Muse Software

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Muse Software was a Baltimore-based software and computer game publisher and developer for the first generation of home computers. They first published for the Apple II under the name Micro Users Software Exchange, and later expanded to the Commodore 64, Atari, and IBM PC markets. They are best known for publishing the original Castle Wolfenstein in 1981.


Muse was founded in 1978 by Ed Zaron. Silas Warner was MUSE Software's first employee. Initially publishing games, the team also sold non-game software such as Super-Text (written by Zaron), a word processor, and Appilot (written by Warner), a course-writing language. Their original market was for the Apple II and II+, with their first programs sold on cassette, and later on floppy disk. They expanded their software offerings for other computers, such as the Commodore 64 and the Atari 800. The company also ran a retail store on the corner of Charles and Mulberry Streets in Baltimore called "Muse Software and Computer Center" which closed to the public in 1982.[1]

At its peak, Muse was making more than US$2 million per year in sales.[1]

According to Zaron, Muse's sales grew "extremely slow" because of a slump in the home computer software market.[2] The company, which had about 40 employees at its peak in 1983, had shrunk down to just six prior to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 1985.

Warner, who was leaving Muse to join MicroProse, said the company had difficulty setting up a sales program because of the long-term illness of a key sales employee.

The company closed down in 1987.

Years later, Id Software developed Wolfenstein 3D (the father of first-person shooter games), which was inspired—at least in part—by Castle Wolfenstein, one of Muse's popular titles.[3]



Name Year Platforms Description
ABM 1980 Apple II series A Missile Command clone
Best of MUSE, TheThe Best of MUSE 1980 Apple II series A disk collection of four Muse games previously released only on cassette.
Beyond Castle Wolfenstein 1984 Apple II series A sequel to their earlier very popular Castle Wolfenstein, similar in play and appearance
Atari 8-bit
Commodore 64
DOS (PC Booter)
Castle Wolfenstein 1982 Apple II series Perhaps Muse' most popular title, the player must escape a Nazi fortress by traversing several levels of a bunker via stealth, cunning and sometimes violence. A novel presentation and early use of digital voice samples propelled this game to top sales.
Atari 8-bit
Commodore 64
DOS (PC Booter)
Caverns of Freitag, TheThe Caverns of Freitag 1982 Apple II series
Cube Solution, TheThe Cube Solution 1982 Apple II series
Escape! 1978 Apple II series Nearly identical to Maze Game, the player must traverse a labyrinth from a first-person perspective.
Firebug 1982 Apple II series
Frazzle 1982 Apple II series A sci-fi action game where the player's space ship has been trapped by an alien race and must fight for freedom.
Global War 1979 Apple II series A home computer Risk! clone.
International Gran Prix 1981 Apple II series
Intellectual Decathlon 1984 Apple II series A puzzle and strategy game for up to six players
Leaps and Bounds! 1985 Atari 8-bit An edutainment title aimed at young children
Commodore 64
Maze Game 1978 Apple II series The player must solve a labyrinth from a first-person perspective.
Rescue Squad 1983 Commodore 64 The player is an ambulance driver trying to rescue people.
Robot War 1981 Apple II series Players write code in the provided language for a robot to have it fight other robots.
Side Show 1978 Apple II series A collection of six games of differing genres.
Space Taxi 1984 Commodore 64 A platformer action game where the player is a taxi driver and must deliver passengers as fast as possible while avoiding hazards and obstacles.
Tank War 1978 Apple II series A tank combat game for two-players played from an overhead perspective.
Three Mile Island 1979 Apple II series A simulation where players control a nuclear power plant and try to keep it profitable and safe.
Titan Empire 1983 Apple II series An ambitious sci-fi strategy/action game based on planetary conquest



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