Old CD’s: Games, Encyclopedia, Apps.

Reviews About Old Software on CD-ROM from the 1990’s

Microsoft Flight Simulator October 29, 2008

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Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator (Microsoft Corp.) comes with a 300 page manual, many simulated airports and airplanes, and enough details to occupy the most type-A sim fan for years. For some, the definitive simulation is Sim City, but for many (especially those who had personal computers before Sim City ever appeared), flight simulators will always be the archetype of the genre. Microsoft Flight Simulator offers no dogfights, no tanks to strafe, and no weapons of any kind. The challenge here is to take off and land in one piece, and to understand what every last dial on your dashboard refers to. Hone different flying skills by choosing different aircraft or by taking off from different airports. The Cessna Skylane RG, Learjet 35A, Schweizer 2-32 Sailplane, and Sopwith Camel are all at your disposal, and there are far too many airports to list. The name of the game is realism – not graphical (the graphics, in fact, are firmly stuck in a 16-color, low-res 1981 mode), but procedural. For those who require some flash with their statistic-juggling and list-checking come suggested “adventures”: take off from LaGuardia, bank right around the Statue of Liberty, fly between the twin towers, bank left around the Empire State Building, and return to the Statue of Liberty – a figure eight through downtown Manhattan. Less ambitious pilots can simply follow Lindbergh’s route to Paris. Although the initial investment required by the program is large, there’s no thrill that compares with your first successful landing, even if it doesn’t happen to be inside the airport. The program also does a good job of helping ease players into its demands; you can always choose auto-pilot, and even auto-land.

– September 1996

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