Combat Flight Sims 1980-1989: Ordered by Title

ExhibitTitle Comments Year Thumb
A.C.E. (Air Combat Emulator) One of the first sims with air to air refueling and I remember being in afterburner ate up fuel at an enormous rate. The tanks were little pyramids that shot dots at you as you tried to strafe them. 1986
A-10 Tank Killer From back in the days when a 8 MHz processor was HOT geek candy came a simulation of the A-10 Warthog. 1989
Ace 2 ACE 2 the sequel to A.C.E. (Air Combat Emulator) was a two player head-head sim. 1988
Ace of Aces 1980
...featuring the first animation of clouds moving under the plane that I ever saw. ... some elements of early multimedia ...multiple cockpit views (!) No terrain was ever visible, which encouraged "instrument flying". 1986
Advanced Squad Leader 1985
Afterburner by Sega Although this was an arcade game rather than a sim it is worth a mention because it had a pretty good moving cockpit in the arcades and it probably got many people interested in flight sims. Well it may have! 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 - like Afterburner!" The 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! 1988
Air Strike 1987
Air Strike USA A 3rd person perspective arcade sim. DI went on to produce some of the finest PC Flight Sims ever to grace screens worldwide. 1985
Air Superiority 1987
Air Warrior Air 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. 1987
Axis and Allies 1981
B-24 B-24 was released in 1988. Other than that I have no details about this sim. If anybody remembers playing please send some details to migman@migman.com. 1988
Battlehawks 1942 "It was the precursor to Battle of Britain - Their Finest Hour and was one of the first games produced by Lawrence Holland. The game was based on WW2 carrier battles in the pacific. It featured a series of fixed scenarios and did not have a campaign. Over all it was a very good game." 1988
BattleTech 1984
Blue Max It ran in 256 colour VGA (320 x 200 pixels). 1989

Exhibit - Carrier Command (1989)
Release Date - 1989
Platform - Atari St, PC, Commodore Amiga and Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Developer - Rainbird Software.
Publisher - Realtime Games Software.
In collection - Yes
Comments - One of the earliest and most addictive real time strategy games. It also had flight simulation components. I had the Atari ST version, a friend had the PC version.... it cracked me up that the enemy carrier steamed away at about 400 knots every time you got near it! I remember chasing that darn thing for weeks! When I finally caught up with it created about 5 saved games and pounded the carrier every which way!
1988
Charlie Company 1986
Choplifter 1980
Combat Lynx Allowed you to fly the Westland Lynx in a ground Attack role. This must qualify for the most esoteric combat sim of all time! 1984
Command Decision 1986
1986
Dam Busters "Dam Busters consisted of just one mission The Dam Busters sim was the first one to involve multi-tasking. You could be pilot, engineer, gunner or bomb aimer - in fact you had to do all at some point in the mission." 1984
Delta Wing It included a special two player version that you play with two Spectrums, two interfaces and two TVs 1984
Elite Published by Acornsoft in 1984 for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron computers 1984
F/A-18 Interceptor Released in 1988 by Electronic Arts, F/A-18 Interceptor was written by Bob Dinerman - later founder of the Jetfighter series published by Mission Studios. 1988
F-15 Strike Eagle I Developed for the Atari, Commodore C-64 and Apple //e by Sid Meier in 1985. The IBM version was ported by Randall Don Masteller.

The original code weighs in at a hefty 53 K. That is NOT a misprint! (1 megabyte = 1,024 K)
1985
F-15 Strike Eagle II In 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! 1989
F-16 Combat Pilot This sim was a classic. I first played it in the 1980's on an Atari ST. The scenery was very basic but the cockpit was awesome! I used to fly on instruments most of the time and play with the comprehensive information available on the 3 Multi-Function Displays.

