Shuttle: The Space Flight Simulator
An old, but very realistic space shuttle simulator. The package contains, in addition to two game disks, a very thick manual and a large sheet (A2 size, maybe) displaying the cockpit instruments of the shuttle. To successfully fly the missions, the player must learn a great number of dials and how to use every single instrument, located in nine different cockpit panels. The controls can be used with mouse, but keyboard shortcuts are essential for quick operation. In addition to cockpit views, there are various external views, from which you can see the shuttle e.g. in launch pad and in orbit. If you do not use time advance or time skip options during the game, playing one mission can last for days. Going through the proper pre-launch countdown takes five hours, for example.
Credits (DOS version)
|U.S. Product Manager
|U.K. Product Manager
|Original Product Design
Average score: 66% (based on 19 ratings)
Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 20 ratings with 3 reviews)
Overall realism; flight model, the variety of missions, graphics and the great manual.
Sounds & the steep learning curve.
The Bottom Line
One of the most difficult games I have ever played, this game is definitely not for beginners. Because of the great number of different controls and panels, you will probably need to have the manual around every now and then, if you have not received astronaut training. Flight model is probably very realistic: the shuttle is extremely difficult to handle, particularly during landings. It has very limited manoeuvrability and has an annoying tendency to stall. It can be very frustrating to crash in landing after a long game session, especially if you have not saved your game every now and then.
The game has polygon-based VGA graphics of good quality for the time it was released, but sounds are somewhat limited. It runs fine in a DOS window under Windows. This game is much better than Microsoft Space Simulator and as there is no sequel, this is a must for anyone interested in space simulators. Despite its difficulty and sometimes maddening complexity I highly recommend this game.
DOS · by NH (479) · 2003
Even though I played it on a laptop (286), it ran flawlessly. Excellent graphics even for a non-color display. Cannot comment on the sound (if any) because laptop had pizo speaker.
What I didn't like was I couldn't get to the last 2 missions, even though the previous missions were successfully done. I'd ask for input on this, but alas I don't have the game anymore.
The Bottom Line
If you're into technical stuff, hands-on flying, and have a few spare hours on your hands, I highly recommend this game.
Amiga · by Ralph Mayhew (1) · 2003
Highly detailed instrument panels for managing all aspects of a shuttle flight and mission. The simulation takes you from launch to glided touchdown. If you're a beginner, the individual panel controls and switches can be set to automatically highlight during the flight according to when they need to be acted upon. Gives you a compelling sense of what it must be like to manage the most complex spacecraft/aircraft ever built.
No sound (as I recall). General lack of immersion, i.e., there was little to convey the feeling you were on an exciting space flight hurtling around the Earth at over 17,000 mph with the support of both an onboard crew and Mission Control. While the Earth was visible out the windows, it had next to no graphic detail so there was little point to looking outside. Ground communication/mission prompts were via a mock dot matrix printout, a jarring white page with black type that would suddenly pop up and fill the screen without warning, and often. Overall the feeling was more like being on a deathly silent and abandoned "ghost" ship where you were condemned to locate and push and pull endless buttons and switches into perpetuity.
The Bottom Line
For only the most dedicated and patient of space enthusiasts. Game "play" was more like training for the real thing, with all the tedium and learning curves such in depth training would involve. Like all training, the only point to enduring this simulation would be with the expectation that this is your ticket to flying the real thing.
DOS · by Dasharatha (8) · 2009
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #50 Worst Game of All Time
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by NH.
Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger.
Game added August 11, 2003. Last modified January 28, 2024.