These games have either a particular historical interest, or look innovative for their era :
- Legionnaire (aka “Legionnaire 1979“) by Chris Crawford (Commodore PET, 1979)
This is the second game by Chris Crawford, self-published in 1979 with around 200 copies distributed. The 1982 re-edition by Avalon Hill is well-known but that version is so different it is basically a different game. Very high historical value.
- Battle Cruiser Action by Mytopia Gameware Institute (Apple II, 1981)
- Stellar Action by Mytopia Gameware Institute (Apple II, 198?)
Those two games are very early instances of tactical games on PC. A nice anon’ managed to locate the manuals, but the games themselves seem lost. I contacted the developer (Frank Heffner) who told me he lost his copies in a flood, so no point to contact him anymore. According to him, Battle Cruiser Action shipped less than 500 copies (including 200 in UK), and Stellar Action 250 copies.
Battle of Gettysburg by Softwride (Color Computer, 1982).Incredible find by LanHawk from the CRPGAddict blog This “Coco” game may be according to the ads and to the manual the first real-time tactics for Coco, and given it was released in 1982 one of the first real-time tactics on PC in general.
- Hannibal by Richard Bodley-Scott, published by Molimerx (TRS-80, 198X)
- Triumph of Rome, by Richard Bodley-Scott, published by Molimerx (TRS-80, 198X)
- Admiral Graf Spee, author unknown, published by Molymerx (TRS-80, 198X)
The British company Molimerx released several wargames, some of which are now lost. The two first ones are of particular interest as they have been designed by Richard Bodley-Scott (of Field of Glory fame). I contacted him and he does not have them. The last one may have been an exclusivity of Molymerx, the New Zealand & Australia branch / partner (“it is complicated“) of Molimerx.
The first two games may or may not have been released on BBC Micro.
ZorphWar : SuperSpace War by William Seurer (Sol-20, 1977 ; possibly released in 1981 as a type-in) ?Found by LanHawk from the CRPGAddict blog ! A very early space combat game, possibly a Trek73 clone.
Games whose manuals are lost, and they cannot be played without it :
- Crusaders by Simon Ford, published by Molimerx (TRS-80 and BBC Micro, 198X)
- William of Normandy by Simon Ford, published by Molimerx (TRS-80 and BBC Micro, 198X)
Two more Molimerx games. They are not playable without the manuals, as they are fairly complex simulations. William of Normandy in particular is not about the landing but the diplomatic preparation of it, which makes it pretty unique.
- DDay-Invasion of France by David Landrey (TRS-80, 1980)
- Battle of the Bulge : St Vith by David Landrey (TRS-80, 1980)
- Battle of the Bulge : Bastogne by David Landrey (TRS-80, 1980)
Those three games may take the second position after Tanktics in the “first computer wargames ever released” category, depending on when exactly in 1980 they were released. They are also the first games by David Landrey (of Tactical Design Group fame). I have not been able to contact David Landrey. You need the manual to play them, as the game expects you to respect the movement rules yourself, and to tell it which units are in-supply or out of supply according to the manual.
- Hyperspace Patrol by Synergistic Solar (TRS-80, 1982)
- Hypergate Centurion by Synergistic Solar (TRS-80, 1982)
Synergistic Solar has released a string of innovative games, especially given the constraints of the TRS-80. Those two games received rave reviews, but they are not playable without their manuals, and said manuals are lost.
- Bez MX, by Bez-MX (not a typo !), (Apple II, 1982)
A turn-based artillery game with real-time elements, it is sometimes listed as a RTS precursor.
- Delta Squadron by Nexa Corporation (Apple II, 1982)
A turn-based Death Star trench-run game that visually looks waaayyyy more advanced than 1982, it is impossible to play without its manual.
- War by Adventure International (various platforms, 1982)
The only wargame published by Adventure International, it would be great to play it. I asked Scott Adams and he gave me a good lead that may take time to go through, so if someone has it…
Games that I have, but I cannot play as they are in Japanese. I don’t have their manuals either, and they would need translation too.
- Moritan no Battlefield by Enix Corporation (PC-88, 1982)
The first game by Enix and, possibly, a precursor to Advanced Wars. It sure looks like it.
- Combat [konbatto] by Koei (PC-88 (I think ?), 1982 (probably ?))
- Battle of Normandy [Norumandî Jyouriku Sakusen] by Koei (PC-88 (I think ?), 1982 (probably ?))
Two early games by Koei (then Koey) in BASIC. Edit : LanHawk found them, but I am still looking for their manuals.
- Starblazer, by Ark Royal Games (Color Computer, 1982)
Briefly appeared in the catalogue of the wargame specialist Ark Royal Games. Given the name, it may be arcade, but I would love to check.
- Battle of the Bulge by C.P.S. Game (Atari and ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- Battle of the River Plate by C.P.S. Game (Atari and ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- Convoy by C.P.S. Game (Atari and ZX Spectrum, 198X
- Task Force South by Stellar Services (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- Crusade by Venn Software (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- Trenches by Venn Software (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- Die Haendlertrilogie by Wicosoft (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- Shiva Inferno by Red Shift (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
Fall of the Third Reich by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X)See below Armor Car by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X)See below Mount Suribachi by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X)See below Middle Earth by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X)See below Panzer by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X)See below Blitzkrieg by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X)Found by Porkbelly. Two players only so no article incloming. Those 6 games (and 2 more) were released by Dynacomp as part of a compilation called “Battlefield!!!“, with some standardisation (no more arachnids, it is all “infantry” & “armor”) Sometimes, game history is hard to piece together. See below :
Some games I found in one list or another, sometimes (for the C.P.S. games) in two different lists ! I am not even sure all of them are wargames.
Zendar by SubLogic (Apple II, 1982)Sent by Porkbelly Max Command by Rockroy (Apple II, 1982)Sent by Porkbelly. In French amusingly The Final Conflict, by the Hayden Book Company (Apple II, 1982)Uploaded by Hoeksmas