Title Kennedy Approach Game Type Management Sim Publisher Microprose (1989) Players 1 Compatibility A500 HD Installable No Submission Steve Baker Review I first played this game on the C64 and although it was a brief liaison, it had enough impact that it was one of my first purchases on my shiny new A500. In presentation terms, it betrays its C64 origins without shame, appearing to all intents and purposes as a direct port. The best that can be said for the graphics and sound is that they are functional, but with Kennedy Approach that is not the point. This can be summed up in one word, atmosphere and tension (ok, two words). However, I am getting ahead of myself, so lets start the review proper. You take the role of a rookie air traffic controller and it has been charged to you to keep the skies safe. You control every aspect (in game terms) of the flight paths of every plane. This can include planes entering your air space and looking to land at one of your runways, planes that are using your air space as a "through road" to other regions and planes that are taking off from your runways. There are a number of rules which must be observed to ensure that flights continue safely and consistent failure to do so can result in you being fired. Yes that's right; fired, because the game actually charts your career. As you start the game, you will get a list of job offers and once one has been selected, you are taken to the game screen. This shows the simplest representation of any runways, exit points and flight paths, the first two being marked with a three letter abbreviation (eg. DEN for Denver, WSH for Washington). It also shows the planes, along with their heading and altitude. Each runway and exit point begin with a different letter to allow distinction of each flight's start and end points. Control can be provided by any combination of a joystick, a mouse or the keyboard. To issue a command, you first need to select a plane. Once selected, you can issue a command to change heading and/or altitude and confirmation of your choices are given as an oral order. On screen, you will then see your selected plane following your orders, although planes can't instantly drop 1000 feet or turn on a sixpence, so there is a delay in the plane reaching its chosen heading/altitude. A number of statistics are kept about the current scenario. Of the four that are available, two are terminal to your career, namely "Crashed Aircraft" (fairly obviously) and "Bad Exits" (any planes leaving your air space must be at a height of 4000 feet). The remaining two are "Minutes Delay" (you sometimes have to wait to launch a plane because another is coming in to land) and "Minutes in Conflict" (planes at the same altitude and within three miles of each other). I'm not sure at what point these also become terminal but I think it's safe to assume that they do eventually. It all sounds pretty simple, and in principle it is. However, what starts off as fairly straightforward, soon becomes a nightmare of organisation. Initially, the speed of the planes appears pedestrian, but after a couple of minutes of playing, it suddenly doesn't feel slow enough as your carefully plotted plane ploughs into a new arrival because you forgot to reduce its altitude by 1000 feet. Further complications are introduced in the shape of mountains (where your planes must be at 4000 feet at least), storms (which plod across your screen crashing any planes caught) and planes that fly at different speeds. In spite of the minimal presentation, I can't think of any other game past or present, that has managed to convey the mounting pressure and increasing sense of panic so effectively. The game is obviously not as involved as the real thing, but there is quite enough to mean that a fatal mistake to your career is only one lapse of concentration away. Needless to say, successful completion of a scenario is highly satisfying and generally quite draining. For those who fancy something a little different and can look past the presentation from antiquity, Kennedy Approach provides a thrilling challenge.