Title Falcon Game Type Flight Sim Players 1 (2 with linkup) Company Spectrum Holobyte Compatibility All (AGA needs degraders) Submission Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer Review Falcon is a 3D Flight Simulation involving the extremely capable multi-role combat aircraft; the F16 Falcon. On it's release the game pretty much put all that had gone before it to shame, certainly as far as appearances went. The cockpit interiors were nicely drawn, as were the enemy planes, ground targets and even the rather bare landscape manages to create some atmosphere with its bleak mountain scenery. Interestingly (at least for me) Martin Kenwright (who went on to produce the stunning graphics, if not gameplay, in F-29 Retaliator, Epic and TFX with Digital Image Design) is credited as Falcon's Graphic Artist and and co-writer of the 3D Graphics. Russell Payne another Falcon Programmer also went to DID. In my view, until the undeniably impressive TFX, they failed to deliver the promise we might well have expected after Falcon, what a shame. The game includes a dozen missions, you can choose what rank you fly them at, determining the level of difficulty, and you can control the maximum number of Migs you will encounter. Medals are awarded for good results, and although the missions are not linked (this changed with the mission disks) it is atleast possible to embark on a career, and keep a record of your kills and decorations. Falcon does not have the immediate appeal you'll find in the excellent F/A-18 Interceptor, but for my money it does offer the best dogfighting you'll find on the Amiga. When you get the hang of it, sticking behind an enemy aircraft, despite his frantic efforts to shake you off, and then taking him out is very satisfying. Sadly though the game's code seems to be timed for the original Amiga hardware, and the graphics do not dramatically improve on higher spec machines. Having said that, the game ran very smoothly on a bare A500. Actually, the sound is improved slightly on 1 Mb machines and this also given access to the black box flight recorder for post flight analysis. While the first release of the game was pretty unforgiving later versions of the game were tweaked to make things more approachable. For one thing landings became easier, and this improved things considerably. In fact if you're interested in the game I would definitely seek out one of the re-releases. The improvements and bug fixes made in the first mission disk, were then incorporated in the re-release of the original. This included better enemy artificial intelligence, and correct function of the Maverick missiles zoomed-in TV image displayed in your cockpit. In fact The Ground Attack aspect of the game is very well executed, and with practice and re-reading of the manual a most satisfactory mess can be made of the various ground targets. In my view the first mission disk actually offered the best value, with tanks, landing vehicles, trains and the MiG 29 fighter, although intercepting the Soviet Ground Attack aircraft in the second mission was also pretty enjoyable. In Falcon the action takes place over a single area, which is not vast, nor particuarly varied, but it certainly does it's job. A head to head option is available, (though not on the second mission disk), and this is great fun to play with a friend. There's a certain coldness to Falcon, which possibly exists to some extent with all Flight-sims. It's difficult to describe, but while it remains a significant programming achievment it feels like the team responsible could have put a bit more personality into the game which while it would have added nothing to the technical accuracy of the simulation would have perhaps made the game a lot more appealing to a wider audience. Nevertheless Falcon remains one of the definitive Flight-sims on the Amiga.