One of the best. A classic!
This delightful game was my introduction to just how entertaining a well-conceived and executed modern air combat simulation could be. Great concept. Beautiful graphics. You may be driving the world’s stealthiest aircraft, and yet you could still be detected if you were careless, flying too high and too fast, and worst of all: flying too close to the bad guys. In this regard the game was open to creative survival tactics. You could let the autopilot fly your route, but more often than not you were obliged to break from the plan—think outside the box—to avoid unpleasant encounters with enemy aircraft. Suddenly that looming mountain wasn’t so much an obstacle as a welcome opportunity for some much needed cover. Flying low and slow, sneaking through valleys in the dark until you found your target and hit it hard was great fun.
You flew missions all over the world, and the graphics did a wonderful job of conveying locations. I was amazed to see spinning windmills as I hugged the deck in The Netherlands, and was mesmerized by the appearance of one lighted village after another as I raced over Cuba’s rolling tropical terrain.
During every mission there were plenty of additional targets of opportunity, and with an eye on your ordnance load and fuel supply you could choose to take a detour and boost your points with a few extra kills. It was just as much fun to zoom in, hit your primary target and make a beeline home before the bad guys were ever the wiser.
The game had a little bit of an arcade quality, especially when engaging other aircraft, but this may have been due to the limitations of the graphics resolution and colors. The flight dynamics weren't very compelling, making the aircraft feel somewhat rigid.
The Bottom Line
Rewarding, entry-level ground attack air combat sim. Of course, after nearly two decades the graphics are primitive by today's standards, however the core concept and implementation still stand up. If a new version of this game were released to complement today's hardware standards I'd be very tempted to start flying stealth missions again.