Moby Poll: What kind of game collector are you?

ATCsimulator (Windows)

Published by
Developed by
Released
Platform
...
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
...
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Kasey Chang (3653)
Written on  :  Nov 23, 2001
write a review of this game
read more reviews by Kasey Chang
read more reviews for this game

Summary

Perhaps TOO realistic... It's not that much fun

The Good

Lots of realism... Turn on your console and flip your own switches... Then issue orders and such. Atmosphere is great.

The Bad

Too realistic... The process of departure, destination, landing corridor, runway lineup were not explained sufficiently either in the game or in the tutorial. This makes it VERY difficult to get a handle on things initially.

The Bottom Line

ATC Sim is a sim of air traffic control, but ultimately falls prey to being TOO realistic. It is simply NOT fun, as the learning curve is way too high.

Basically, all you see is the radar scope, where you see the different flights with their own data blocks, surrounding terrain, layout of the beacons and runways, and so on, and that's all you have to work with.

Once you see planes, you can query its transponder, access its flight plans, and such, then issue orders either via voice recognition or via keyboard using mnemonics. A typical order would be "AAH515, turn right heading 150, slow to and maintain 250 knots". Its keyboard command sequence would be AAH515 (space) TR (space) 150 (space) SM (space) 250 (enter).

Unfortunately, you're not given a reference card of the most used mnemonics. The departure and arrival process was never really explain in a simple and straightforward manner. The manual is full of details that overwhelms the new player. For example, simulated radio freq of EVERY appoach sector in the game was listed in the back fo the manual. There's not even slow-time to help the player along, much less convenience features like mouse-interface for giving plane orders.

Your performance for each simulated shift is rated like a real FAA ATC. While this sounds good, it's really just something on the screen, not much of a reward, if at all.

Once you learned the commands and develope the situation awareness of the simulated airspace, perhaps ATC simulator can be an interesting diversion to flight sims and such. Before then, you'll not be having much fun, if any.