Most Popular Software Of 1982

(Softalk Reader’s Poll) [1]

The Top Thirty:

  1. Choplifter by Gorlin, Broderbund; arcade. “Fly your chopper to rescue 64 hostages, avoiding interceptor jets, homing mines, and tanks. Challenging, realistic, and playful. Stunning graphics.” One of the few games that appeared first on a personal computer and later was translated for play on a coin-operated arcade game. You really wanted to rescue these little people running out of their barracks, waving to your helicopter for help (and ignoring the enemy aircraft and tanks that were shelling them and your ‘copter.
  2. Wizardry by Greenberg & Woodhead, Sir-Tech; fantasy.
  3. Cannonball Blitz by Lubeck, Sierra On-Line; arcade. “Donkey Kong” clone.
  4. Knight Of Diamonds by Greenberg & Woodhead, Sir-Tech; fantasy. Second scenario in Wizardry series.
  5. Night Mission Pinball by Artwick, SubLogic; arcade.
  6. Star Blazer by Suzuki, Broderbund; arcade.
  7. Snack Attack by Illowsky, DataMost; arcade. “Pac-Man” style game.
  8. Taxman by Fitzgerald, H.A.L. Labs; arcade. “Very smooth, fast-moving eat-the-dots–all you expect from fruit to nuts. Keyboard control returns excellent expert-pleasing response; turn on a Sheila-sized dime.” A very accurate reproduction of “Pac-Man”, complete with “cartoons” every few levels. So accurately did it imitate Pac-Man that Atari’s lawyers strongly suggested that H.A.L. Labs to stop selling it.
  9. Ultima II by British, Sierra On-Line; adventure.
  10. Graphics Magician by Jochumson, Lubar, & Pelczarski, Penguin Software; graphics utility. “Outstanding animation package consisting of a picture editor and shape table extender designed to allow programmers to design and store graphics files. Comes with utility program to transfer binary files.”
  11. Swashbuckler by Stephenson, DataMost; arcade.
  12. Home Accountant by Schoenburg, Grodin, & Pollack, Continental Software; home finance.
  13. Serpentine by Snider, Broderbund; arcade.
  14. The Arcade Machine by Jochumson & Carlston, Broderbund Software; arcade.
  15. Bandits by Ngo & Ngo, Sirius Software; arcade.
  16. Frogger by Lubeck, Sierra On-Line; arcade. “Not even close.” That is all the comment Softalk gave it in the “Fastalk” column. This “official” version of the arcade game got poor reviews when it was released, as the graphics were not as good as the Apple II was capable of doing.
  17. Crossfire by Sullivan, Sierra On-Line; arcade. “Critters come at you from four directions on a grid laid out like city blocks. Strategy and intense concentration required. Superb, smooth animation of a dozen pieces simultaneously. One of the great ones.”
  18. Threshold by Schwader & Williams, Sierra On-Line; arcade.
  19. Microwave by Zimmerman & Nitchals, Cavalier Computer; arcade.
  20. Time Zone by Williams & Williams, Sierra On-Line; adventure. “‘Microepic’ hi-res adventure featuring ten periods from past and future history all over world and universe on eight double-sided disks. Good puzzles, many dangers.”
  21. Bag Of Tricks by Worth & Lechner, Quality Software; utility.
  22. Deadline by Infocom; adventure. “Episode one in a projected series of murder mysteries by the authors of Zork. Interrogate, accuse, make transcripts. Includes inspector’s casebook, lab report”.
  23. Zork II by Blank & Liebling, Infocom; adventure.
  24. David’s Midnight Magic by Snider, Broderbund Software; arcade. Pinball game.
  25. Bug Attack by Nitchals, Cavalier Computer; arcade. “Centipede” clone.
  26. Aztec by Stephenson, DataMost; arcade.
  27. Snake Byte by Summerville, Sirius Software; arcade.
  28. Apple Mechanic by Kersey, Beagle Bros; utility.
  29. Sensible Speller by Sensible Software; word processor utility. “Spell-checking program sports listable 85,000 words, extensible up to 110,000 words. Recognizes contractions, gives word counts, word incidence, number of unique words. Clear documentation and simplicity of operation. Works with many word processors’ files. Best of breed.” Originally called “The Apple Speller”.
  30. The Mask Of The Sun by Anson, Clark, Franks, & Anson, Ultrasoft; adventure.

Adventure 10:

  1. Time Zone by Williams & Williams, Sierra On-Line.
  2. Deadline by Infocom.
  3. Zork II by Blank & Liebling, Infocom.
  4. The Mask Of The Sun by Anson, Clark, Franks, & Anson, Ultrasoft.
  5. Starcross by Infocom.
  6. Hi-Res Adventure #4: Ulysses And The Golden Fleece by Davis & Williams, Sierra On-Line.
  7. Zork III by Blank & Liebling, Infocom. “Text lives! A masterpiece of logic and a grand adventure to revel in. Hard, logical puzzle with unique point system.” The scoring system rewarded benevolence instead of giving points for finding treasure or killing monsters.
  8. Transylvania by Antiochia, Penguin Software.
  9. Kabul Spy by Wilson, Sirius Software.
  10. Escape From Rungistan by Blauschild, Sirius Software.

Business 10:

  1. dBase II by Ratliff, Ashton-Tate. “Speedy relational database management system. Requires SoftCard“.
  2. General Manager by Brillig Systems/Malachowski & Cooper, Sierra On-Line. “Database program that allows economic projections, search and select options, and screen formatting for data entry.”
  3. PFS:Report by Page, Software Publishing Corporation.
  4. PFS:Graph by Chin & Hill, Software Publishing Corporation.
  5. Multiplan by Microsoft. Was available in both Apple CP/M and 6502 versions.
  6. VersaForm by Landau, Applied Software Technology.
  7. First Class Mail by Schoenburg & Pollack, Continental Software.
  8. List Handler by Silicon Valley Systems.
  9. VisiCalc Formatting Aids by Data Security Concepts.
  10. Data Reporter by Clardy, Anson, & Branham, Synergistic Software.

Fantasy 8:

  1. Wizardry by Greenberg & Woodhead, Sir-Tech.
  2. Knight Of Diamonds by Greenberg & Woodhead, Sir-Tech.
  3. Ultima II by British, Sierra On-Line.
  4. Prisoner 2 by Mullich, Edu-Ware. “Totally re-landscaped but loyal version of original game, Prisoner: Full-color hi-res graphics added, puzzles reworded, obstacles expanded. Sophistication and difficult exercise in intimidation with elements of satire. Escape from an island requires player to solve logical puzzles, overcome obstacles, and answer riddles. Excellent computer fare; nothing else like it.”
  5. Crush, Crumble, And Chomp by Epyx/Automated Simulations.
  6. Apventure To Atlantis by Clardy, Synergistic Software.
  7. Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves by Smith, Quality Software.
  8. Empire I: World Builders by Mullich, Edu-Ware Services.

Hobby 10:

  1. Graphics Magician by Jochumson, Lubar, & Pelczarski, Penguin Software.
  2. Bag Of Tricks by Worth & Lechner, Quality Software.
  3. Apple Mechanic by Kersey, Beagle Bros.
  4. Utility City by Kersey, Beagle Bros.
  5. Zoom Grafix by Holle, Phoenix Software.
  6. Merlin by Bredon, Southwestern Data Systems. Assembler.
  7. GraForth by Lutus, Insoft. “A graphics language rewritten for maximum speed. Plotting, line, text display, character image, and high speed 3-D graphics, with variety of colors and drawing options. Includes music synthesizer”.
  8. Alpha Plot by Kersey & Cassidy, Beagle Bros.
  9. Special Effects by Pelczarski, Penguin Software.
  10. Apple-Cillin II by Jones & Peters, XPS. Diagnostic software.

Home 10:

  1. Home Accountant by Schoenburg, Grodin, & Pollack, Continental Software.
  2. Personal Finance Manager by Gold, Apple Computer.
  3. ASCII Express: The Professional by Blue & Robbins, Southwestern Data Systems. “Greatly improved version of original modem software package … Works with a plethora of hardware.”
  4. Electric Duet by Lutus, Insoft. “Two-voice music without hardware. A bit involved, but superb sound quality.” Many song files compatible with this were created over the years.
  5. Dow Jones Market Analyzer by Burch, RTR Software.
  6. Transend by Dygert & Kniskern, SSM; Available eventually in three versions, Transend 1, 2, and 3. “Intelligent-terminal software with multiple hardware compatibility. Advanced, easy to use. 1 sends text only; menu-driven, limited editor. 2 sends text and files like VisiCalc, verifies transmission. 3 does both and handles electronic password mail with automatic redial, clock calendar, and password protection. SSM.
  7. Ceemac by Boering, Vagabondo Enterprises. “Visual composition language. Compose-execute-compose swapping by single key commands. Interpreter released as Fire Organ“.
  8. Tax Manager by TASO, Micro Lab.
  9. DataFax by Bianchi & Diezmann, Link Systems.
  10. Real Estate Analyzer by Howard, Howardsoft.

