1987
Simulation
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

70,71
Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

Acrojet is one of those programs which was a big hit in America on the C64, which has now been converted across to the Spectrum, and which makes you wonder what the fuss was all about.

What the fuss was all about was supposed to be the 'unique perspective' you get on the action and the ultra-realism of the simulation.

The new view of things turns out to be that you watch the flight action as though viewing it from a plane behind the one you are controlling. The realism is a little difficult for me to comment on but I can say there are a quite astounding number of play options and it was quite a while before I could get the damn machine off the ground. And there's another mark of a program that (maybe) takes itself a little too seriously - no shooting at all.

If you want variety though it's here. An acrojet is a special type of jet stunt plane and there are hundreds of permutations of event, event conditions, skill, beginning from airborne or ground and so on. Screens and screens of the stuff to wade through before you get to the actual playing screen. I found it deeply irritating (and, for what it's worth, ugly to look at - like double-entry accountancy. I'm sure there's another joke in there somewhere).

The name of this game is acrobatics. You select a particular manoeuvre - like flying a certain pattern between pylons for example - each of which is graded according to difficulty (just like gymnastics really) and with a time limit. Then you try to get the jet round the course.

The actual look of the program is reasonable though most of the time the plane you are flying lacks much recognisable detail (it depends on very much on its flight position) - so much so that I spent about fifteen minutes hurtling straight off the end of the runway having mistakenly turned the plane around because I thoughts it was the wrong way around (get the picture?)

Having flowing the plane around finally and even gone round the odd pylon (the easiest of the tricks to do) my view of the program improved a bit but really I still think I'd get bored fairly quickly. Acrojet may well be fairly realistic, certainly there are a fair number of controls to master, and it should be given some credit for being a different sort of flight simulation - both because of the cameras'-eye view and the Acrobatic theme.

I'd say this though, the graphics aren't anything special and I think only those people who rate a flight simulation only in terms of the realism of the simulation will really enjoy it long term.

If your real taste is for a bit of airborne death and destruction you should avoid it.

Label: US Gold
Author: Microprose
Price: £7.95
Joystick: Sinclair
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

***

Highly elaborate and accurate simulation of an acrobatic jet. Unspectacular though. Only for hard core simulation fans.

3/5