David, the main character of the 1983 movie WarGames, uses an IMSAI 8080 computer.

IMSAI computer in WarGames

The plot of the movie is driven by David's desire to find games to play on his computer. He war-dials phone numbers to find a gaming company, and inadvertently connects to a computer at NORAD instead.

By 1983, were there actually any games which could be played on the IMSAI 8080?

(Although David uses the system as a dumb terminal in the movie, I am looking for games that could run directly on the IMSAI.)

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    It was interesting how the screenwriter used a fairly obsolete computer to create the impression that David was far more competent a hacker than the typical high school computer geek.
    – Brian H
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 16:40
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    @Brian Although obsolete by 1983, the first script for the film was written as early as 1979, when it would have been much more plausible for a hacker to be using an IMSAI. Mainly though, Hollywood loves blinkenlights and it's got an impressive set for a home micro. Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 22:47
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    @MatthewBarber, no matter how early the script was, the filmmakers would have freely chosen what they wanted at the time of making, same as the rest of the production design. That's true of any film: the script is a lower priority to the filmmakers choices. I imagine they thought it looked impressive and unidentifiable, more homebrew. A recognisable home computer with recognisable limitations would make him a dull and unadventurous, a high street shopper.
    – TonyM
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 8:20

2 Answers 2


An IMSAI 8080 is fully compatible to an Altair 8800, and you can do quite a bit on a fully loaded Altair 8800 with keyboard, text video terminal and disk drive (which can run CP/M), e.g.

You could play hundreds of games, including Colossal Cave Adventure, Star Trek, and Zork (I, II, and III!) You could use it for spreadsheets with Supercalc, databases with dBASE, and word processing with the market leader WordStar.

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    For fans of the movie, there were also many excellent chess games. Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 22:49
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    CP/M pro tip: Ladder even attempts to be an action game. It's Donkey Kong-esque but also features a main character called 'Lad', so follows the Frogger naming convention.
    – Tommy
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 21:28

There were TONS of games written in the '70s for the 8080 and CP/M that could run on the IMSAI 8080. A lot of games written in BASIC, too.

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    Welcome to Retrocomputing! This answer could be improved by providing actual examples or references.
    – DrSheldon
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 5:46
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    Welcome to the site. Being a claim/opinion, this is a just a comment, not an answer. You can delete it and repost it as a comment or greatly improve it to make a substantiated statement.
    – TonyM
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 8:24

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