Personal Compuer Games1st November 1984
Published in Personal Computer Games #12
When Fighter Pilot was brought out for the Spectrum, the general opinion seemed to be that it was an excellent game. I never really got the hang of it and consequently I was put off flight simulators for a while.
So I was pleased to find that Delta Wing was a bit simpler on the technical side without losing any of the atmosphere or action of a combat flight simulator.
The cockpit view is fairly standard with an artificial horizon to show the angle of flight, radar, and compass as well as a gauge to show the height of an incoming enemy plane.
The idea is to locate and destroy a number of enemy bases whilst defending your own bases from attacks by enemy planes. A map is displayed if the 'M' key is pressed which shows the position of your plane, the nearest enemy plane and all the bases.
Combat is far more realistic than in Fighter Pilot. Once an enemy plane is located, its altitude does not fluctuate wildy - an annoying feature of Fighter Pilot. The bombing of bases takes quite a while to get the hang of: you need to be quite high in the sky when the bomb is dropped to avoid being destroyed in the blast of your own bomb. Quick reactions are needed here because the base is not in your sights for long.
As well as the movement keys (or joystick) you have to operate a few functions from the keyboard. There are four skill levels and the number of enemy bases (1-5) can be selected.
Despite its similarities to Fighter Pilot, I found this a superb combat flight simulator with colourful, clear graphics including a little hand pumping the throttle. But sadly, as seems to be the rule with this type of game, there is hardly any sound (without a Fuller soundbox).
It's inevitable that comparisons will be made between this game and Fighter Pilot from Digital Interaction. And I for one am unwilling to state categorically which is best.
Certainly, Fighter Pilot has more options but the Delta Wing aircraft is easier to fly. The map and radar may be more useful on Fighter Pilot but at least on Delta you can bomb the enemy's bases.
The choice is between the long-term challenge of Fighter Pilot and the more immediate, but nonetheless demanding, task of Delta Wing.
Once all the controls had been mastered, I found the flying really quite easy, much less complicated than on a dedicated simulator, such as Psion's. The controls are responsive but a joystick is necessary for any 'feel'.
What really impressed me about this program was the way it worked as a game - a facet often neglected by simulations. For all my efforts, I never actually downed an enemy, but never got bored trying.
Overall, perhaps not quite as polished as Fighter Pilot but well worth a look at.