Format reviewed: Commodore 16/Plus4
Submitted by: Clarance Frank
Here we have a flight simulator for the C16, well sort of…
The cassette cover boasts ‘Full sound and colour’, which is true enough, but what the simulation lacks, more importantly, is almost any sort of graphics. The screen is composed of your ‘instrument panel’ only, as you attempt to pilot a commercial jet airliner from take-off to landing. This is achieved through a series of ten key controls to operate the jet. With all these key controls to remember, the cassette inlay thankfully provides a step by step guide to your flight, instructing you when to press which key to perform a certain operation and in which order.
Flight progress is measured through your radar map at the bottom of the screen, with your plane represented by a cross starting at the bottom and your destination marked at the top of the map. Your flight consists of take off, climbing to around 2,000 feet, encountering and correcting random turbulence (by frantically stabbing the appropriate curser key to counteract movement of your cross on the radar map.), descent, and then finally to the exciting culmination of your flight, the landing – all of a sudden the screen switches from the instrument panel to a brief depiction of the approaching runway, and it’s time to apply the brakes!
If you complete your flight without disaster then a time is given – presumably as encouragement to try and beat your time with further flights. Although one can’t be too harsh considering the limitations of the Commodore 16, this is as basic a ‘flight simulation’ as can possibly be achieved, with very rudimentary graphics, sonics and controls.
This was the first of many flight sims for me – the start of a long love-hate relationship with this multiple key pressing genre, and as such this is a perfect example.