content_pasteAdvanced Tactical Fighters was the sequel to Marine Fighters, and third in the series. It introduced stealth and vectored thrust aircraft. I remember the first time sat in my hom-buil cockpit and booted it up on my 486 DX-66. I leapt into the Grumman X-31 and headed for the clouds. For a while I was convinced there was something wrong with the program because this aircraft just seemed too fast!
content_pasteEnemy Engaged: Apache vs. Havoc had arguably the most successful modelling of dynamic battle environments ever seen on a PC in the 1990's. It featured not one, but two of the premier Helicopter Gunships, created in stunning detail and placed in dynamic combat environments.
content_pasteIt was early April 2000... and two of the world's most fearsome helicopter gunships landed on home PCs worldwide. One of the best pieces of news to me was that 'Enemy Engaged: Comanche vs Hokum' is backward-compatible with Enemy Engaged - Apache vs Havoc, meaning you still have access to the campaigns and flyable helos from AvH. That of course is if you have AvH installed - if you don't, and you have a PC 300 Mhz or faster and a 3D graphics card, then run out and get it!
content_paste15 new missions and enhanced weather effects enhance the sim - but the real value lies in the inclusion of the original Eurofighter Typhoon and the excellent strategy guide in the package.
content_pasteF-117A Stealth Fighter has been referred to as "the mother of all sims" due to the many innovations it presented and the atmospheric way the sim is presented. It set standards of game-play which have probably never been exceeded.The sim was a major enhancement and re-release of F-19 (1988) by Sid Meier. F-117A runs very well on a 386 and is a "thinking person's sim" emphasising tactical thinking over reflexes.
content_pasteF-15 by Janes had to be the strike fighter sim of the Millenium! Although it does have a formidable Air to Air capability in terms of Radar and ordnance, the F-15E is about half way down the ladder in manoeuverability... not a dogfight machine! But for fans of the Strike Aircraft community... F-111, A-6 Intruder, Tornado... 1998 was hog heaven!
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!
content_pasteF-15 Strike Eagle III was a ground breaking simulation of the premier Strike Fighter and one of Microprose's greatest achievements. It was also one of the few sims that enabled two people to fly in the same aircraft over a network, in this case as pilot and Weapons Systems Operator.
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.
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.
content_paste"F-22 Total Air War 2.0 (TAW 2.0) is a total conversion of F-22 Total Air War (TAW), which also includes the campaigns from F-22 Air Dominance Fighter (ADF) and the Red Sea Operations (RSO) expansion disc. TAW 2.0 is the follow-on to Total Air War 2008. The goal of TAW 2.0 is to provide a simulation experience that equals or surpasses your fond memories with the original ADF and TAW. TAW 2.0 is self contained. You do not require the original F-22 ADF or F-22 TAW to play."
content_pasteLand the Space Shuttle on your iPhone or Android device. Great fun. FlyingSinger put me on to this 10 years ago and I'm still enjoying doing a dead stick landing in the world's most expensive glider!
content_pasteFalcon 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.
content_pasteAn iconic flight simulator, Falcon 3.0 pushed the boundaries of air combat sims. It had all the features anyone could dream of at the time and the gameplay was riveting, with dynamically generated missions. It was also demanding on hardware, needing a 486 with a maths co-processor to run the "High-Fidelity Flight Model".
content_pasteFighters Anthology brought the DOS sims US Navy Fighters, Marine Fighters, Advanced Tactical Fighters, NATO Fighters and the Windows sim USNF '97 into one collection under Windows. It gave you over 100 different aircraft types to fly! It was the culmination of an ambitious series which bought hours of fun to flight sim fans the world over.
content_pasteFleet Defender, released in 1994 by Microprose, was the most thorough treatment of Carrier Fleet Defense ever seen to that date on a personal computer. The graphics were VGA 320 x 200 and based on the F15 Strike Eagle III graphics engine. This sim gets about as much detail as it's possible to get out of VGA.
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!
content_pasteOne of the last great sims from Microprose, this reprised their 1988 and 1991 AH-64 Apache simulations and took full advantage of the relatively new technology of 3D graphics acceleration.
content_pasteGunship 2000 was an Apache Gunship sim released in 1991 by Microprose. As usual with their products, a strong sense of atmosphere was maintained by seamless menu screens and music. You could also fly the A H-1 Cobra, OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, MD 530MG, UH-60 Blackhawk, RAH-66 Comanche and AH-64B Apache Longbow. 1998: "If you only have a 386 and want some exciting chopper action then get this!"
content_paste"You'll never get closer to the real thing. Your only other option would be to join the Air Force". So sayeth the box blurb from Microprose's 1992 Harrier Jump Jet sim. In the early 90's PC's had finally come into their own as games machines, with Sound Cards and powerful CPU's of the 386 variety! Harrier Jump Jet pushed the machines of the day with it's smooth rolling terrain. Those were the days! A 270 page manual printed on glossy stock and well bound in a size ideal for throne room reading. As well as heaps of tables detailing air-to-ground weapon effectiveness there was diagram after diagram on air combat manoeuvres. Not to mention the 3 full - colour maps!
content_pasteMarine Fighters was an add-on pack to US Navy Fighters. It added 4 new player aircraft and a campaign set in the Kurile Islands. Marine Fighters was an add-on pack to US Navy Fighters. It added 4 new player aircraft and a campaign set in the Kurile Islands.