Flight Simulators CD
FLIGHT SIMULATOR COLLECTION
Note that we have a special offer on this collection exclusively for RISC World subscribers. See the Index page for details.
This is the latest release from The 4th Dimension and it brings together a collection of nine flight themed games. Some of them were released commercially and will be familiar to many, others were freeware games and not as well known. The games which appear on this collection are:
The games are supplied on a single CD-ROM in a DVD box and need to be installed onto the hard disc before the games can be played. Installing the games is easy, simply click on the !Install application in the filer window and the following window will appear.
From here select which games you want to install to your hard disc then drag the joystick icon to the destination window, click 'OK', and the games of choice will then be installed onto the hard disc and will look something like this when finished.
This was originally released by Superior Software and is a sort of cross between Zarch and Conqueror being that can fly in the air and move around on the ground as well. The object of each mission is to destroy all the enemy craft on each level.
You start the game being the surface unit, however you can switch to the aircraft when you are on an airfield, and you can now start blowing up everything in your path. It's quite good fun whizzing about in a tank blowing up the enemy tanks. Then you can switch to the aircraft and fly the skies doing much the same thing! The aircraft is more difficult to control, mainly due to the crash landings! However there is a flight practice option available from the main menu to test your flying skills, and there is also an air combat demo to show you how it's really done.
For every enemy destroyed your score will increase, however for every shot fired by your vehicle your score is reduced by 1 point each time.
Air Supremacy reminds me a lot of Conqueror and Zarch, except for the fact that the landscapes are flat and there are no hills or anything (unless they appear in later levels - but I never got that far!) but because of the feel of the game and the way it plays and also the fact I couldn't really get anywhere with it either! The graphics are quite similar as well but work well, the sound effects are minimal after the title screen music, but the aircraft noise and surface unit noise sound really good and realistic.
I would say that Air Supremacy is a decent enough game, and is quite entertaining zooming about in the various craft shooting things. Controlling the plane is a bit fiddly but not impossible, I didn't really manage to get anywhere with this game, but it may just be me not being very good at it, but it's certainly worth having a go, especially if you were a fan or either Conqueror or Zarch.
Birds of War
This was one of those games that was released on about 6 discs, and was a real pain if you didn't have a hard disc, so a CD-ROM version is most welcome!
Birds of War is a flight simulator which allows you to control a number of different planes, during different periods in time, through a large number of missions. This game is definitely more strategic than arcade, which isn't really my sort of thing, but no doubt it will appeal to many other game players out there.
Before you can start your flying you have to select your plane, then you can select game options setup various preferences for the game, check the intelligence for the missions and your mission briefing itself, then you can take off. Once in the air you can carry out the mission objective.
The game's graphics still look good now and I don't think they appear that dated. There is a lot of detail in the landscapes, but I didn't see much of it as I didn't really get into this game but then I didn't expect to, sound is minimal but functional, with engine noises, and shooting noises and so on, the title sequence and options screen mention music but I didn't hear any.
Birds of War is definitely worth a look if you like flight simulators, there's a lot to it. It is certainly not a couple of hours of gameplay and then its completed, and it definitely has a long lifespan as there's a lot of depth to it.
Taking control of a bi-plane, you have 20 missions to complete. This involves destroying the targets shown on the map and then you have to land back at base. Before you tackle the missions you can go into the practice mode and practice your flying skills. There is also the dogfight option where, using a split screen, you can have a two player duel, or play in full screen with two machines via a link up.
Chocks Away is more of an arcade game than a flight simulator and it is for that reason that I like this game, plus the fact you have set targets to do rather than just flying about for ages with nothing happening. The bi-plane is easy to control, as only a few keys (or mouse) are used.
The graphics of the game are still good even now, and the whilst the sounds are minimal with just engine noises and firing noises, they do the job.
You can view the game from inside the bi-plane cockpit or from outside, and can also look at the various views from each side of the plane. These are no good for flying but you can use them to see if there's an enemy plane right on your tail.
When you have mastered the 20 missions then you can try Chocks Away Extra Missions. This was originally sold separately so it's a bonus to get them both together. Essentially this is more of the same as there's no need to change anything in the game, so you can carry on from where you left off.
When you have finished a game you can save the action and watch an action replay of the game as it happened to see where you went wrong or when you finally destroyed that enemy craft. This is where the different angle viewing is useful.
Chocks Away is my favourite of the compilation. It was an excellent game back in the early 1990s and it still is now. It's easy to play and get into and the missions are varied and not too difficult, and the inclusion of the two player mode and extra missions gives it a long life span. Highly recommended. Worth buying just for this game alone.
