Venture is an early fantasy maze shooter developed and distributed into arcades by Exidy in 1981. In some respects it is similar to Stern Electronics‘ Berzerk (and its sequel, Frenzy), with simple bitmap graphics, an overhead viewpoint, and extremely challenging gameplay.
The original 1981 Apple II version of Richard Garriott‘s Ultima was the first version of Ultima ever released. It was published by California Pacific Computer and is a stripped-down version of the more widespread re-release version put out by Origin Systems in 1986 (which can be seen here).
Utopia is probably the first ever Real-Time Strategy game ever made. It was designed by Don Daglow and was published exclusively for the Intellivision by Mattel in 1981.
Also known as Defender II, Stargate is the 1981 sequel to Williams Electronics‘ Defender, which was released earlier the same year.
Stargate was designed and programmed by Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar of Vid Kidz, for Williams, and it features the same superfast blasting action as Defender, but with subtle differences.
Konami‘s 1981 arcade classic, Amidar, is a maze game with a difference.
Konami‘s Frogger was released into video game arcades in 1981 and was an instant hit with gamers.
The basic premise of Frogger is to guide a hopping frog over a road and a river, to reach a safe haven on the other side.
The Intellivision console has a very good conversion of Konami‘s arcade hit Super Cobra, courtesy of Parker Brothers.