Are there any decent Speccy Flight Sims?

This is a hard question as modern PC flight sims are so good . Is there any good gameplay to be had from Speccy flight sims? And it seems to have been a while since this was last discussed here on WOS:-

So far I have been disappointed with the Speccy Flight sims I have seen but maybe there is a good one hidden away What is the best one?


  • I really enjoyed F-16 Combat Pilot. It's not very "arcade-y" (like the games recommended in the linked thread), but it's also not so complicated that it becomes hard work.
    Thanked by 1harriusherbartio
  • Definitely F-16 Combat Pilot.

    I worked my way through most flight sims on the Speccy, even very basic original ones. Most of them dated pretty badly, even Tomahawk, which at the time pushed the boundaries quite a bit. There were quite a lot of arcadey flight combat games after that, but really the 16-bit machines like the Amiga moved on proper flight sims to a complete other level.

    F-16 Combat Pilot is basically the Amiga game ported back to the Spectrum in 1991 when programming standards had moved on a lot. Some features are missing and the graphics are cleary inferior, but the overall simulation game is as good as it gets on the Spectrum with loads of weapons, equipment and missions. But most importantly for a sim, it has a fair learning curve, and crucially a flyable flight model.

    I think it might have been the last full-price Spectrum game I bought! I had tried some sims on a mate's Amiga by that point and it really felt like I was playing a game almost as good on the Speccy (graphics aside).
    Thanked by 1harriusherbartio
  • Yes I have just taken a quick look : it looks great (for a Speccy Flight Sim , amazing even)
  • The very first one - Flight Simulator from Psion is worth a look for historical reasons but looks pretty rough.
    Snow Strike is quite good but possibly a bit more acadey.
    There's also Fighter Bomber from Activision.
    We must perform a quirkafleeg
  • I like F-16 Combat Pilot, Tomahawk, Gunship, Fighter Bomber, F-19 Stealth Fighter (a bit slow) and Lightning Simulator (a bit empty, but seems realistic). There are also Flight Simulator, Fighter Pilot and Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer, but they aren't very interesting. Other Spectrum games aren't really flight simulators.
  • I used to like Tomahawk. Played it a lot back in the day.
    Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and write a ZX Spectrum game.

    Author of A Yankee in Iraq, a 50 fps shoot-’em-up—the first game to utilize the floating bus on the +2A/+3,
    and zasm Z80 Assembler syntax highlighter.
    Member of the team that discovered, analyzed, and detailed the floating bus behavior on the ZX Spectrum +2A/+3.

    A few Spectrum game fixes.
  • I used to love ATF but that's not really a flight sim.
    We must perform a quirkafleeg
  • Yes Flight Sims appear to be a "used to like" kinda genre .This puts into sharp focus the question :- Which Speccy genres are still played as they are still good ( but that is a subject for another thread) ? The main point here is that some Speccy genres have become relatively more unplayble ( or severly less attractive than they once were) than others.And so we have the genres that have "worn well " ( or the Speccy "Wears it Well" as the song goes) and others that only "used to be played" The latter it seems are deemed to have no intrinsic charm or virtue that makes them worth going back to . And Spectrum Flight sims appear to be in this latter category ? Or is that being a bit harsh?
  • I hadn't checked out F16 Combat Pilot before - it looks brill! Fighter Pilot is another simulation that despite looking quite dated next to F16, is actually a pretty impressive simulator. One of my uncles who was big on aviation once coached me how to land the damn plane in Fighter Pilot. He was quite impressed that the flight model behaved as well as it did. Of course he has no idea if the actual F15 (that Fighter Pilot is based on) actually flies this way, but it models the general principles of a plane pretty well. I'll take his word for it.

    Another sim that you may want to look at it is Gunship from MicroProse. It came with a hefty manual that was compulsory reading if you wanted to complete the missions in the game. Or you could just "wing it" and fly the gunship into trees, mountains and the ground. Good fun!
    Thanked by 1harriusherbartio
  • It seems that it has been worth taking another look at it even if just to sort out the "wheat from the chaff" . Doing a flight sim on Speccy was preyy hard so a lot of software producers relied on a strong aircraft image on the cassette inlay to sell the product . This tactic worked I think so there are a lot of games out there that look a bit "flight simy" on the cassette inlay but are not : instead ,when loaded , they look more like a small fly moving around on the screen!
  • edited October 1
    One very important point, is that there is a scale between a ‘game’ trying to be as authentic as possible (meaning it’s hard to master as the aircrafts responses in the simulator are like a real aircraft) through to not actually trying to properly simulate a real aircraft, but being less about the actual flying and more about the missions.

    The most frustrating thing I found with flight simulators was that the Atari type ‘digital’ joysticks were really rubbish for this application. Using the keyboard was a bit better.

    Back in the day, I did dream that someone would come up with a reasonably priced analogue joystick that would be suitable for use with flight simulators. Maybe then I would not find myself crashing every time I tried to land :))

    Post edited by 1024MAK on
  • edited October 1
    Yes it does seem to come back to the point this is all "back in the day" . So would anyone actually prefer a Spectrum Flight Simulator to a PC one ? I suppose if I tried really hard I could set up my ThrustSkymaster USB joystick and see if I can actually land a plane from a Speccy flight sim. And with the Spiftires' rudder position , it depends on whether it has a Merlin or a Griffon engine as to whether the rudder is set left or right ( because the prop spins in different directions with these engine type) . I wonder if this would any difference on a Speccy flight sim . If there is one where you can choose which Mark of Spitfire you want to fly I could try and see if I can crash it by getting the rudder position wrong!.
    Post edited by harriusherbartio on
  • Acro Jet.
    Thanked by 1harriusherbartio
Sign In or Register to comment.