F-15 Strike Eagle (Microprose) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

F-15 Strike Eagle
By Microprose
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #24

AA Rave

F-15 Strike Eagle

You may be forgiven for thinking "Oh, no, not another flight simulation," but with F-15 Strike Eagle, Microprose has come out with another classic. To my mind, this one incorporates the skill and agility needed to fly, with the excitement of air battle.

What sets this aside from the others are the four skill levels: arcade, rookie, pilot and ace. Arcade doesn't give a true flight simulation but lets you get used to the aircraft's systems. The other three levels allow true flight simulation, with the line of the horizon changing as you bank the aircraft.

Your plane's cockpit is very sophisticated, with all the latest technology crammed into it - there's even an ejector seat. You have a radar with three different range options. There is a display of weapons status showing how many of the on-board weapons you've used. It also shows when auxiliary fuel tanks have been used. This is very useful, as you might want to drop them to make your remaining fuel last longer. You also have a Horizontal Situation Display showing a map of the area over which your mission will be flown.

Your purpose is to fly eight missions, described fully in the manual. You can take any of the first seven missions but must complete the seventh mission to be able to try the eighth. The first mission is set in Libya in 1981. You must patrol the area and engage with any hostile aircraft only after they have shown some sign of attack. It doesn't really matter whether they engage you first or not - you won't be penalized for it.

The jobs is to fly over the enemy air-command centre and blow it up. You do this by arming your bomb. This will produce a small web in the middle of the screen. When the triangle, which represents the target, is in the sights, press Fire. Then you must fly back to base.

There is no landing or taking off in this flight simulation. It's just mid-air flight and the massacre of as many enemy bases and planes as possible. Your fuel is limited and will deplete at a rate comparable to your speed. You have ten speeds and an "afterburner" option. This will increase your thrust to 100%. If you need rapid deceleration you can use speed brakes.

Enemy planes will deploy air-to-air missiles. which you must avoid or confuse. This also applies to surface-to-air missiles. You have an on-board ECM jamming system which will confuse incoming radar-homing missiles. You can release a flare to divert heat-seeking missiles. You can engage enemy aircraft with medium-range missiles, short-range missiles or cannon gunfire.

The second mission is to fly into Egypt (1973) and destroy the command centre. The rest of the missions take the same format, steadily getting harder. The third is Haiphong 1972, then Syria 1984, Hanoi 1972, Iraq 1981 and the Persian Gulf 1984. I didn't pass this on the "arcade" level.

The politics leave a lot to be desired. I am sure that Microprose released it in this country (a conversion of the American original) only after the present UK government allowed British bases to be used in the recent American raid over Libya - Oh, didn't I tell you? That's the eighth mission. You must re-enact the part played by the F-15 in that conflict.

I personally found this game extremely exciting. At first, I thought it just plane sailing, but when "incoming SAM" messages and the like started to appear on the screen, my blood started to race. When I got hit, the plane became extremely difficult to control and I battled with it all the way back to the base - but ran out of fuel just before reaching it. I ejected and was saved by my comrades.

The ground underneath you is a grid scrolling left to right and up and down. All targets appear in vector graphics. As I say, I liked it. You might think me a flight-simulation fan. You're right.

Second Opinion

Moans first: I don't mind re-enactment missions, but when they're all in the Middle East or Asia where good old Uncle Sam's boys get to shoot up those "pinko commie punks", it gets right up my nose. Why not warring over Washington, bombing Beverly Hills or nuking New York?

Apart from that, it's great. Skill levels to suit everyone, plenty of difficulty and lots of variety. My advice: buy the game and ignore the jingoism if you can.

Green Screen View

Clear and green as Mr Spock's blood - no problems.

First Day Target Score

Reach the eighth mission on the "arcade" level.


Graphics 68%
P. Fast drawing of the vector shapes.
N. Boring shapes for missiles and targets.

Sonics 48%
P. Good for a flight simulation.

Grab Factor 83%
P. Arcade level lets you get into the game.
P. Excellent instructions and presentation.

Staying Power 87%
P. Four skill levels.
N. Each mission gets harder.

Overall 84%
P. Love the game...
N. ...hate the nationalism!


Other Amstrad CPC464 Game Reviews By CB

  • Tau Ceti 2: Academy Front Cover
    Tau Ceti 2: Academy
  • Trio Hit Pak Front Cover
    Trio Hit Pak
  • Ranarama Front Cover
  • Sigma 7 Front Cover
    Sigma 7
  • Xevious Front Cover
  • Zynaps Front Cover
  • Big Trouble In Little China Front Cover
    Big Trouble In Little China
  • Thrust II Front Cover
    Thrust II
  • Professional Snooker Simulator Front Cover
    Professional Snooker Simulator
  • Red Scorpion Front Cover
    Red Scorpion