Anyone who was into computers in the early 80's and had even a tiny interest in gaming had to have tried the classic side scroller Choplifter, made by Dan Gorlin and published by Brøderbund Software in 1982. It was absolutely a seminal game for the Apple II, and was converted to countless other platforms. In it you piloted a helicopter into enemy territory, destroying tanks and fighter jets, and blowing up prison camps to release your comrades. As they milled around waving, you landed and loaded them up into your ride and headed back to HQ. After releasing them, back you went for more.
It definitely took its lead from the classic arcade game Defender by Williams, while putting its own clever twist on the premise. Developer inExile Entertainment has picked up the gauntlet to update the game as Choplifter HD. From the previews, it looks like a great remaking of the original, keeping the 2D scrolling feel while adding some new mechanics.
Look for Choplifter HD to land for PC, PSN and XBL sometime this fall. Below is a video featuring the original, followed by a trailer for the updated version.