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

Amstrad Computer User

F-15 Strike Eagle
By Microprose
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Computer User #34

F-15 Strike Eagle

A 40-page manual indicates Microprose's usual degree of attention to detail. Strike Eagle is the latest US simulation to make it across to the Amstrad, and it manages to keep all the features the original boasted.

The idea is to fly a USAF F-15 strike aircraft on one of eight missions to destroy a primary target, surviving missile and airborne attacks along the way, and getting rid of any secondary targets that annoy you.

The standard flight simulator elements are strong. The screen shows the view from the fighter divided into land and sky in the traditional manner.

There's a lot to think about while you sit on top of your two Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-100 engines. This is reflected in the HUD - Head Up Display - which flashes important information on to your cockpit canopy, like speed and altitude. Other interesting events, such as being shot at or getting a SAM missile on your tail, are similarly notified.

Below the canopy are three displays. The right one shows how many bombs and bits you have strapped to your airframe. In the middle is the radar display, which conveys detailed data about any enemy airborne forces in your vicinity. These might include heat-seeking or radar guided missiles; you have jamming, chaff and flares to fool them but you have to decide fast which is going to work and be able to fly your way out of trouble if they don't.

This display area also incorporates indicators which show if you're being scanned by radar or heatseeker. To the left is the operations map: this shows a plan view of the area you're flying over and has all the enemy installations marked.

The instructions go into great detail about the capabilities of your fighter. Try flying at over 1680 knots and your wings fall off just one of the delights for the rookie air jockey. There's also a lot on the MiGs and missiles that will give you a warm reception as you bomb Libya, Egypt, Haiphong, Syria, Hanoi, Iraq or the Persian Gulf. The USAF certainly gets around.

It's quite amazing the number of ways you can carry out creative bombing. The Pop-Up is quite a lark: zoom along upside-down at 3000 feet, push the nose down and at 2000 feet roll, drop the eggs and climb out of danger. Remember the good old days when the Red Baron looked out of his cockpit, fished a grenade from an inside pocket and dropped it? Gone forever.

As well as bombs and guns, there are two flavours of air-to-air missile, short range (Sidewinders) and medium range (Sparrows). Another decision the nascent pilot must make when confronted with an enemy aircraft - dogfight or missile?

The radar has various ranges. At the longest it provides early indication of a threat, as you wind the range down it provides more detail of a close problem but you lose the long-distance warnings.

The basic flight controls are run from the joystick, and fire launches a missile, drops a bomb or lets off a few rounds of gunfire. The other 20-odd functions are controlled from the keyboard, and it's a good idea to learn them. Fast. There isn't time to look up the shortrange missile button when two MiG-23s are taking an interest in your immediate future. This is a demanding simulation.


Exciting as the life of a writer is, I've never actually flown a modern high-performance jet fighter. An odd omission from the old CV, but I feel a bit better now I've pushed F-15 Strike Eagle about a bit. At first I was a bit unhappy about the three frames/sec graphics, but as I took the time to learn the game they became less and less important.

A mission can take at least a quarter of an hour, and it should be possible to spend an hour or so up there. Action, adventure and a MiG up your wotsit. It might be politically unsound, but it's great fun.


OK, first thing to remember is that F-15 is not a game, it's a simulation. In the game stakes it's good but no cigar. A simulator requires some knowledge of the real thing, that's why you get a book full of numbers to read before you set the disc drive to load.

Microprose has strong links with the Pentagon through the company President Major "Wild Bill" Steely. He claims to playtest every game, and I know that MicroProse US does have a CPC. The quality is certainly good. More interesting than exciting.


A good simulation gets you engrossed. This is a good simulation. You soon become oblivious to Mum calling for tea, forget that there are only six weeks left of the holidays and you've three books to read and essays to write.

There are bombs to be dropped on behalf of America. The only thing which is suspect is the package which makes it look like a Rainbird game. Friends who only had a quick blast didn't like F-15. It needs time.