I even managed to play it head to head with two Ataris joined by a null modem cable.
1989
F-16 Fighting Falcon On October, 14 1985, Gilman (CEO of Nexa Corporation, a software development firm) and a handful of other programmers began work on a two-year project to create the most realistic flight simulator to date on a personal computer. Meanwhile, Nexa merged with Colorado-based software distributor Spectrum Holobyte. The project resulted in the 1987 release of the revolutionary Falcon for the IBM and Macintosh computers. 1985
F-19 Stealth Fighter F-19 Stealth Fighter was released in 1988 for the Atari, Commodore, and PC running MS-DOS.
The Atari version had digitised sounds, I distinctly remember the "click" of the recon camera. The manual was probably the largest and most informative at the time for a flight sim.
1988
F-19 Stealth for the NEC 9801 F-19 Stealth for the NEC 9801was developed for the Japanese NEC PC 9801 system. 1989
F-29 Retaliator orphaned 1989
Falcon Falcon was created for the Atari ST - IBM PC and Commodore Amiga and Apple Mac by Gilman Louie's Spectrum Holobyte team in 1987.

In Falcon you piloted the F-16A Falcon on 12 preset missions. Falcon was my initiation into hard-core simming and like many others, I've only looked back since to check six.
1987
Falcon 2.2 - the Macintosh version "The retail box for Falcon for the mac looked just like the PC, Amiga and Atari versions. The mac version made it up to version 2.2.2 before they went on to Falcon 3.0 and Falcon MC (mac color) for the Mac." 1987
Fighter Pilot 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. 1983
Gunship In 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
Harrier Combat Simulator 1988
Hellcat Aces "It can be difficult to determine the enemy's intentions at long range due to the lack of color and definition of the enemy aircraft." 1983
Heroes of the 357th "The game never got much credit, but the experience wasn't futile, since you'll recognize some of the elements present on this one on Chuck Yeager's Air Combat. The Mustang was well-modelled and had a real 3D quality. And that was a start..." 1989
Intercepteur Cobalt The program was entirely written in Spectrum's BASIC, but it looks wonderful despite Sinclair's poor graphic abilities. 1983
Interdictor 1989
Jet 1980
Jump Jet 1987
MiG Alley Ace 1984
Night Raider Night Raider was released by Acme Software in 1988 (Europe). The same year it was imported and released to the US by Epyx as Dive Bomber. "You had to fly the Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber as a member of the British Fleet Air Arm." 1988
Project Stealth Fighter Released in 1988 as the Commodore 64 and 128 version of F-19 Stealth Fighter. Sinclair Spectrum version released in 1990. 1988
Red Baron Developed by Keith Hunt and published by Lothlorien in 1983. 1983
Skychase ".. a simple dogfight simulator where you flew against a computer or another human player using a split screen." 1986
Skyfox Bit mapped dogfighting.. The enemy planes "flew" past drawn from about 4 perspectives, quite stunning for the time and pushing the 8 bit processor to it's limits. 1984
Spitfire 40 "The graphics were again almost non-existent, but the dynamics of the Spit' were great. It really was fully aerobatic and allowed you true barrels rolls and stall turns." 1984
Spitfire Ace 1984
Stealth Mission 1989
Strike Force Harrier "This game was well ahead of its time. You had control of flaps, airbrake/wheel brakes, chaff, flares and VECTORED THRUST!!! The flight model was good enough for you to do VIFFING manoeuvres during combat, and you could do standard, short or vertical take-offs and landings." 1986
Super Huey 1985
ThunderChopper orphaned 1983
Time Gate "It was early eighties. Basically, you were piloting some kind of nondescript spaceship around the galaxy, destroying all the invaders. Most of the enemy ships were just copies of those in the StarWars films. I pretended that I was in a Hurricane and the space ships I was shooting were various German fighters and bombers." 1982
Tomahawk A simulation of the US Army Apache attack helicopter. It was original, the first of its kind and offering a good balance of simulation accuracy, playability and graphics, all despite the limitations of the target platform, the shockingly primitive 48K Spectrum.

The game was later ported to other platforms including Amstrad and Atari 800/130XE and enjoyed a significant fan following.
1985
Top Gun "Flying F14 against F14, using what looked like Phoenix missiles but acted like Sparrows. The graphics were sparse, but the aircraft were really good. They were wire frame, but they looked like F14s. The aircraft were very manoeuvrable albeit with a very simple flight model." 1987
Zaxxon 1983


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