In January of last year, Darren Gladstone posted a blog to PCWorld.com entitled "Classic Apple II Games That Inspired Today's Greats ", though it wasn't until three months later that I found it. Wanting to spread the word of the Apple II's influence, and under the content-sharing agreement between PCWorld and my own employer, I reposted the blog to Computerworld.com . For some reason, that republication got noticed more than the original, and sites like Virtual Apple  experienced a noticeable increase in traffic.
That same blog post got me thinking not just about classic Apple II games, but also their modern analogues on the Mac or online. I started drawing mental comparisons, similar to the Life & Death / Trauma Center  similarities I've already outlined here. As the list grew, I decided to present my findings at KansasFest  2009. To streamline the presentation by remaining within a single operating system, I downloaded YouTube videos demonstrating the gameplay of Apple II classics and had their Mac or online equivalents ready to show. I didn't have time to make all the comparisons I'd prepared, but here are those that were showcased:
|Montezuma's Revenge||Midnight Mansion||✓ |
|Conan: Hall of Volta||Midnight Mansion||✓ |
|Robotron||Grid Wars||✓ |
|Lode Runner||Android||✓ ||✓ ||✓ |
|Choplifter||Chopper||✓ ||✓ |
|Shadowgate||Malstrum's Mansion||✓ |
|Oregon Trail||Thule Road Trip||✓ |
Click on the checkmark in the appropriate column above to find that version of the game. Note that Grid Wars is listed but no longer available from its official source due to a potential copyright infringement with the popular video game Geometry Wars. Grid Wars' Wikipedia entry  suggests alternatives.
I've compiled a YouTube playlist demonstrating the gameplay of the above Apple II games :
The session was better received than I anticipated. I didn't think anyone would enjoy watching me play games, but the trip down memory lane paired with modern gaming somehow seemed to resonate. In hindsight, the only game I should not have included was Solstice, as it turned out to be for the Nintendo only and was never released for the Apple II — no wonder my audience didn't recognize it!
The positive feedback from my 2009 session has motivated me to revisit the topic later this month at KansasFest 2010 . I have nearly a dozen more games to compare and contrast, but I welcome your suggestions. What Apple II entertainment software would you like to find an equivalent for on a modern platform?