We’ve talked about best games and worst games. We’ve debated the meaning of “role-playing game”. Now it’s time to take a look back at how it all started.

However, I’m not the one doing it. Matt Barton, over at Armchair Arcade, has jumped into the murky waters of CRPG history, and published the first part of his retrospective.

And a good job, too, as he mentions a few lesser-known titles that came out on some of the lesser platforms of the time.

One game he missed out on was an obscure little product called Beneath Apple Manor. As you may have guessed, it was for the Apple ][ only.

BAM featured ASCII graphics, and your job was to fight your way through the dungeons below the manor and recover the fabled Golden Apple. That was tricky, because there were several false apples, too. Picking the wrong one meant an early demise.

The reason I mention BAM (written by Don Worth) is that it came out in 1978, making it an early entry in the CRPG stakes. However, it didn’t have the influence that others did.

In any case, read the article, which covers CRPG history up through 1983. He’s working on another one, for the next time period, and I’m interested in seeing that one, too.

Part 1 of The History of Computer Roleplaying Games