My favourite sims

By Francisco J. Campos
My absolute 'first sim' was Intercepteur Cobalt for ZX Spectrum. I had a 16Kb Speccy by then, so I was only allowed to load the 'Pilot's Test' and the 'Take Off' module. IC just had instrumental flight, and for a good reason: it was written entirely in BASIC, with no graphics.
Many of us started our air combat fantasies with toys like these.
F-15 Strike Eagle II (Microprose): It allowed me to discover f/sims on PC (I had a Nec V30 XT PC by then). I have fond memories of this one, it always helped me to be amused in my life's worst moments. I collect versions of it: I even have the B/N Gameboy one!
Chuck Yeager's Air Combat(Electronic Arts): The one I've played the most. I love the P-51 Mustang since then. Great graphics and high playability.
SU-25 Sturmovik (Electronic Arts): Another fave, was a present from my girlfriend (now my wife), she always encouraged my love for f/sims. I have a knack for ground strafing since then...
Jetfighter II (Velocity): My first sim on F-22. One of the few that doesn't work with my current PC setting, I miss it a lot. Sound was wonderful, exploding missiles made me jump out of my chair!
Plane depiction was real nice, and flying over a vectorized Mount Rushmore was real fun. Uncommon planes available, like F-111 or the Saab Viggen. Landing was the hardest part... like on all sims.

LHX Attack Chopper (Electronic Arts) 2D camels presents in game still made me laugh... A great helicopter sim: I hated the "Man with AK-47" that destroyed my external cam on every mission. I revenged of him with a well-aimed Hellfire...
Air Warrior (Kesmai) : Man, that was a real WWII cockpit... Landscape was awful (always flying over Egypt, everything so full of pyramids), but the plane selection was wide and nice. Furious dogfight for endless winter evenings...
Birds of Prey (Electronic Arts / Argonaut Software): Hey, I saved so hard to buy this one... I was dissapointed when I saw the cockpit was the same for ALL planes. Strange missions, first tactic approach to a f/sim: the HUD screens were real nice.
F16 Combat Pilot (Digital Integration): The hardest sim I remember... Graphics were breathtaking, despite the CGA colouring (I bought the EGA version as soon it was available). The most serious sim of its time, made the rest appear as poor arcades and AfterBurner II bad clones

These are just the old sims that work in DOSBox thru dedicated shortcuts. Then we have the programs installed directly in Windows 10 or having their own custom installation, for emulating CD-Roms and such:

Round icons denote GOG.com versions of the games, they're brilliant making old stuff working on modern machines. All of them are functional, including that cliffhanger called Crimson Skies or the Novalogic Power Duo (F-16 and MiG-29, these took extra effort).
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