🐳 Moby v2023.11.22


aka: Gunship: The Attack Helicopter Simulation, Gunship: The Helicopter Simulation
Moby ID: 335
Atari ST Specs
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Description official descriptions

Gunship depicts one of the Western world's finest attack helicopters: The AH-64A Apache. This simulation recreates the weapons, flight systems, and performance of the real machine. The player controls an arsenal that includes laser-guided Hellfire missiles, a 30mm cannon controlled by helmet gunsights, clusters of bombardment rockets--even air-to-air missiles for duels with enemy helicopters.

The game starts with flight training at a base in the United States. Tutorials teach the player to handle the copter; once the controls and flying skills are mastered, there are escalating challenges and hundreds of missions in any one of four regions of the world, including Southeast Asia, Central America, the Middle East, and the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies in Western Europe.


  • ガンシップ - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Atari ST version)

20 People

Game Design
Software Development
Software Graphics
Technical Advisors
Manual Graphics
Cover Painting
Typography & Layout
  • The Composing Room Inc.



Average score: 88% (based on 30 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 68 ratings with 4 reviews)

Once upon a time

The Good
This was a PC conversion of the original, classic C64 / Apple 2 simulation of flying an AH-64 Gunship. (Actually, the C64, Apple II, and PC versions were all developed at the same time --Editor) It's functionally identical - the solid wireframes are coloured-in, and runs slightly faster. As a simulation of flying a helicopter, it's surprisingly good for the time - with the realism options turned on, juggling the collective and cyclic controls was quite tricky. As with other Microprose simulations, this took an arcade-style view of realism (although not to such ludicrous extends as 'F-15 Strike Eagle 2')- you could eliminate dozens of tanks and infantry units with each mission, something which was enormously gratifying. The manual was typically fantastic - it didn't just tell you how to play the game, it taught you about Russian BMPs, too.

The Bad
At the time, it seemed very odd that you could destory bunkers, infantry, airfields, in fact everything with your 30mm cannon, and it might be hard to get this running on modern PCs. The Apple2 version is probably the most 'authentic' recreation of the Gunship experience, and the original was thoroughly overshadowed by the sequel, 'Gunship 2000'.

The Bottom Line
A fun, old-fashioned helicopter sim, overshadowed nowadays by 'Gunship 2000', and indeed 'Comache'.

DOS · by Ashley Pomeroy (225) · 2000

First "solid" simulator

The Good
Gunship was IMO first really good flight simulator for PC. Yes, there were Microsoft Flight Simulators 1 and 2 before, but they're so much dated, that it's veery hard to play them in modern day (I tried that). F-15 Strike Eagle or Ace series were all just "fake 3D" and again, it was hard to play them even if taking into account their age.

And here comes Gunship. Manual reading is a must before playing, but it's not overwhelming (I managed to learned basics in 1-2 hours). Manual is very well written, you can find PDF on abandonware sites. Graphics is significant step-up from anything which was released previously, perfect joystick support (any controller will work through DOSBox) and most importantly, really nice career system and missions assignations. Simulation is great, I strongly recommend going with realistic flight mode from beginning (it's not that hard).

All in all, I not found any major flaw in this game. Gunship (and Falcon from the same year) were the first which shaped modern flight combat simulations for decades to come.

The Bad
Environment variety is a bit limited but it's normal given it's 1987 game.

The Bottom Line
IMO, first real deal simulation, which unlike from it predecessors, can be played even in modern day perfectly (you sacrifice something on gfx but not on simulation / career system itself).

DOS · by Vladimir Dienes · 2023

I hate simulation games...but there's always an exception!

The Good
I always had this impression about most combat simulation games didn't require much thinking ability and the overall "aim of the game" was just shoot-shoot-and-shoot.

Then they came up with this little beauty.

I was always a RPG gamer at heart and truthfully said, this game had a lot of "RPG elements" that couldn't be resisted.

There are a lot of things I love about Gunship, the thing I love most about Gunship (actually more than the game itself) was the game manual. I remember it was a big yellow manual with all kinds of instructions and stuff, and since my dad was a Fighter Pilot in the Indonesian Air Force (he actually shot down some Dutch planes during the war of independence!) this was the closest thing to I can related to what a fighter pilot actually does (although this is a chopper). Anyway, the at the back of the manual were these extremely detailed descriptions of military vehicles, helicopters, tanks, the works. Both from the Allied and Soviet forces! This database blew me away! I couldn't stop reading, sometimes memorizing all these statistics, from the Soviet BMP Tanks to the NATO M1Abrams. I really RESPECT any game that puts that much effort of research and educational value in a game. If it weren't for games like this, I would totally have a limited English vocabulary level.

