Combat flight sims from the 1980’s

A-10 Tank Killer
  • A-10 Tank Killer
  • date_range 1989
  • content_pasteThis sim may look primitive today , but bear in mind the the CPU speeds in 1989 were 8MHz, computers had 640k of RAM and there was no dedicated video hardware. To put it in perspective, a standard PC only 10 years later ran at 3,000 MHz with 1,000,000 k of RAM and a video card that is probably more powerful than the host PC!.
  • tagCombat
  • Afterburner
  • date_range 1988
  • precision_manufacturing SEGA   Activision  
  • content_pasteThe PC port of this game didn't look as good as the arcade machines, but bear in mind that these were the days of 386 25 Mhz processors and 2 MEG RAM! Although this was definitely an arcade game rather than a sim, it is worth a mention because it had a pretty good moving cockpit in the arcades and probably got many people interested the flight sim genre. Anyway the fact remains that if you tell someone that you're into Flight Simulators there is a pretty good chance they'll say "Oh, yeah, you mean like: Afterburner!". It is an iconic game.
  • tagCombat
Air Combat Yugekioh II
  • Air Combat Yugekioh II
  • date_range 1990
  • content_pasteAir Combat Yugeki-oh II was developed by SystemSoft for the NEC PC-9801 series of PC's in Japan. The player is a mercenary pilot working for the Asian Pacific Economic Network (APEN).
  • tagCombat
Air Strike USA
  • Air Strike USA
  • date_range 1985
  • precision_manufacturing Digital Integration   Digital Integration  
  • content_pasteAir Strike USA was published by Digital Integration and released on on the PC in 1985. Really an arcade game rather than a flight simulator it is mainly of interest because the Publisher / Design Team Digital Integration went on to produce some of the finest PC Flight Sims ever to grace screens worldwide. From humble origins grew one of the giants in air combat sim development.
  • tagCombat
Air Warrior (Public Domain)
  • Air Warrior (Public Domain)
  • date_range 1990
  • content_pasteAir Warrior was introduced to the gaming public as a free - public domain - piece of software which could be downloaded and played in practice mode at home. You then logged on to a dedicated server in your city via modem and played in a virtual war.
  • tagCombatWorld War II
Carrier Command
Combat Lynx
F-14 Tomcat
  • F-14 Tomcat
  • date_range 1990
  • precision_manufacturing Activision  
  • content_pasteThe opening scenes to this 1990 flight sim from Activision are an accurate time capsule! The PC hardware of the day was only capable of displaying a limited number of polygons and colours, and the sound made good use of the latest sound card technology. Note that in the game you could also fly in cockpit view.
  • tagCombat
F-15 Strike Eagle II
  • F-15 Strike Eagle II
  • date_range 1989
  • precision_manufacturing Microprose  
  • content_pasteIn 1989 F-15 Strike Eagle II had one of the richest and most interactive sim environments ever seen.The world was full of activity from enemy fighters and ships. Who can forget "Director Mode", which let you sit back and watch as the sim followed the action. Pour a cup of coffee, grab a donut and watch the action unfold!
  • tagCombatNATO
F-16 Combat Pilot
  • F-16 Combat Pilot
  • date_range 1989
  • precision_manufacturing Microprose  
  • content_pasteThe simple graphics of this sim belie the amount of information it presented to the pilot in real time, a milestone achievement for flight sims of the era. I first played it in the 1980's on an Atari ST. I used to fly on instruments most of the time and play with the comprehensive information available on the 3 Multi-Function Displays. It was the first flight sim with a dynamic battlefield.
  • tagCombatNATO
F-19 Stealth Fighter
  • F-19 Stealth Fighter
  • date_range 1988
  • content_pasteF-19 Stealth Fighter was the first version of the wildly successful release "F-117A Stealth Fighter". The smoothly profiled aircraft you can see on the box was based on aerospace industry observer's best guesses about what the mysterious 'Stealth Fighter' actually looked like. Bear in mind that the F-117 was flying in secrecy for about 10 years before the general public got a look at it! Quite a remarkable achievement. The Atari version had digitised sounds, I distinctly remember the "click" of the recon camera. The manual was probably the largest and most informative we had ever seen for a flight sim. Playing this sim on my Atari ST prompted me to get back into scale modelling, so I went out and bought a 1/72 scale F-117 model, which although more accurate in general shape than the F-19 guesses, still wasn't quite right, being too short and stubby.
  • tagCombatNATO
Falcon A.T.
  • Falcon A.T.
  • date_range 1988
  • precision_manufacturing Spectrum Holobyte  
  • content_paste"Falcon A.T. (PC DOS 1988), also known as Falcon 2, was one of the first flight sims to use EGA graphics as well as one of the earliest commercially released games to require a 286 or better PC. In comparison to the older game, this version allows external viewing of the player aircraft, enables a "head-to-head" multiplayer mode, and includes the MiG-29 as an adversary."
  • tagCombat
Fighter Pilot (Digital Integration)
  • Fighter Pilot (Digital Integration)
  • date_range 1983
  • content_pasteFighter Pilot was the first combat flight simulation from the British developer Digital Integration. The game earned the distinction of being the first attempt at simulating the undoubtedly complex F-15 Eagle interceptor. Not a very impressive attempt by today’s standards, but in 1983 the coding was fairly complex and the result quite respectable. There were a number of successive versions created for several platforms over a period of a few years, which makes it harder to determine the release date of the original, but it was probably in 1983.
  • tagCombat
Final Flight
  • Final Flight
  • date_range 1983
  • content_paste" This is a real-time flight and landing simulator for a small plane similar to a Cessna. You're approaching the air strip, and must use your instruments and the view from your cockpit to land safely. You control pitch (angle with the ground), yaw (angle about the plane's vertical axis), and power with your joystick. You may choose flying conditions and decide whether or not to use your instruments. Overall, this is an excellent and convincing simulation." - courtes of Digital Antic Project .
  • tagCombat
Flight of the Intruder
  • Flight of the Intruder
  • date_range 1990
  • precision_manufacturing Spectrum Holobyte   Rowan  
  • content_pasteFlight of the Intruder, released in 1991, is one of the classic combat flight sims of all time! It was developed by two teams, one in the USA and one in the UK. Flyable aircraft were the A-6 Intruder, F-4 Phantom, MiG-21 - this was the first time I got to fly a MiG-21! I remember flying head-to-head against my brother - he in the F-4 Phantom and myself in the MiG-21. Somehow he could always tell which aircraft was piloted by me despite my best efforts to send in the drones first! Until Falcon 3.0 was released, Flight of the Intruder led the pack in features. I remember getting FOTI for the Atari ST, sometime after I came across Falcon, and being amazed at the depth of the simulation, especially the mission planning options.
  • tagCombatCarrierExternal ViewsCold War
  • Gunship
  • date_range 1987
  • content_pasteIn Gunship there were no external views available, just a cockpit with a bedazzling array of engine sensors and weapons displays. Engine start left, Engine start right then drop the clutch to start the rotors spinning. Collective up and the rotor blades bite savagely into the air. With a leap and whoops, you're airborne! 1987 had never been more exciting!
  • tagCombatRotary WingNATO
Jetfighter II
MiG-29 Fulcrum (Domark)
  • MiG-29 Fulcrum (Domark)
  • date_range 1990
  • content_pasteIn 1990 the MiG-29 had only just been revealed to the west at the Farnborough Airshow. It seemed to be a sexy mystery machine which could perform spectacular manoeuvers such as the "tailslide" and "cobra". Despite only having 6 missions, this sim bought countless hours of fun to flight sim fans on multiple platforms.
  • tagCombat
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