Choplifter (Sega Master System)

Choplifter for the Sega Master System (1986)

Choplifter is another one of those games with an interesting pedigree. It was originally developed by Broderbund for the Apple II and ported to a number of systems including the Commodore 64, VIC-20, Atari 8-bit computers, and Atari 5200 among others shortly thereafter. Then in 1985 Sega released a remake as an arcade game. This arcade remake was then ported to the NES and Sega Master System in 1986. Graphically enhanced versions were also released for the Atari 7800 and XEGS in 1988 though it isn’t clear to me what the source of those particular ports was.

I am most familiar with the Commodore 64 version. The Sega Master System version certainly has fancier graphics but it had nearly four years of further development and an arcade port to work with. There is very little variation in gameplay in any of them. Basically, you pilot a helicopter, pick up (rescue) hostages and return them to base while avoiding and destroying enemy tanks and planes. Oh, and be careful not to accidentally shoot or crush the hostages you are trying to rescue. It is a pretty simplistic game but appealing nonetheless. It’s nice to pick up and play for 15 or 30 minutes at a time.