Northwest Synergistic Software is a contract software developer and a former video game developer. Founded in 1978 under the name Synergistic Software, the company published some of the earliest available games and applications for the Apple II family of computers. They continued developing games for various platforms into the late 1990s.
Synergistic was founded in 1978 by Robert Clardy and Ann Dickens Clardy. One of the earliest successful third-party software developers for the Apple II platform, they are most well known for their Dungeons & Dragons inspired Dungeon Campaign / Wilderness Campaign game, which was later expanded and repackaged as Odyssey: The Compleat Apventure. Dungeon Campaign / Wilderness Campaign is one of the earliest D&D-like games that is epic in scope (compared to the more commonplace "dungeon crawl" games, such as Temple of Apshai.
Synergistic also published a number of business applications, including a word processor and a simple database program.
Unlike many other companies that could or did not make the jump to other platforms, Synergistic continued as an independent developer as the IBM PC DOS platform became dominant. Possibly the most successful titles they ported during this period were Thexder, a side-scrolling shooter game and Silpheed, a 2D shooter (developed by Game Arts and published by Sega for the Sega CD console).
Merger and acquisition
Synergistic was acquired by Sierra in 1996. They maintained their identity as an independent development group within Sierra for several years.
In 1998, Synergistic Software was renamed to Eclectic Games, with plan to make the first game in early 1999 under the new name. However, the studio was closed on February 22, 1999 as part of a Sierra's restructuration plan.
Northwest Synergistic Software era
Not longer part of the Sierra group, Synergistic left the entertainment software market in 2000 to devote its development resources to custom fit apparel pattern drafting software, which continues to be its major focus at this time.
List of Titles
- Dungeon Campaign / Wilderness Campaign (1979)
- Odyssey: The Compleat Apventure (1980)
- Higher Text II (1980)
- Data Reporter (1981)
- Apventure to Atlantis (1982)
- Bolo (1982)
- Crisis Mountain (1982)
- Escape From Arcturus (1982)
- Microbe (computer game) (1983)
- The Fool's Errand (1986) (as publishers of DOS port)
- Pitstop II (1984)
- Thexder (1985)
- Sidewinder (computer game) (1988)
- Silpheed (1988)
- J.R.R. Tolkien's War in Middle Earth (1988)
- Spirit of Excalibur (1990)
- Vengeance of Excalibur (1991)
- Conan: The Cimmerian (1991)
- Triple Play '97 (1996)
- Birthright - The Gorgon's Alliance (1996)
- Diablo: Hellfire (1997)