Dungeons of Daggorath (TRS-80 Color Computer)
While many games released for the TRS-80 Color Computer were mediocre and derivative, if not direct rip-offs of more popular games, Dungeons of Daggorath is an exception. This early role-playing game was among the first to offer a real-time, first-person point of view. This game has made an impact on popular culture including appearances in “Ready Player One” (the book…apparently it didn’t make it into the movie) and as album cover artwork.
Dungeons of Daggorath was quite sophisticated for its time (released in 1982), featuring a number of complex mazes to navigate, various weapons and items to use and a variety of monsters. Instead of numbered stats, the game featured a heartbeat that got faster the more at risk the player was. The game was played by typing in simple commands (turn, move, attack, etc.) The goal is to ultimately defeat the wizard at the end of the last level of the dungeon (level 5).
Dungeons of Daggorath was one of the best selling games for the Color Computer. Tandy produced a sequel titled Castle of Tharoggad but the original team was not involved and the game was not as good and sold poorly. In 2001, Dungeons of Daggorath was released as freeware by the author and the source code became available for a small fee. This led to ports for Windows, Linux, PSP and other platforms. The original Windows port was done way back in 2003 but there is a newer Windows 10 port available for free on the Microsoft store as well. Of course, there is always the option of using original hardware or emulation as well.