Title Gunship Game Type Flight Sim Players 1 Compatibility Any Amiga HD installable Yes Company MicroProse Submission Seppo Typpö (firstname.lastname@example.org) Profiled Reviewer Review If there ever was one company that revolutionised the world of computer flight simulation, it has to be the original MicroProse. Housing some computer game legends like Sid Meyer, Arnold Hendrick and Andy Hollis (not forgetting "Wild" Bill Stealey) this was The Company that brought the simulation games to the masses. They pioneered several gameplay features we now take granted (like unlimited mission generators, career modes with medals and promotions etc) and packed them in state-of-the-art graphics and sound. All this was done on humble 8-bit computers like the Commodore 64, Spectrum and Amstrad CPC. Gunship is without doubt the simulation which started the revolution. It set new milestones in graphics and especially gameplay, striking a perfect balance between computer game and flight simulation. Amiga owners had to wait eons before MicroProse finally released the Amiga version of this classic - for some reason it took much longer to complete than the other 16 bit versions - but it was well worth the wait - well, almost... As was common to the MicroProse conversions of that time, the 8-bit games were converted with minimal enhancements to the 16-bit machines. Before MicroProse started to use more of the (then) advanced features of the Amiga (Pirates! and Red Storm Rising being the prime examples) games like Gunship were ported from Atari ST versions. While the conversion was very well done one could not help but think whether the Amiga version could have been better - as it was it felt like an Atari version with additional sampled sound effects. Forgetting the looks, the gameplay was successfully lifted intact from the 8-bit versions. All the features of the original were in the Amiga version too - sadly MicroProse did not want to add any extra stuff (like additional battle regions) to the 16-bit versions. Even in its original form, the simulation offered something for everybody. Just about every aspect of the game is configurable, from flight model to enemy AI which offered a suitable challenge from flight sim novices to Gunship veterans alike. The high-tech nature of the game means there is a multitude of controls to learn but even this was fixed by providing a handy keyboard overlay (again something MicroProse pioneered on 8-bit computers). This allowed a quick way to find the correct key without resorting to the manual - once again something which lifted the user-friendliness of this sim high above its competitors. The missions the player flies are varied and challenging. On easier difficulty levels the enemy forces offer a light challenge but after cranking up the various parameters (like mission profile and enemy quality) even hardened computer pilot veterans get into serious trouble if they don't play "by the book". Speaking of game literature, the manual of Gunship is still one of the finest handbooks written for a computer simulation. There might be thicker and more colourful handbooks around but few of them actually pack as much information in an easily digestible form between their covers than the operations manual of Gunship. The informative Amiga technical supplement nicely completes the professional packaging. There are only couple of faults in this simulation classic - written before faster Amigas or AGA chipset were invented, Gunship is quite unstable when run in 68030+ ECS+ Amigas. It can be installed to hard disk but the original disk is still needed for copy protection. Considering the game already has manual protection to fight agaist software piracy the disk protection (which effectively prevents the honest buyer from backing up the disk) is an unnecessary hassle. As the player data is also saved on to the game disk (!) there's always the danger of corrupting it and destroying the game altogether. In conclusion, Gunship is still one of the best Amiga flight simulations. Although it looks a bit dated it offers weeks of solid gameplay and gives an interesting insight into the world of combat helicopters. I did fly all 99 missions needed to qualify as Brigadier General (like I did with the C64 version) and loved every minute of it. Call me biased but I think every Amiga flight sim fan should have this 'golden oldie' in their game collection. IF THIS GAME INTERESTS YOU PLEASE CHECK OUT ALSO: Gunship 2000 by MicroProse. This excellent sequel to the original Gunship offers uppgraded graphics, multi-chopper missions, multiple helicopters to choose from, a command option and a real-time mission planner. Without doubt the BEST combat helicopter simulation and generally one of the finest flight simulations for Amiga.