DOS – 1988
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- F-19 Stealth Fighter
|Alt names||Project Stealth Fighter, F19|
|Dosbox support||Supported on 0.73|
|Theme||Contemporary, Flight, Vehicular Combat Simulator|
|Released in||United States|
|Publisher||MicroProse Software, Inc.|
|Developer||MicroProse Software, Inc.|
Description of F-19 Stealth Fighter
A minority of vocal hard-core flight sim fanatics will try to convince you that anything prior to Falcon 3.0 is closer to a jazzed-up arcade experience than a true simulation. How ironic it is, then, that MicroProse’s later F-117A flight sim hasn’t held up nearly as well as F-19 Stealth Fighter, which was published before the government’s announcement of the real-life F-117 stealth fighter. As with his later Red Storm Rising, Sid Meier showed in F-19 Stealth Fighter that he could make a simulation – using declassified data augmented with a sound physics model and some shrewd guesswork – that was accurate enough to please the enthusiast and a great enough game to make flight sim fans out of everyone else. F-19 Stealth Fighter hearkens to an earlier age when a 1MB PC (notably the Amiga) was the hottest gaming machine on the market, and though its gloss is somewhat faded now when compared with more recent Gouraud-shaded simulators, F-19 Stealth Fighter still offers one thrilling ride. Without the multifunction joysticks and throttles of today, pilots of the mythical F-19 had to manage with keyboard overlays and hot keys; yet the game still provided challenges unique to flight simulations of the day. Although the F-19 was adequately armed (free-fall and guided bombs, Vulcan 20mm cannon, and over a half-dozen missile types for land, sea, and/or air), the electronic profile and stealth elements were so well done that it was often more fun to avoid a dogfight than to engage in one. So, even considering the holes in the simulation – keep in mind that the real stealth fighter wasn’t yet built – the game took on the nature of a “thinking man’s sim”, a real departure from the reflex-heavy simulators of the time. The missions in particular were especially well-designed, as they involved sneaking around through a variety of enemy defenses. Perhaps the most intriguing thing about the game was how surprisingly similar it was to actual Desert Storm sorties years later. Definitely a must play for all fans of serious flight sims– two thumbs up!
Review By HOTUD
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