Choplifter! is a helicopter simulator/action-adventure created by Dan Gorlin for the Apple II and published in 1982 by Brøderbund. The game was converted to Atari 8-bit, VIC-20, Commodore 64, and later to many other platforms, including SEGA Master System and NES.
Dan Gorlin, a programmer with a strong passion for helicopters, started to develop his idea at the beginning of 1981. Initially, it was not a game but rather a helicopter simulator. He soon dropped the idea of the first-person 3D view, like Flight Simulator, and opted for a more traditional side view. But despite the arcade look, he tried to replicate the physics of helicopter flight as much as possible. Then, inspired by the coin-op Defender, Gorlin added planes, tanks, and hostages to be saved.
But most importantly, he made the game a fantastic cinematic experience thanks to the detailed animations of the small sprites. The hostages react with emotions to the helicopter's arrival; some run, some wait, and others are thankful when they are saved. All of this was absolutely a novelty at the time, and the players were impressed.
Choplifter! was so successful that in 1985 SEGA acquired the rights to convert it into an arcade, making Choplifter the first, and one of the few, computer games to be ever converted to coin-op.
The Commodore 64 version you can find below is the most faithful to the original Apple II release, with its iconic black background. If you prefer a more colorful version, you can try the Master System one.