1983

Most Popular Software Of 1983

(Softalk Reader’s Poll) [1]

The Top Thirty:

  1. Lode Runner by Smith, Broderbund; arcade. “Ascend 150 unique levels in super run-climb-dig-jump game–or design your own puzzles, scenes, and setups–in quest to retrieve stolen gold from the Bungeling Empire. Voted Most Popular Program of 1983.” Another one that I once saw on an arcade game, though executed there more poorly than on the Apple version.
  2. Pinball Construction Set by Budge, Electronic Arts; arcade.
  3. Exodus: Ultima III by British, Origin Systems; fantasy.
  4. Zaxxon by Garcia, Datamost; arcade.
  5. Legacy Of Llylgamyn by Woodhead & Greenberg, Sir-Tech; fantasy. Third Wizardry scenario.
  6. Miner 2049er by Livesay & Hogue, Micro Lab; arcade. “Run jump, climb, and slide through the mines, reinforcing the groundwork along the way. Elevators, cannons, chutes, and ladders help as you avoid or stomp mutants on the way. Hot stuff, best of the genre.”
  7. Apple Writer IIe by Lutus, Apple Computer; word processor. “Includes WPL (word processing language). Additional functions menu; continuing features and functions menu; continuous readout of characters and length. IIe has shift, shift-lock, and tab, four-arrow cursor control, and delete key; data files compatible with II.”
  8. Hard Hat Mack by Abbot & Alexander, Electronic Arts; arcade. “Poor Mack. He must avoid vandals, inspectors, falling rivets, and hungry cement mixers to complete his building.”
  9. Bank Street Writer by Kuzmiak & The Bank Street College Of Education, Broderbund; word processor.
  10. Ultima II by British, Sierra On-Line; fantasy.
  11. Music Construction Set by Harvey, Electronic Arts; music utility. “Interactive music composition and learning tool allows user to create music or experiment with included music library.”
  12. Multiplan by Microsoft; spreadsheet.
  13. Stellar 7 by Slye, Software Entertainment; arcade.
  14. Double-Take by Simonsen, Beagle Bros; utility.
  15. QuickFile IIe by Lissner, Apple Computer; database.
  16. Zork III by Blank & Liebling, Infocom; adventure.
  17. Drol by Ngo, Broderbund; arcade.
  18. Beagle Basic by Simonsen, Beagle Bros; language.
  19. Mask Of The Sun by Anson, Clark, Franks, & Anson, Ultrasoft; adventure.
  20. A.E. by Wada, Broderbund; arcade.
  21. ProntoDOS by Weishaar, Beagle Bros; operating system.
  22. Julius Erving and Larry Bird Go One-on-One by Hammond, Bird, & Erving, Electronic Arts; arcade. “Graphically and intrinsically captures the moves, grace, and bearing of basketball forwards Dr. J and Larry Bird as they play one on one. The best video basketball imaginable, for one or two players.”
  23. Sargon III by Spracklin, Hayden; strategy. “Plays good chess fast. Much improved from Sargon II, contains 107 classic games from the past for instruction or entertainment.”
  24. Beagle Bag by Kersey, Beagle Bros; utility.
  25. Rocky’s Boots by Robinett & Grimm, The Learning Company; education.
  26. The Quest by Snell, Toler, & Rea, Penguin Software; adventure.
  27. Sammy Lightfoot by Schwader, Sierra On-Line; arcade.
  28. Planetfall by Meretzky, Infocom; adventure.
  29. Fontrix by Boker & Houston, Data Transforms; graphics. “Character generator creates unlimited number of typefaces, uses them to write on a screen extended 16 times. Extremely significant development in graphics.”
  30. Enchanter by Blank & Liebling, Infocom; adventure. “First of trilogy sequel to Zork expands interaction with other characters, goes above ground, increases use of logical magic. No big breakthroughs, but simply delightful.”

