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Mirrorsoft Ltd
Rod Hyde
1986
Simulation
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

77
Chris Palmer
Chris Bourne

I reckon it's probably easier to fly a bloomin' great aircraft than a flight simulator. At least the controls are simple and you get the feel of what you're doing wrong, like nose diving towards the earth faster than the speed of a C5! Despite all this, Mirrorsoft has managed to produce a simulator that's both easy to use and fun to play and also managed to incorporate a lot of extra gameplay alongside it.

The Harrier jet, the hero of the Falklands war, is a sophisticated plane that sports a unique vectored thrust system whereby the plane's jet nozzles can be swivelled through ninety degrees to allow the plane to perform some pretty nifty manoeuvres. All this is faithfully reproduced in the game - if you get in a heavy dogfight you can suddenly shift the direction of the engines enabling you to flip behind an enemy and gethim firmly in your sights.

Screen display is split in two, your view from the cockpit occupying the upper part and the control panel the lower. There's also a Head Up Display, that gives you status information so you don't have to take your eyes off the enemy to see where you're going. The animation is fast though a little jerky but that isn't surprising when you consider the program is carrying out a complex battle sequence at the same time.

Once you've managed to avoid splattering yourself into the ground at every take-off you can then embark on your mission to destroy enemy headquarters. To do this you must defeat both tank and aerial attacks and leapfrog towards HQ, setting up ground support stations as you go. Fail to defend your own bases and you'll lose your only method of refuelling and rearming.

As with all simulators, it'll take you a while to get handy with the controls but once you have you really will be flying high!

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