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No new flight sim to play? Try Steambirds

Posted on 8th Mar 2010 at 10:30 by James Gorbold with 12 comments

James Gorbold
Back in the 80s and 90s the flight sim and hardcore RPG ruled the roost of PC gaming. Companies such as Microprose seemed to release a whole new flight sim almost every month - and got so ahead of themselves that they had to start making up details about unreleased aircraft in order to make games about them.

These days however it's almost impossible to buy a new flight sim. Very few have been released in recent years, and the few that have been all suffer from a serious number of problems - Flight Sim X runs like a dog regardless how much hardware you throw at it.

As somebody who looks down their nose at a lot of newer flying games, such as the truly awful Wings of Prey, I've not exactly been filled with hope about the future of the genre, but if, like me, you're craving a decent flight sim, I can heartily recommend Steambirds.

No new flight sim to play? Try Steambirds No flight sims to play? Try Steambirds

OK, it's not a flight sim. Not at all. It's actually a free, browser-based game that's played out turn-by-turn from an overhead perspective. Bear with me, though. Rather than badly simulating a cockpit, you instead take on the role of wing commander - directly a flight of fighters against squadrons of increasingly advanced enemies.

It's fun, light hearted and just what the flight surgeon ordered.

Speaking of Wing Commander - now there's a classic from the 90s that's begging for a comeback.

12 Comments

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praxis22 8th March 2010, 12:11 Quote
I'm old enough to remember when Wing Commander had two reviews, one (60% ish) if you were running a 486DX the other (90% ish) if you were using one of those new-fangled pentiums.

Add to that a soundblaster AWE32, a "3D" card and a Gravis Joystick and evenings and weekends could dissapear for weeks on end. Mark Hamil & the temblor bomb, good times! :)
GFC 8th March 2010, 15:39 Quote
Am I the only one who gets only the training level? I thought it might've been my cookies, but even enabling them (even on different browser) it still doesn't let me progress more after the first training mission.
Redbeaver 8th March 2010, 15:50 Quote
Wings of Prey is pretty good actually :)
l3v1ck 8th March 2010, 18:06 Quote
Awesome. I have to redo a level if I get less than three or four stars.
brave758 8th March 2010, 19:09 Quote
Wing commander Ahh. :)
nepenthes 8th March 2010, 21:00 Quote
reminds me of skyrates- great browser game.

http://skyrates.net/
Lizard 8th March 2010, 21:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by praxis22
I'm old enough to remember when Wing Commander had two reviews, one (60% ish) if you were running a 486DX the other (90% ish) if you were using one of those new-fangled pentiums.

That sounds like Wing Commander 3 - I'm old enough to remember upgrading my 286 to a 386 in order to try and play Wing Commander 1 smoothly :)
l3v1ck 9th March 2010, 08:11 Quote
.
rollo 9th March 2010, 12:09 Quote
fsim x isnt really a consumer product due to the requirements it needs to run
pbryanw 14th March 2010, 04:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizard

That sounds like Wing Commander 3 - I'm old enough to remember upgrading my 286 to a 386 in order to try and play Wing Commander 1 smoothly :)
Was Wing Commander the one you could buy an optional Voice Pack for, or was that Strike Commander (ah, fond memories)?
Lizard 14th March 2010, 09:45 Quote
Wing Commander and Strike Commander had an optional Voice Pack and a couple of Mission Packs too.

Like all Origin games though you needed a faster CPU than Intel had yet released, so I only got to enjoy Strike Commander was when it was re-released a few years later on CD (rather than FDD) with all the expansion packs included.
Xir 17th March 2010, 10:52 Quote
Wow, cost me two hours yesterday, great little game ;-)

Thanks!
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