Adventure 10:

  1. Zork III by Blank & Liebling, Infocom.
  2. Mask Of The Sun by Anson, Clark, Franks, & Anson, Ultrasoft.
  3. The Quest by Snell, Toler, & Rea, Penguin Software.
  4. Planetfall by Meretzky, Infocom.
  5. Enchanter by Blank & Liebling, Infocom.
  6. Suspended by Berlyn, Infocom. “Well-plotted adventure demands control of six independent robots who can act simultaneously. Intelligent, challenging exercise in logic. A milestone.”
  7. Sherwood Forest by Johson & Holle, Phoenix.
  8. Starcross by Liebling & Blank, Infocom.
  9. Witness by Galley, Infocom. “Interactive mystery adventure set in 1938 reflects the style of pulp detective fiction popular then. Fun packaging and fun to play, although less complex than Deadline. A good step forward for an infant genre.”
  10. The Coveted Mirror by Berns & Thomason, Penguin Software.

Business 10:

  1. Multiplan by Microsoft; spreadsheet.
  2. QuickFile IIe by Lissner, Apple Computer; database.
  3. The Incredible Jack by Business Solutions. “Word processor, database, and spreadsheet, plus mailing label print and sort. Gives 80-column u/lc display automatically on the IIe, with 64K, 80-column card on the II Plus.” This was the first integrated software package for the Apple II (possibly for any computer), pre-dating of AppleWorks by 18 months. An updated version, called Jack2, was released in 1984, adding the capability of doing charts and graphs. Unfortunately, the juggernaut of AppleWorks made it difficult for this program to succeed in the integrated software market.
  4. T.H.E. Spreadsheet by Wigginton, Banks, & Wozniak, A.P.P.L.E. Short-lived spreadsheet program that was originally to have been sold by Apple Computer.
  5. Magicalc by Graves, Artsci; spreadsheet.
  6. Cdex VisiCalc by Cdex.
  7. Bookends by Ashwell, Sensible Software.
  8. Agri-Ledger by McFarling, SBCS.
  9. Supercalc by Sorcim; spreadsheet.
  10. SoftGraph by Durkee, Softalk Publishing.

Fantasy 5:

  1. Exodus: Ultima III by British, Origin Systems.
  2. Legacy Of Llylgamyn by Woodhead & Greenberg, Sir-Tech.
  3. Ultima II by British, Sierra On-Line.
  4. Chivalry by Hefter, Weekly Reader Family Software.
  5. Standing Stones by Schmuckal & Sommers, Electronic Arts.

Hobby 10:

  1. Double-Take by Simonsen, Beagle Bros.
  2. Beagle Basic by Simonsen, Beagle Bros.
  3. ProntoDOS by Weishaar, Beagle Bros.
  4. Fontrix by Boker & Houston, Data Transforms.
  5. KoalaPad Micro Illustrator by Dompier, Koala.
  6. Tip Disk #1 by Kersey, Beagle Bros.
  7. Diversi-DOS by Basham, Diversified Software Research.
  8. Einstein Compiler by Goodrow & Einstein, Einstein Corporation.
  9. Flex Text by Simonsen, Beagle Bros.
  10. Typefaces by Kersey, Beagle Bros.

Home 10:

  1. Music Construction Set by Harvey, Electronic Arts; music utility.
  2. Dollars & Sense by Mullin, Monogram; home finance.
  3. Money Street by Hill & Payne, Computer Tax Service.
  4. Micro Cookbook by Virtual Combinatics.
  5. Smartcom I by Hayes Microcomputer Products; terminal program.
  6. Softerm by Stricklan, Softronics. “Emulation program makes the Apple II Plus into a look-alike for many other popular CRT terminals, allowing use of programs written for other terminals without programming changes. Also enables access to mainframes, timesharing services, and other Apple computers. Keyboard macros and automatic answerback capabilities.”
  7. Think Tank by Winer & Llewellyn, Living Videotext; outline processor.
  8. Know Your Apple IIe by Muse. “Visually oriented computer tutorials with manuals cover disks, drives, and peripherals. Models of clarity.”
  9. Family Roots by Vorenberg, Quinsept. “Professional genealogy database.with unlimited-records capability. Unprotected; works with 80-column and u/lc. Extensive documentation.”
  10. Time Is Money by Tepper, Turning Point Software; home finance.

