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Flightmare

aka: Flightmare: The Ultimate Expedition into Horror
Moby ID: 414

Description official description

Fight off a band of vandals and punks with your airplane before they reach your city. One of the earliest shareware games, you pilot a prop plane that is represented in "3D" -- you can see (and manipulate) your plane in both the horizontal and vertical viewpoints. Refuel with your blimp, but don't waste too much time...

Screenshots

Credits (DOS version)

Programming

Reviews

Players

Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 8 ratings with 2 reviews)

Challenging time-waster

The Good
I have the fondest memories of playing this game on an original XT PC, 4.77 MHz, in all its 4-color CGA glory. At first, I had the worst time getting the hang of the game. For some reason, I did not see fit to read to dozen or so pages of instructions the game presents to you upon startup so I missed the fact that you were expected to control your plane using two different screens. I understood navigating the top screen where the plane moved on the vertical axis. But I did not know what the bottom screen was for.

Once I figured out the secret of the bottom screen, I was off and running (or flying) and cleaned up with this game. This was a highly educational game for me in that it taught me the Greek alphabet. Each level was named after progressing letters of the Greek alphabet-- alpha wave, beta wave, gamma wave. I am proud to say I made it to the sigma wave (sigma = 18th letter of the Greek alphabet). That kind of achievement only comes from not having very many decent games to play in the first place.

Flightmare's sound effects, graphics, and action gameplay all come together quite remarkably on rather low-spec PCs.

The Bad
It is too bad that Flightmare did not print the upper and lower case symbols for the Greek letter stage that you were currently playing. It was great that the game taught alpha, beta, gamma, etc., but it would have been even better to learn which symbols they corresponded to, especially for the college-bound gaming geek to get a leg up on the fraternity & sorority naming system (also useful in myriad math formulas at the college level).

The 18th level was extremely difficult. I am a little fuzzy on the details but I do remember that I was a staunch and practiced devotee of this title and I could not make it through.

The Bottom Line
Flightmare demonstrates just how awesome the action gaming experience could be old low-capability machines, while instructing players on the Greek alphabet.

DOS · by Multimedia Mike (20664) · 2005

A novel presentation that should have refined before implementation.

The Good
In a time when most shareware/freeware games for the PC were not only sparse but lacking any real quality, Flightmare was a welcome surprise. With fast action, an interesting gameplay idea, and a good framerate, it was very fun to play when you first got your hands on it. I'd have to say that the initial "wow factor" when starting the game up was its best asset.

The Bad
The "interesting gameplay idea" referenced above was the representation of "3D" graphics via a side view and a top view. In order for an enemy to hit you, he had to be lined up with you in both views. Unfortunately, the same held true for you; you had to line up both the side view and the top view to connect a shot. In a simulation or something a little less fast-paced, this is fine. But in a white-knuckle action game, controlling two sets of 8-directional key groupings (there was no dual-joystick support) was just too much for one single human to handle.

I was young when I first discovered Flightmare, and I have to admit I got pretty good at it after playing for about two hours. But I was a gaming freak back then, nowhere near a "normal" gamer. I am firmly convinced that the only people who can play Flightmare well are people who are ambidexterous.

The Bottom Line
With its frustrating control interface, Flightmare is worth playing only if you are confident of your reflexes and can find an original 4.77MHz machine to play it on. (Trust me, you don't need this game any faster than it already is.)

DOS · by Trixter (8952) · 1999

Discussion

Subject By Date
New youtube showing completion of Omega Wave and ending message/rank Andrew Fisher (697) Mar 31, 2023

Trivia

Message

Flightmare contains this message:

Feel free to copy and distribute this game to friends, user groups, hackers, or your dog. The programmer spent five months on flightmare. If you find it to be entertaining and worth the disk its on, then it would be greatly appreciated if you sent a monetary thank you card of five to fifty dollars.

Peter Adams

882 Hagemann dr

Livermore, CA 94550

Another internal messages is "Vote for Reagan in 1984".

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 414
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Additional contributors: formercontrib, Patrick Bregger.

Game added November 11, 1999. Last modified February 22, 2023.