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Birds of Prey

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Released: 1992

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Argonaut

Submitted by: Kai Lunkeit

It took almost four years to develop this flight simulation and it was meant to shatter the competition by simulating fourty (!) different aircraft in one single game!

The final result was a bit underwhelming since they all have the same cockpit and the sound and fx were also not that great. But since almost all of the fourty planes handle very differently and since you can choose from many different missions, the game offers more than enough for fans of the genre.

After experiencing the stunning intro sequence, you can choose to fly one of the famous "F"-fighters (F-16 Falcon, F-14 Tomcat, F/A-18 Hornet, F-15 Eagle), a 747 jumbo jet, the F-117 Nighthawk  stealth aircraft, B-52 Stratofortress and even Russian aircraft like the MiG-29 Fulcrum and other planes from Tupolev or Sukhoi.

You can also choose different levels of difficulty, if you want to fly at night or in broad daylight, a certain type of landscape (snow, desert or green) and one out of twelve different mission types including air-to-air combat, bombing and reconaissance missions, ground support, troop and supply drops, escort missions, border and sea patrol and even test piloting.

The game offers even more options like starting from an aircraft carrier, lots of different camera angles, tons of different weapons or cool things like refueling your plane during flight.

The manual came on a whopping 192 pages, explaining not only the game mechanics, flight controls and weapon systems but also gave information about basic aerodynamics and technical references to every single of the fourty airplanes.

Great stuff!