Selected Software, 1980-84
(“Adventuresome story games in which players must deduce commands, make maps, and solve logical puzzles.”)
- CYBORG by Berlyn. “Text adventure with brief action skill game hidden in plot. As a futuristic part man, part robot, you’re lost in a strange forest, desperately needing food and power. At its release, in its realism and use of true plot, Cyborg represented one of the most significant advances in adventuring since the original Adventure. Sentient Software.”
- S.A.G.A. SERIES by Scott Adams. “Scott Adam’s prototypical adventures–12 in all–spruced up with 100-color graphics and Votrax vocals. Fun, not always logical, very story-oriented series. Each adventure has its own theme and often exotic locale. They map small but score big on imagination. Adventure International.” S.A.G.A. stood for Scott Adams Graphics Adventures. Originally published as text-only adventures for the TRS-80 computers, these were enhanced with graphics and released for the Apple II. The “100-color graphics” mentioned were still single hi-res, but used “dithering”, where dots from several colors were displayed next to each other, allowing more varied pictures. This technique was first used by Sierra On-Line for their graphics adventures. “Votrax vocals” referred to an early voice synthesizer that accepted “phoneme” text commands and translated them into a speaking voice.
- SWORDTHRUST SERIES. “Set of adventures, seven so far [as of 1984], that integrate fantasy role playing. Create one character, make friends in each new adventure, battle monsters and achieve goals together. Good stories, fun to map. Vocabulary no mystery, but puzzles are. Single character goes through all. CE Software.”
(Programs that could be useful particularly to people in a business setting).
(Programs useful for controlling a modem to communicate with other computers).
- P-TERM: THE PROFESSIONAL. “Supports all Pascal-compatible interfaces, asynchronous serial cards, Apple-compatible modems, and baud rates up to 2400. Southwestern Data Systems.” This was a Pascal-based terminal program.
- Z-TERM: THE PROFESSIONAL. “More than an update. Compatible with a great variety of modems, interface cards, and screen modes. Simple file transfer with integrity. Southwestern Data Systems.” This terminal program was CP/M-based (Z-80 processor).
(“Role-playing games involving characters that develop through experience in adventuresome stories, and whose actions players determine via set commands.”)
- BENEATH APPLE MANOR by Worth. “The original dungeon game for the Apple, created in 1978. Even in lo-res, it still stands up. Quality Software.” [Later re-released in a hi-res version that had a few more magic items. No relation to Quality Computers, an Apple product mail-order company that began in the late 1980's.]
- WILDERNESS CAMPAIGN by Clardy. “First fantasy game to leave the dungeon for the great outdoors; first in hi-res; first to bargain with merchants; and more. Synergistic Software.”
(Programs that allowed the user to display, manipulate, or draw graphics pictures on the Apple II).
- LPS II. “Superb hi-res graphics drawing system with light pen. Draw freehand or use circles and lines to create geometric shapes. Fill routine with colors and patterns; fun animation demo; programmable Pentrak driver. Gibson.” LPS stood for “Light Pen System”.
(A variety of programs useful on a computer at home, including home finance, music, inventory, and many other programs that didn’t fit well into any other category).
- CROSSWORD MAGIC. “Crossword puzzle maker. Choose subject, words, and clues; program automatically connects words. Play on-screen or make printout. L&S Computerware.”
(“Fast-action skill games; may include elements of fantasy.”)
(Educational programs for various ages).
- FRENCH HANGMAN, LATIN HANGMAN, SPANISH HANGMAN by Protelsch & Earl. “Hangman games that tell you the answer–in a foreign language. Interesting sentences, many formats. Addicting! Two-sided disk. George Earl.”
- GERTRUDE’S SECRETS. “Gertrude the Goose teaches four- to nine-year-olds shape and color relationships. Solve logic puzzles, create forms. The Learning Company.”
- THE NEW STEP BY STEP and STEP BY STEP TWO. “The New Step By Step teaches beginning programming. Step By Step Two teaches intermediate BASIC programming, peek and poke, hexadecimal numbers, concatenations, and more. Program Design.”
(“Thinking, planning, plotting games, from war games to backgammon to cards”.)
- COMPUTER AMBUSH by Williger. “Gutty soldier-to-soldier street fighting in World War II France. Latest version is 40 times faster than the original, which was one of the best games ever created for Apple, except for slowness. Strategic Simulations.”
- MICROGAMMON II. “Program for play, practice, improvement of backgammon skills. Pretty good competition. Artsci.”
(Various programs for managing disk files or to use in simplifying programming).
- COPY II PLUS. Automatic bit copying of protected programs, parameter lists on disk, plus easy copying of files between DOS 3.2.1 and DOS 3.3. Later versions provided the same ease for moving files between DOS 3.3 and ProDOS. Original v1.0 released in 1981, and at that time was only a bit-copy program suitable for copying protected disks. Central Point Software.
- GLOBAL PROGRAM LINE EDITOR by Konzen. “Enhanced version of Program Line Editor with programmable cursor and listing control. Edit line by line or by range of lines and search for strings. [Published originally by A.P.P.L.E., later by] Beagle Bros.” This program considerably simplified the entry and editing of Applesoft programs. Instead of the repetitious ESC-key cursor movements, PLE and GPLE allowed editing to be clearly displayed on the screen as it was done.
- SUPER DISK COPY III by Hartley. “Easy-to-use menu-driven software utility; correct file sizes, undelete, free DOS tracks, more. Sensible Software.”
(Programs to enter, edit, and print text).
- SCREENWRITER II by Kidwell/Schmoyer. “No extra hardware for upper-lower case, 70 column display, printer spooling. Edits BASIC, text, and binary files; complete search and replace. Sierra On-Line.” This solved the hardware problem of no lowercase display and only 40 columns of text by creating hi-res graphics characters. Because of the limits of the hi-res screen, it was only possible to get 70 columns of text in this mode. This method was later used in other word processors and even for Applesoft programs through add-on modules.
- SUPER-TEXT II by Zaron. “Basics of text editing plus split screen. Character-oriented, floating cursor edit with add, change, math, print, and preview modes. Muse Software.” Later update, Super-Text III, added 80 column capability, footnotes and headers, and an expandible math mode.