Wing Commander Academy

aka: Wing Commander Academy: The Custom Mission Simulator
DOS Specs [ all ]
Buy on DOS
Buy on Windows

Description official description

Wing Commander Academy puts players into the role of a fresh young recruit at the Confederation Academy, where new pilots must test their skills in the simulator. Unlike other Wing Commander games, this game features no storyline or campaign. Instead players may play through simple dogfight missions or build waypoints on an interface similar to the radar view. Using this mission builder, the player may place objects that include friendly fighters, enemy fighters, enemy capital ships, space stations, and ejected pilots.

Controls and graphics are almost directly copied from Wing Commander II. Similar to that game, the player engages in a first person space battle against Kilrathi forces in 360 space. Players are able to choose different ships, weapon types and wingmen.

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Average score: 66% (based on 9 ratings)


Average score: 2.4 out of 5 (based on 17 ratings with 3 reviews)

A potentially good game, but marred by a devastating flaw.

The Good
Wing Commander: Academy exists for one reason, and one reason only: To dogfight in space, with the ability to create your own missions. What Wing Commander fanatic wouldn't want to do that? The mission builder is functional, and there are a wide variety of ships and goals you can stir into the mix. For those who just want to dive in, there's a randomization feature.

The Bad
I can sum it up quite easily: No multiplayer support. Building your own missions isn't any fun if you can't play them with someone else. You can save and upload missions to other people, but they play them single-player, just like you. Where's the fun in that?

The Bottom Line
If you're a solitary person and want to blast Kilrathi out of the sky 'til kingdom come, this is just what you need--but if you want a rewarding experience, look for something that allows multi-player gameplay, like the later release Wing Commander Armada.

DOS · by Trixter (8947) · 1999

Filler to stave off fans who were enraged over the ending of Special Ops 2

The Good
There are times I just want to play some classic Wing Commander missions without mucking about with the storyline or trying to screw around with the debugging codes to find the one mission I want. I probably still play this about once every 6 months for that reason. The gameplay, AI, and graphics are all identical to WC2 - in fact, even the files are pretty much cross-compatable. (it's possible to fix the incorrect Maniac speech if you know what you're doing and have Spec Ops 2) The Gauntlet (which became a staple of future Origin flight sims) is fun, but it gets so challenging towards the end that only a couple ships stand a chance of getting through. Light or Medium fighters are gonna be toast by level 8, no matter how good you are.

The Bad
There's limited gameplay value. As another reviewer pointed out, the missions that can be designed are quite limited. Basically, it's your choice of dogfights. While you can come up with some ludicrously difficult missions, just to test yourself out (and let's face it, if you still have this, you're a WC freak) but that's about it. I agree the lack of flexibility may be to prevent people from designing their own games based around it. Otherwise, it's just WC2 without the plotline.

The Bottom Line
Why bother? It's difficult to find these days, whereas you can still come across WC2 with a little looking. Unless you find it for really cheap, it's not worth the effort.

DOS · by WizardX (116) · 2000

Great idea, flawed realization.

The Good
As Trixter mentioned in his review, this game allows a player to design his own Wing Commander missions. A dream come true for me, since I had designed a Wing Commander board game complete with campaign play and mission generators and wanted see how it would revert back to computer simulation.

The Bad
Bottom line, it couldn't. I don't mind the lack of multi-player support - I think one of the great things about a computer is that it lets you play alone when your friends are unavailable. But what I hated was the following: you couldn't design the limitless missions they promised. You could set up dogfights between just about any set of fighters you wanted, and could make attacks against certain, limited Kilrathi capital ships. But what about escort missions? Or defending your own capitals? The only "ship" supplied for you to defend is a Terran Space Station. I believe the full range of ships was left out to prevent the player from being able to design complete campaigns, and thus negating the need to buy future Wing Commander products.

The Bottom Line
If you want to design Wing Commander missions, this game CAN do that. But it can't do it well, or with the versatility that one might expect.

DOS · by Jeff Sinasac (391) · 2000


Subject By Date
TV series sharing the title Rola (8131) Dec 29th, 2012


The box ad blurb mentions uploading your custom scenaros to "bulletin boards" to challenge others. Ah, the days of the BBS...

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Windows added by lights out party.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, formercontrib.

Game added March 1st, 1999. Last modified August 23rd, 2023.