Back to the game. Gunship wasn't just a shoot'em up game. It had strategy and tactics. For each mission you had to distinguish which kind of armaments and attributes would best suit your Longbow Apache. To me this is kinda like character development from an RPG perspective - suiting up your character, deciding what's best to face the challenges ahead. The game also had complicated difficulty settings, like realistic landing (which I was too young to appreciate since I hated crashing), winds (I think) and standard enemy difficulty.

But the thing that got me most was this was the first Simulation game that had a complex ranking system. Depending on your capabilities on the battlefield, you'll either get a promotion or a medal. Now this is totally the "RPG element" of a simulation game. Your developing your character, even though the recognition is through ranks and medals. Because of this you always feel you have to do more, since the sense of reward is always a joyful anticipation. Even though you've done the Primary and Secondary missions, you'll always feel you have to go back to the base, restock, and flatten the whole map with your trusty Hellfire missiles!

I don't recall if I've actually "finished" the game, but this game really changed my perspective on simulation games. Unfortunately, I haven't experienced any other similar simulation game with this level of "intelligence". With the exception of the better version of Gunship, which is Gunship 2000.

The Bad
Is it me or you can't really say anything bad about most "classic games", since they give you such really great memories. Although if I play it again, since I'm more "mature" ahem, I certainly have a lot of "bad" things to say. But, let's just leave the good memories as good memories, eh?

If there was one thing I had to say, I just wished I could pack a 100 Hellfire missiles on a single go. But that wouldn't be fun wouldn't it? Hehe.

The Bottom Line
If there's one "bird" I respect most, it's the Longbow Apache. Both the Apache and THIS game has my total respect!

DOS · by Indra was here (20633) · 2004

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
The Entertainer j.raido 【雷堂嬒ε€ͺζœ—γ€‘ (85170) Jan 14th, 2014


Apple II and Atari XL/XE versions

Despite loading instructions for both platforms in the manual, the game was never released for those systems.


Originally scheduled for release in mid-1988, the Amiga version of Gunship didn't materialise until mid-1989. Reportedly, the delay was predominantly the result of the programmer's source disk becoming infected with a virus. Source: Amiga User Internation (Sept 88, page 44) and HOL.

MicroProse had to release a later DOS version of Gunship to deal with faster computers. The game was also not easily playable in CGA, due to the similar color of HUD controls vs. targeting radar.

Maxis' Gunship

Maxis released an arcade side-scroller called Gunship made with the Klik and Play system. It was apparently inspired by this game.

Sidewinder missile

The AH-64 Apache actually cannot mount the sidewinder missile at the wingtips as depicted on the arming screen. The manual explained that it should be quite possible to do so, and there was no other air-to-air missile that Apache can mount at the time. In the sequel, Gunship 2000, one gets to choose between sidewinder and the smaller stinger missiles (in a 2-pack).

Strategy Guide

Gunship was so popular, it spawned a strategy guide from Compute! Books titled Gunship Academy.


  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
  • Commodore Format
    • March 1991 (Issue 6) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
    • July 1993 (Issue 34) - Modern Classics: Sims (Disk Version)
    • July 1993 (Issue 34) - Modern Classics: Sims (It's a Croaker! Cassette Version)
    • March 1994 (Issue 42) Heaven – The Path to Righteousness: 20 Essential Games
  • Computer Gaming World Magazine
    • August 1988 (Issue #50) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • November 1996 - #102 overall among the β€œ150 Best Games of All Time”
    • Newsfield Reader's Awards - Best Simulation 1987 (readers choice)
  • Happy Computer
    • Issue 01/1988 - Best Simulation in 1987
  • ST Format
    • May 1990 (Issue #10) - Included in the list "ST Format's 30 Kick-Ass Classics"
  • ZZAP! 64
    • Newsfield Reader's Awards - Best Simulation 1987 (readers choice)

Information also contributed by Kasey Chang, mailmanppa, Trixter and Zack Green.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Commodore 128 added by Trypticon. PC-88 added by Infernos. Commodore 64 added by Rebound Boy. Amiga added by Zadok. FM Towns, Sharp X68000, MSX, PC-98, ZX Spectrum added by Kabushi. Atari ST, Amstrad CPC added by Martin Smith.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Indra was here, Sciere, jean-louis, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, Jo ST, FatherJack, ZeTomes, Kayburt.

Game added October 29th, 1999. Last modified August 14th, 2023.