Chopper Force gives you the chance to pilot a futuristic helicopter throughout a number of missions, completing the tasks before moving onto the next one. There are around 20 different missions, which all take place on the same landscape, but as the playing area is massive it doesn't matter. The game itself isn't a true simulator - meaning you don't need to use every key on the keyboard to play it, although quite a few keys are used, it still has an arcade feel about it.
The game is not difficult to play, you can easily fly about using the mouse for ages, but not actually achieve anything. To complete missions requires a bit more skill as there are different objectives in each mission. You will have to find targets and destroy them, deal with enemy craft, pick up items and move them around and also avoid crashing!
As for the game itself the graphics look a bit blocky but this doesn't really spoil the game. There is a lot of detail in the landscape with roads with cars moving, and they actually stop at the traffic lights and wait for them to change to green, and also the railway line with moving trains, plus bridges, sheep and many other things as well. You can view the action from inside the helicopter and outside of it, and you can also view the action from different angles, although these aren't much use for playing the game properly, more just to see where things are. There are some good effects with the sounds as when you fly over roads you can hear the cars and you can hear your pilot breathing in cockpit (inside view only) and the helicopter noise itself sounds realistic.
Chopper force is definitely worth checking out. Not too difficult to play as you can fly the chopper around very easily, and with a bit of practice you'll be completing missions easily. Definitely recommended.
I remember this game from the days when public domain games were quite popular. This one was released by demo group Quantum, I'm not sure if it was public domain or shareware. (Neither, actually. It was a budget commercial game sold exclusively through APDL. DH). The intro to this game is very typical of the public domain demos, with music and introductory graphics before the game starts. This game was created with the flight simulator toolkit, and should appeal to flight simulator fans.
This was originally available commercially by Clares Micro Supplies, and was the follow up to the game Interdictor (funnily enough!) unfortunately this has a really annoying protection system still in place and no matter how many times I clicked on the correct code the program still insisted I had entered it wrong, despite the fact I knew full well it was correct. Then for some reason it would suddenly decide that it was right this time and let me in, I found this system very annoying and was surprised that such a system is still in place as most copy protection systems tend to be removed these days. I'm sure there was a good reason for it still being there.
From what I could tell from the game, when it did actually run, it is another flight simulator, with the usual features you would expect from one. However I thought that the graphics in this looked quite good and it seemed really smooth with scrolling, I managed to take off with the plane but do very little else but try and keep the plane in the air and keep it steady (I didn't crash though). I didn't really like this at all, and to be honest didn't expect to, but I think that flight simulator fans probably will like this one, if they can get past the copy protection that is!
This is another title created using the flight simulator toolkit, similar in style to F18 hornet but with different planes and game objectives. More of the same flight simulator stuff. If F19 Hornet appealed then this will as well.
When I first saw this game listed on the collection I thought it was the game that 4th Dimension originally advertised back in 1991 and someone had finished it off. Unfortunately it isn't, it is another flight simulator toolkit created game, and is similar to the Mosquito and Hornet games, although this contains music (which runs a bit too fast) and sampled speech from that famous Winston Churchill speech from 1939 declaring war on Germany.
Sunburst is a bit different from the other games in this compilation. Originally released by Visions Of The Impossible (VOTI) this game reminds me a bit of the Acornsoft classic Starship Command (but with updated graphics) in which you control a spaceship across four different galaxies. This is space trading game rather than the usual "destroy the aliens", the object of the game involves trading to buy extra equipment to upgrade your ship and make yourself more powerful and progress through the game. Personally I didn't find this game particularly exciting but I'm sure some will enjoy playing it.
The games in this collection will run on any RISC OS 4 machine without problem. I have tried them on my real RISC PC with Strong ARM and RISC OS Select 3i4 and without any problems and also tried them on Virtual RISC PC SE edition, again without any problems. Unfortunately but not really surprising, is that they aren't Iyonix compatible, and Aemulor Pro didn't seem to help in getting them running, so RISC OS 4 it is for this game collection.
The Flight Simulator collection represents very good value for money as at least four of the games on it would have cost £25.00 or more on their original release so to get them all plus other titles for less than £15.00 is a bargain, especially if you don't have them already, or if you had the old RISC OS 3.1 versions as these are new updated versions which now work on RISC OS 4 machines and are now fully hard disc compliant.
I would definitely recommend this collection of games to anyone who enjoys flying games. I'm not a fan of flight simulators, but do like some of the games. My favourite of the collection is easily Chocks Away because of the simplicity of it to get into and its not long winded and is enjoyable to play. Chopper Force is very good as well, as are Birds of War and Air Supremacy, Interdictor is the best of the rest, which are are pretty similar, and are not as good as the other ones mentioned but are at least worth checking out to see if they appeal or not. I look forward to next collection of games from 4th Dimension, my guess is it will be a collection of driving/racing games - we shall see.