If you want to fly a modern passenger jet then this is the sort of game for you. This is a serious simulation of flying which was developed in corporation with Lufthansa and Deutsche Airbus. The flying area includes most of Western Europe with about 80 airports. During gameplay you have to fly a specified route and navigate yourself by using the supplied map. There is also a training mode available.
Whoa! I knew it wasn't easy to fly a plane, but this was really hard! Even with the manual I was hardly able to complete the take off. I guess this is why I hate flight simulators (yup, I really do).
Still I have to say, that this one is quite good (I still don't like it, but I can see the quality). The graphics are fine and the sounds… (Oh well, I didn't say it's perfect). To control it you'll need both the keyboard and the mouse (or joystick), which is rather complicated at times. You'll switch from the control to cursor with the right mouse button (so you control the horizontal and vertical movement with the mouse, as well as it serves as a mouse).
To play the game itself you'll need to read the instruction carefully and definitely have a lot of training. The game offers you to take the duties of a full time Lufthansa pilot or to simply train (that's the one until the passengers feel safe enough to stop wearing parachutes).
The game will ask you to configure your flight plan. You'll need to input many details which are already given when taking missions (naturally, you train to be prepared for everything).
The choice of the airports is quite big, so you'll be able to take off at many places and land on different airports, but don't expect too much landscape changes. The only real changes between different airports are the colors of the grass surrounding the runway.
OK, once you prepare everything (set in the frequencies of the starting airport and the destination and choosing the navigational point) it's time to start the take off. You'll need to accelerate and get your huge Airbus to the runway first. Only then can you hope for a good take off (it's not as easy as it sounds - at least it wasn't for me, because I hate flight simulators, but I already said that). Once in air don't forget to pull in the landing gear. You can set the autopilot, but it will only fly straight from how you left the controls (but that's OK if you're sure your course is good).
Luckily you can accelerate the game speed, so you don't need to take the whole long flight (it can be quite uneventful and dull).
Upon landing you get to reverse the procedure of the take off, only that now much more is at stake. If something went wrong at take off, people simply got off the plane. If something goes wrong now, there's a big chance nobody will every get off the plane. Enjoy the responsibility (although I guess it's only for the real hard core fliers).
Thalion's A320 Airbus is a highly realistic passenger airline simulation - one of its kind ever made. The game is perhaps best described as a more "micro," hands-down version of Air Bucks, with more emphasis on flying passenger planes than business planning. As a game developed in cooperation with Lufthansa and Deutsche Airbus, two of Germany's biggest airlines (which explains why the game features these companies' planes and logos in abundance), A320 Airbus is a serious simulation in every sense of the word. Cockpit instruments are complex, and flight dynamics are arguably much closer to reality than early versions of MS Flight Simulator. Anyone who wants to try a fun, accessible airline management game should stick with Air Bucks, but fans of Tracon and veteran pilots will have a good time piloting passenger aircrafts in this overlooked sim that enjoyed mild commercial success on the Amiga.
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Airline Simulator 97, A-10 Tank Killer, A-10 Tank Killer v1.5, Airlines, Flight Assignment: A.T.P. (a.k.a. Airline Transport Pilot), Air Bucks, A.T.A.C.: A War on Drugs, 1869
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