Anirog Software
Stefan Walker
1985
Simulation
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

31,32
Chris Bourne

This is Anirog's program to put you in command of what appears to be a Boeing 737. Flight Path offers the player 6 levels of difficulty. In the lowest level, called 'First solo', the pilot is required to take off and clear mountains at a height of 5000 feet and then land some 3 miles further on. For the hardest level, 'Test pilot', the mountains reach 9,200 feet. At this level the landing strip will be at a different location each time and it will suffer from severe cross winds - mind you, you will be lucky if you reach it because your engines are going to catch fire.

The cockpit display is straight forward. The pilot has a perspective view of the runway and of the mountains when they appear. The instruments include the normal array of dials and needles including status indicators for the undercarriage, flaps and fire extinguishers.

Should the pilot survive then a score will be awarded which will be higher if the player has managed to complete the take off/landing sequence quickly - that means the faster that you fly the more points you will score, if you land in one piece, of course.

CRITICISM

'I really can't find it in myself to get excited about flight simulators any more, especially when they are so run of the mill. I noticed that this program was also written for the Commodore range of machines and the Amstrad. I assume that this is a conversion from those machines, because they all have inbuilt joystick options so the instructions supplied would perhaps make sense, but for the Spectrum the instructions are rubbish. The text refers to '... pulling the joystick back' - but nowhere is it explained what type of joystick can be used or even what the equivalent keystroke would be. The instructions tell me that I have to reach a speed of at least 180 knots, but I simply couldn't get the plane to accelerate fast enough and as a result I always went off the runway. The display is both clear and easy to understand though the labels tend to be obtrusive. This just isn't very exciting.'

'It 's very hard to like a game that makes getting into it so damned difficult The accompanying instructions are unusual brief for a flight simulation, but they are wholly inadequate for a Spectrum owner, since they have been written for CBM, MSX and Amstrad. There is a sort of conversion bit on a back flap, but its mysteries are well maintained. It says the cursor keys may be used, but 'down ' doesn't appear to do much. Onto the display - it's very hard to get off the runway at all, and you keep 'crashing', being told you are 'off runway '. But the viewscreen display shows the runway safely ahead of you all the while this appalling disaster is taking place. I have to be honest and say that I didn't get very far into the air, and couldn't be bothered to go any further with this program. It does have a great tune at the start however - now I know why the captain plays soothing muzak on board, while you await take off.'

'Rubbish! An insult to Spectrum software. How dare a company put product out without any instructions whatsoever on how to control the game (aeroplane in this case)? Where are the instructions given with this game? It's not as if you can find out by trial and error, because the keys react so slowly that you have to press them for at least five seconds to get any noticeable response. Is this game written in BASIC, or an extended language - 'slower BASIC'? The display doesn't actually show much and looks graphically displeasing. After trying for an hour I never even managed to get an inch off the ground. Did I read the price correctly? Is it £5.95 or 59.5 pence, because that's about as much as it 's worth to me - the price of a blank cassette.

COMMENTS
Control keys: 5/8 left/right, accelerate/brake 0/SPACE (we think)
Joystick: no information supplied
Keyboard play: very unresponsive
Use of colour: not good
Graphics: mediocre
Sound: nice tune
Skill levels: 6
Lives: 1
Screens: 1
General Rating: This may work on the other machines but the Spectrum conversion seems to be a botch up.

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