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Gamasutra - History of Gaming Platforms: The Apple II

by Magerette, 2008-02-04 18:00:03

Gamasutra brings us the next chapter in their ongoing history of gaming platforms, this time taking a detailed look, complete with some classic old games' screens, at the development and use of the Apple II:

The Apple II is one of the most successful, influential and long-lived home computers of all time. Perhaps more than any other machine, it moved the home computer from the worktable of the hobbyist to the living room of the typical American family. The Apple series debuted in 1977 and became a definitive home computer after the introduction of the Disk II drive in 1978. The "Platinum" IIe, the last of the Apple II line, was in production until November 1993. For countless enthusiasts and professionals thriving in the industry today, the adventure began with their first bite of Apple...

... Since the Apple II was a prime platform for over a decade, it's hardly surprising that thousands of games were produced for it. Although a haven for strategy, role-playing, and adventure software, the Apple II's massive game library was hardly limited to these categories. Genre-defining releases came from a full range of famous developers and publishers, including Broderbund, Electronic Arts, Infocom, Interplay, Origin, and SSI.

Mystery House (1980) by On-line Systems (later, Sierra) was the first commercial text adventure with graphics. The company's later Time Zone (1982) was one of the first true epic games, spanning six double-sided disks and featuring 1500 screens to explore. Although Richard Garriott released his Akalabeth: World of Doom (1980) first, his second role-playing game, Ultima (1981), set the stage for one of the most storied franchises in gaming.

Sir-Tech's Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (1981) set the standard for the role-playing dungeon crawl and still spawns sequels. Castle Wolfenstein (Muse, 1981) was an exciting strategy arcade adventure that featured crude, but effective speech. Broderbund's Choplifter (1982) arcade game featured a unique two-axis control scheme for independent control of the helicopter's direction and vertical movement.


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