737 Flight Simulator (Salamander) Review | Elbug - Everygamegoing


737 Flight Simulator
By Salamander
Acorn Electron

Published in Elbug #6

737 Flight Simulator

If you have ever fancied your chances piloting a modern jet airliner, then this program gives you that opportunity in this computer simulation. You are the pilot of a Boeing 737 jet with a full display of all the necessary instruments on the screen in front of you. The top part of the screen either shows a visual impression of the runway during take-off and landing, or a radar plot of the runway approach and the immediate vicinity.

This is certainly a comprehensive and realistic simulation. The cockpit display adequately shows 22 different instruments, making good use of the Electron's graphics facilities. A further clue to your status is provided by the reassuring sound of the engines' turbine whine in the background. This amount of feedback is very useful for the 'pilot', as there are 27 keyboard commands to control all aspects of the plane! Fortunately there is also a very good manual, which not only lists in detail all the instruments and controls, but also gives you the necessary information for take-off and landing.

Take-off is not too difficult - you just use maximum thrust to achieve sufficient take-off speed and then climb (make sure you raise the landing gear and retract the flaps quickly though). You can then climb the aircraft up to any height you like, banking and setting course as you wish. You'll soon find that you need to brush up on your navigation as the plane flies out of radar range and you have to rely solely on the instruments.

Assuming you are able to find your way back to the airport, the most challenging task of all is to make a safe landing. I found I needed to practise this several times before I was able to land the plane successfully, and even more to do so regularly. The program helps by allowing you to practise just landings (as well as take-offs), and in the event of a crash (very likely) allows you to take a metaphorical step back and try again (a pity you can't do this with the real thing!).

I found this a fascinating and exciting program to use; one which is rather different from the normal run of computer games, and with many more features than there is space to describe here. Even though I can now take off and land reliably, after a flight of up to half an hour, I don't think I'm quite ready for the real thing. My only slight criticism is that I personally lost interest once I could take-off and land without coming too close to crashing the plane, although there are other features that could maintain your interest longer (such as setting up a strong crosswind or specifying your own airport layout). Despite the small criticism, I thoroughly recommend this program.

Mike Williams

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