html  :)


I was incredibly ecstatic at finding that site, personally, because it was FINALLY tangible proof for that runaway slave gave, Freedom!, which according to wikipedia was taken off the market for being racially offensive......which would explain why I'd had a LOT of difficulty finding traces of it ANYWHERE. I played it in 4-5 grade, but instead of it being racist I just remember it being incredibly hard, not racist!

I am currently in search of some kind of "build a paper rocket and customize it to launch the farthest" game, as well as one that there are 30 students, you assign a brush/floss/flouride schedule for them (yes, you can see the fun beginning now), and it would time lapse over a month and show the progression of cavities. Of course, you're SUPPOSED to find that "magic combination" to get the fewest number of cavities, but we had quite more fun playing in the opposite.