Title F/A-18 Interceptor Game Type Flight Sim Players 1 Compatibility Any Amiga HD Installable Yes (With Patch) Company Electronic Arts (by Bob Dinnerman) Submission Seppo Typpö (firstname.lastname@example.org) Profiled Reviewer Review Back in 1988, when Amiga (and yours truly) were young I stumbled into a game shop and found on the shelf a game which had following text on its inside cover: "After seeing an Evans-Sutherland flight simulator. Bob set out to design a comparable but affordable program for home computers." Bob was the first name of a man called Bob Dinnerman, a hardware designer working for Motorola. He had selected the Amiga as the platform and created F/A-18 Interceptor, got it published through Electronic Arts and immediately set the 16-bit computer world on fire with his creation. A legend was born, and it still lives on in the hearts of the Amiga owners all over the world. Coming in a see-through plastic case very similar to modern CDROM packages, F/A 18-Interceptor came on one disk, accompanied by a small but informative manual and a copy protection wheel. Originally the game could be played only from the floppy disk but nowadays a hard disk installer/accelerator patch is available on Aminet. With the patch the game can be played from a hard disk and on more modern Amigas (like my 68040 equipped A1200). The sim could be played on an Amiga with only half a megabyte of memory but it was one of the first games that really took benefit from the half meg memory expansion module. I first played it on my half meg A500 and after buying the (then quite expensive) memory expansion I was literally blown away by the previously unheard title music and additional effects the game could squeeze from the 1 Mb Amiga. Having played flight simulations since I bought the Gunship for my Commodore 64, I was awed by the extremely smooth and detailed graphics. Allthough quite rudimentary by today's standards Interceptor offered both visual delight and sudden feelings of exhiliration with its low level-high speed flying thrills. Simple controls were backed up by the flawless frame update and excellent flight model which made flying the plane such a joyful experience. Interceptor excels in the sound department too. Moody music and excellent sampled sound effects really beg the player to connect the Amiga to the home stereo system and crank the volume up so he (or she) can enjoy hearing the wildly roaring engine (still one of the best engine fx I have ever heard on flight sims) and other quality sound effects. On the surface F/A-18 Interceptor is a easily approachable, almost arcadey in appearance. Easy-to-learn controls makes this sim an ideal first choice for flight simulation novices. However, under the surface lies a quite demanding flight sim engine (as anyone who has gone through the practice and qualification missions can testify). One of the most demanding tasks is learning how to land on an aircraft carrier - 'dropping' the plane succesfully on the deck of the carrier is much more demanding than in most flight sims which offer this feature. This "easy to learn - difficult to master" concept lifts F/A-18 Interceptor to the Hall of Fame of the Flight Simulations. You don't need to have a science degree to fly an F-18 in this sim - with a little practise almost any armchair pilot can enjoy pulling off all kinds of flashy manouvres and stunts (like flying inverted under the Golden Gate bridge). The game offers suitable challenges for the more experienced pilots too. Another mark of a classic is the small secrets hidden in the game - like finding and bombing the EA building, landing on roads and then driving around the San Francisco city, secret airfields etc. If any game deserves a cult following this is it - so if you have not yet played this sim I suggest you hunt it down and enjoy playing one of the greatest Amiga games ever. I'll started this review with an excerpt from the the original game cover leaflet so it is only appropiate to end with another: "As you play F/A-18 Interceptor, we think you'll agree he's done an exceptional job." You most surely did, Bob. You surely did. IF THIS GAME INTERESTS YOU PLEASE ALSO TRY OUT FOLLOWING: F15 Strike Eagle II from MicroProse. Flight simulation with the emphasis on arcade action. Like F18, F15 SE II boasts simple controls and excellent 3D graphics. ThunderHawk from Core Design. A fast combat helicopter simulation full of action. Excellent graphics for its time and intuitive mouse controls. Knights of the Sky from MicroProse. WW1 dogfights in glorious 3D that runs fast even on 68000 Amigas. No HUDs or complicated weapon systems, just you, your plane and your machine guns against the minions of the mighty Red Baron.