Home-Arcade 20:

  1. Lode Runner by Smith, Broderbund.
  2. Pinball Construction Set by Budge, Electronic Arts.
  3. Zaxxon by Garcia, Datamost.
  4. Miner 2049er by Livesay & Hogue, Micro Lab.
  5. Hard Hat Mack by Abbot & Alexander, Electronic Arts.
  6. Stellar 7 by Slye, Software Entertainment.
  7. Drol by Ngo, Broderbund.
  8. A.E. by Wada, Broderbund.
  9. One-on-One by Hammond, Electronic Arts.
  10. Sammy Lightfoot by Schwader, Sierra On-Line.
  11. Minit Man by Malone, Penguin Software.
  12. Spare Change by Zeller & Zeller, Broderbund.
  13. Bolo by Elvyn Software, Synergistic Software.
  14. Repton by Dan Thompson & Andy Kaluzniacki, Sirius Software.
  15. Cubit by Oswal, Micromax.
  16. Super Taxman II by Fitzgerald, H.A.L. Labs.
  17. Wavy Navy by McAuley, Sirius Software.
  18. Microbe by Clardy & Zalta, Synergistic Software.
  19. Bilestoad by Earthshoe, DataMost.
  20. Evolution by Mattick & Sember, Sydney Development.

Home Education 10:

  1. Rocky’s Boots by Robinett & Grimm, The Learning Company.
  2. Computer SAT by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
  3. Stickybear ABC by Hefter & Rice, Weekly Reader Family Software.
  4. Type Attack by Hauser & Brock, Sirius Software.
  5. In Search Of The Most Amazing Thing by Snyder, Spinnaker.
  6. Early Games For Young Children by Paulson, Counterpoint.
  7. Stickybear Numbers by Hefter & Worthington, Weekly Reader Family Software.
  8. Delta Drawing by Computer Access Corporation, Spinnaker. “Kids can make colorful drawings by using single-key commands. No special talent needed; this one develops programs that create complex graphics.”
  9. Fat City by Hefter & Worthington, Weekly Reader Family Software.
  10. Microzine by Information Technology Design Associates, Scholastic.

Strategy 10:

  1. Sargon III by Spracklin, Hayden.
  2. Germany 1985 by Keating, Strategic Simulations.
  3. Chess 7.0 by Atkin, Odesta.
  4. Broadsides by Garris, Strategic Simulations.
  5. Geopolitique 1990 by Ketchledge & Billings, Strategic Simulations.
  6. Space Vikings by Robbins, SubLogic.
  7. Spitfire Simulator by Kurtz, Mind Systems.
  8. North Atlantic ’86 by Grigsby, Strategic Simulations.
  9. Pensate by Besnard, Penguin Software. “Chess-type thinking game with new tactics. Computer’s many pieces move in relation to player’s piece; each of 10 types of computer pieces has unique rules. Makes full use of computer capabilities. Intriguing, progressive, and addicting.”
  10. Galactic Adventures by Reamy, Strategic Simulations.

Word Processors 10:

  1. Apple Writer IIe by Lutus, Apple Computer.
  2. Bank Street Writer by Kusmiak & the Bank Street College of Education,Broderbund.
  3. PFS:Write by Edwards, Crain, & Mitchell, Software Publishing Corporation.
  4. HomeWord by Williams & Stephenson, Sierra On-Line.
  5. Word Juggler IIe by Gill, Quark.
  6. Apple Writer II Preboot Disk by Armstrong & Borgerson, Videx.
  7. Megawriter by Megahaus.
  8. Lexicheck IIe by Gill, Quark.
  9. Write Away by Stinson, Midwest Software Associates.
  10. Cut & Paste by Mott, Lane, Shaw, Maynard, Silva, Hayes, & Morrison, Electronic Arts.

NOTES

  1. [1] —–. “Lode Runner Runs Away”, Softalk, Apr 1984: 72-77.
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