Up until now Amiga flight sims consisted of Interceptor (though good, not much of a simulation), Falcon (good simulation but extremely tough to play) and the Sublogic sims (expensive and hard to obtain). Since then everybody's been waiting for a cross between these three: a flight sim that is detailed, accurate and above all, controllable. Vektor Graphic's Bomber fits the bill perfectly. Instead of being restricted to one aircraft you can choose between an F15, F4-E, Tornado (German and British), Saab, Viggen, Mig-27 and an F111-F. Each is represented with a 2D picture and a 3D rotating image. The technical specifications are all accurate and include a brief history of the craft. On top of that are another half dozen different enemy fighter aircraft, though you don't often get to see these close up.
One thing that needs to be remembered that by the nature of the simulation the onus is on bombing runs and ground attack, not air to air combat. Consequently, the majority of the weapons are designed for blowing up land based targets. Some missiles and bombs are specific to a certain plane, such as the JP233 multiple bomblet dispenser which can only be attached to a British Tornado. Whereas Mavericks and Sidewinders can be fitted with to Nato planes, with the Russian equivalent for the Mig-27.
Even the armaments sequence is well presented. The screen displays a frontal view of your plane with a plan view showing the weapons pylons. Every time a missile/bomb is attached it shows up on the picture, giving you a good idea of how formidable you really look. Missions are graded in difficulty: Covert, Tactical, Strategic and Offensive, with each contain for scenarios. Sixteen is a generous amount of missions for any game, but that's just the start. There's also a full mission designer, allowing you to do everything from placing targets on the maps to editing the scenario text, giving Bomber an almost infinite amount of missions.
The most significant thing in Bomber's favour is the control method. Rather than an endless bank of keys the few that are essential are well located and easy to remember. I'd be lying if I said flying a plane was a piece of cake - it isn't, but it is easy to pick up basic manoeuvres and this keeps the simulation playable without making it simple, you just have to try the mid-air refuelling sequence to find out.
The graphics are surprisingly well detailed, especially the ground targets. A host of cities, bases and even Mount Rushmore make an appearance. As is common nowadays you can pan around your plane. Bomber plays like a flight simulation really ought to. It's extremely well presented throughout, with good sound and high quality graphics. It's not exaggerating to say Bomber is the best flight game on the market at the moment. Don't just take my word for it, try it yourself.
A nice aeroplane fighter simulator game, also released on the C64. The Amiga version is faster and playable.
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