Flight Unlimited is a civilian flight simulator. You can choose between an Extra 300s, a Bellanca Decathlon, a Sukhoi SU-31, a Pitts S-2B and a Grob S-103. Take part in aerobatic competitions or, if you're a beginner, learn how to fly in 34 lessons.
Flight Unlimited stresses reality: All ground textures and elevations are based on real satellite photodata, and the flight model has a heavy basis in real world physics. The manual is quite detailed, and combined with the in-flight tutorials, the user is provided with a very gradual introduction to flying.
A very comprehensive piece of work, and a defining title for Looking Glass, whose only competition at the time was Microsoft Flight Simulator (which look immediately dated compared side by side to Flight Unlimited).
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Viewing the credits for the game brings up a neat tiltable "plate" where gelatinous cubes fall down one by one and bounce on it; each cube bears the face of one of the programmers. Like the game, this section is also based on real-world physics, as cubes bounce, wobble, bend, and deform as they hit the plate. The user can even tilt the plate to alter the strike, bounce, and roll of the cubes!
When a fatal error occurs, the following message is displayed above the register dump:
Someday you will ache like I ache.
The graphics engine for Flight Unlimited was designed with the future in mind. Most graphics cards back then might have been able to hit 1024x768 if they were lucky, but the game was designed to output even higher than that. It even supported old VR helmets.
The DOS version of this game does not interact with it's 32-bit DOS extender very well; it makes the game unstable, and also makes it nearly impossible to capture screenshots from it.
Information also contributed by
- Computer Gaming World
- June 1996 (Issue #143) – Special Artistic Achievement Award for Physical Model
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #5 Best Way To Die In Computer Gaming (plane crashes with the physics model)
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 12/1999 - #97 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking