Dan Kitchen's Tomcat: The F-14 Fighter Simulator

aka: F14-Tomcat, Fighter Pilot
Moby ID: 13301
Atari 2600 Specs

Description official description

To be born with wings...

Become a F-14 Naval Aviator undergoing seek and destroy missions while dodging and gunning enemy bogeys in deadly dogfights with your 20mm cannon and air-to-air missiles.

Your cockpit comes with state of the art technology, courtesy of the U.S. Air Force: Display and main computer, Bogey Alert Indicator, G-Force Indicator, Electronic Counter Measures, and a Cannon Overheat Indicator (yes, it can overheat!)...and if your feeling up to it, give the ol'bird a boost to Mach 1.0!

The gameplay like other simulation games consists of taking off, flying, combat and landing. Though most of the gameplay focuses around dogfighting with enemy bogeys (dodging missiles). In addition to that, there are also night-flying missions that add difficulty due to limited vision.

Taking off and landing however, also requires additional skill as your doing it on the USS Enterprise (No relation to Star Trek), not on your standard airstrip. Pay attention to the F.D. officer as your preparing to take off (since he's the boss when it comes to this stuff...and try not to run over him...yet).

Your weaponry consists of a M 61 Machine Gun and 3 different AIM Missiles (AIM 7, 9, 54) each packed with 15 missiles (that's a lot of missiles!).

After each mission you will receive a Mission Rating which is based on your flying skill, number of bogey kill and number of weapons fired.

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Credits (Atari 2600 version)

Programmer
Many thanks to my brother and co-designer

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 2 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.1 out of 5 (based on 5 ratings with 1 reviews)

Probably the most advanced game on the system

The Good
This game hit roughly the same time "Top Gun" was popular on NES. I only had my 7800, though, so I requested this game for Xmas, thinking they'd be similar. However, Tomcat was FAR superior, in my opinion. Tomcat requires the player to take off and reach cruising altitude on his own, rather than having the computer do it, as on NES. It was necessary to use controls on the game console itself, to allow for actions such as raising and lowering landing gear. All action and shooting, however, was controlled by the joystick, and thus you never had to find a control to maneuver at a bad moment.

The Bad
The game was excellent; however, it had a few snags. The controls on the console forced the player to sit near it (and consequently, near the screen....how many times did my mother yell at me for that!). Also, there were controls to be learned that the game manual never covered, such as how to switch from missiles to machine guns. Also not mentioned in the manual....you had to cut thrusters after takeoff....if you didn't, you'd use up your fuel and wind up crashing into the ocean: not good! Also, unlike a real combat situation, you only had one enemy at a time. Finally, landing was difficult....I found the easiest way was to adjust my altitude to 65 ft, and simply coast in to the carrier at that altitude

The Bottom Line
Somewhat difficult to learn, but fun once you have mastered the basics. I recommend finding someone familiar with the game to teach you.

Atari 7800 · by Josh Cating (5) · 2008

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  • MobyGames ID: 13301
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Indra was here.

Atari 7800 added by Servo.

Additional contributors: Игги Друге, piltdown_man.

Game added May 17, 2004. Last modified February 12, 2024.