Home-Arcade 20:

  1. Choplifter by Gorlin, Broderbund.
  2. Cannonball Blitz by Lubeck, Sierra On-Line.
  3. Night Mission Pinball by Artwick, SubLogic.
  4. Star Blazer by Suzuki, Broderbund.
  5. Snack Attack by Illowsky, DataMost.
  6. Taxman by Fitzgerald, H.A.L. Labs.
  7. Swashbuckler by Stephenson, DataMost.
  8. Serpentine by Snider, Broderbund.
  9. The Arcade Machine by Jochumson & Carlston, Broderbund Software. Allowed user to custom design your own maze games.
  10. Bandits by Ngo & Ngo, Sirius Software.
  11. Frogger by Lubeck, Sierra On-Line.
  12. Crossfire by Sullivan, Sierra On-Line.
  13. Threshold by Schwader & Williams, Sierra On-Line.
  14. Microwave by Zimmerman & Nitchals, Cavalier Computer.
  15. David’s Midnight Magic by Snider, Broderbund Software.
  16. Bug Attack by Nitchals, Cavalier Computer.
  17. Aztec by Stephenson, DataMost.
  18. Snake Byte by Summerville, Sirius Software.
  19. Pinball Construction Set by Budge, BudgeCo. “Design and play your own computer games on-screen, with zero programming. A miracle of rare device. Superior.” The first program I ever saw that used the concepts we all take for granted now: A pointer on the screen for picking up and dropping objects, and moving lines. This was all done on an Apple II with a joystick, before the Macintosh was off the drawing board.
  20. Beer Run by Turmell, Sirius Software.
  21. Super Taxman 2 by Fitzgerald, H.A.L. Labs; “Pac up your troubles! Bigger, more complex version of the most perfect extant legal rendition of a certain arcade game. You can look at the cartoons whenever you want.” It used the same general graphics as Taxman, but used different mazes, to avoid the wrath of Atari.
  22. Thief by Flanagan, DataMost; “Beserk” clone.
  23. Seafox by Hobbs, Broderbund.
  24. Crisis Mountain by Schroeder, Synergistic Software.
  25. Marauder by Weigandt & Hammond, Sierra On-Line.
  26. Jawbreaker by Lubeck, Sierra On-Line; “Candy store-oriented eat-the-dots game with automatically escalated skill levels. A courtroom favorite.” That final comment refers to the legal action taken regarding this game. Although it used different graphics, it was clearly a “Pac-Man” clone, and so Sierra On-Line was sued over it. When the judge was shown the two programs to make a ruling on it, he determined that they didn’t “look” anything alike, much to Atari’s chagrin, and Sierra was allowed to continue selling their game.
  27. Ceiling Zero by Warady, Turnkey Software.
  28. Star Maze by Eastman, Sir-Tech.

Home Education 10:

  1. Apple Logo by Papert, Logo Computers Systems/Apple Computer.
  2. Terrapin Logo by Terrapin.
  3. Snooper Troops I by Snyder, Spinnaker Software.
  4. Facemaker by DesignWare, Spinnaker Software.
  5. Early Games For Young Children by Paulson, Learning Tools. “Basic training in numbers, letters, Apple keyboard for children ages two to seven; no adult supervision needed. Has a neat little drawing program.”
  6. Elementary My Dear Apple by Apple Computer.
  7. Snooper Troops II by Snyder, Spinnaker Software.
  8. New Step By Step by Victor, Program Design Inc.
  9. Rocky’s Boots by Robinett & Grimm, Learning Company.
  10. Type Attack by Hauser & Brock, Sirius Software.

Strategy 10:

  1. Hi-Res Computer Golf by Aronoff, Avant-Garde.
  2. Rendezvous by Huntress, Edu-Ware Services. Space shuttle simulation.
  3. Guadalcanal Campaign by Grigsby, Strategic Simulations.
  4. Spitfire Simulator by Kurtz, Mind Systems.
  5. Galactic Gladiators by Reamy, Strategic Simulations.
  6. Air-Sim 1 by Kurtz, Mind Systems.
  7. Cosmic Balance by Murray, Strategic Simulations. Space fleet battle simulation.
  8. Cytron Masters by Robbins, SubLogic.
  9. Space Vikings by Robbins, SubLogic.
  10. Southern Command by Keating, Strategic Simulations.

Word Processors 10:

  1. Sensible Speller by Hartley, Sensible Software.
  2. Word Handler by Elekman, Silicon Valley Systems. Used 70 column hi-res text for upper/lowercase display on any Apple II.
  3. PIE Writer by Softwest, Hayden.
  4. Magic Window II by Depew, Artsci.
  5. Executive Secretary by Risken, Sof/Sys.
  6. The Dictionary by Cain, Sierra On-Line.
  7. Easy Writer Professional by Draper, Information Unlimited Software.
  8. Zardax by Phillips, Action-Research Northwest.
  9. Gutenburg by Micromation. “User-definable character set, split-screen hi-res and lo-res editing for text, program files. Performs text block moves and deletes; paint program produces large illustrations integrated with text.
  10. Bank Street Writer by Kusmiak & the Bank Street College of Education, Broderbund.


  1. [1]—–. “It’s Choplifter in ’82”, Softalk, Apr 1983: 76-82.

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