Rather than set it in the present day Tomahawk have decided to use the 2010 as their setting for a shuttle launch. Unlike the Arthur C Clarke novel, technology has hardly progressed. Shuttles are used for much the same purposes as they are nowadays: transport, research and repair. The only thing now is that laser guns are standard fitting and useful for blasting crippled satellites before they spread themselves over the Aussie outback.
The game starts with you preparing your shuttle for launch on New Year's day 2010. It's a matter of sorting out what crew members are coming with you, whether or not to take a satellite or equipment for the space station and how much juice to stick in the tanks. The launch is completely controlled by the computer, with you viewing the scene from Mission Control. Next thing you know, you're in orbit. Now it's down to you to guide the shuttle to either a satellite or to the space station. The process is quite simple, by using two bars on the display panel you need to time two propellent bursts from the shuttle. Failing to do this results in a simple abort, although it wastes fuel.
Docking with the space station is very similar to the docking sequence in Elite: slow down and line up, except you don't actually dock. Once the shuttle is in position the automatic docking takes over then it just remains for the new space station module to be added. If claustrophobia sets in during the journey it's no trouble slipping into your streamlined EVA suit and going for a walk outside. Landing the shuttle is different from today. Instead of nine miles of desert in southern USA. an aircraft carrier is used. Once again, line up and slow down: it won't do you any good if you hit the ocean at Mach 4.
A combination of cursor keys and mouse control help you with the more complex procedures, such as landing. But it wouldn't be a simulation if the game was too easy.
A fairly enjoyable game. Although it fails to push back the boundaries of computer entertainment it's good fun. Nevertheless, compared to Apollo 18 on the 64 ESS just doesn't match up.
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