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Almost funnily minimalist but still playable!
Here's how it all started: the ground is green, the sky is blue, there are certain elements on the ground that well, could be anything, but, for now, let's think of them as buildings! Also, from your rather pixilated cockpit there is only so much info you can gather, but hey, for some reason your plane flies and, also, somebody has entrusted you with a mission! Yep, it doesn't take a lot to create a flight sim, but, to cram as much as Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0 did and still manage to create a fun experience, that has surely got to be a cool thing to do. Naturally, Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0 will not appeal to those that look for realism and for ultra high grade graphics. Nope, this one is for those that love to see how a game series started. So, if you're into high fidelity flight game mode, rather see the tenth iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator, that one surely packs a lot of graphical oomph. Issues with the game? Well, I mean I'd have to be really out of it to start finding issues with a game this old! Suffice to say that this is not the epitome of technology or playability and I'm sure you're going to get what the game feels like! It sure is wonderful that it was possible to write such a game in the first place!
First step in 30 years of MS Flight Sim
A three star rating because this program has been greatly surpassed by its 9 later versions. It is however a piece of flight simulator history that set the 3D coding standards for all flight simulators since, and was , without a doubt THE best if not the ONLY 3D graphical program of it's time. This version was the first release of Microsoft's Flight Simulator after it had purchased the copyright from SubLOGIC Corp. It was the subLOGIC version that ran on computers of the late '80s like Tandy, Commodore 64, IBM, etc. The 3D graphics drivers designed by the subLOGIC team became the core code for DirectX of today. This earliest concentrated mostly on realistic flight dynamics of the Cessna 172. The four flight areas, Chicago, Southern Cal, New York, and Seattle were as accurate as the technology allowed. There were few low poly buildings and the visible roads below were precise in their destinations if not in detail. One could actually fly from Chicago to New York but the only scenery to fly VFR by was the squared off roads. Rivers and lakes were blocky blue polygons but they were accurately located. There is a "combat" mode selected by the flight area that takes you to a hard to find area far north of New York. It is about 20 miles of flat terrain, a hanger and runway, and an "enemy line" at the river that bisects the area. Cross the line and enemy biplanes appear for you to shoot with your guns or be shot down by theirs. The best part of this version is that it set the standard for the program's keyboard controls used by all later versions (a few minor changes in FS10). It was not set up for mouse and graphical controls since the computer mouse interface was still a few years down the road. I still fly MSFS by keyboard rather than mouse or joystick. It's also a good version to learn VOR (or radio) navigation. Finally, after MSFS10, the program was sold to Lockheed Martin who now offers "Prepar3D", an improved version for $200 as an actual flight trainer.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 98
ak tronic Software & Services, 1997
Microsoft Flight Simulator 5.0
Microsoft Flight Simulator X
Microsoft Game Studios, 2006
Microsoft Flight Simulator 3.0
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2.0
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Microsoft Flight Simulator 4.0