QL Flight Simulator (Microdeal) Review | ZX Computing - Everygamegoing

ZX Computing

QL Flight Simulator
By Microdeal
Sinclair QL

Published in ZX Computing #25

QL Flight Simulator

Very much like a Government Health Warning on a cigarette packet, the manual to this piece of software declares 'QL Flight is not a game, and has not been written to be a game'! And true to that promise, QL Flight is an attempt to bring as much realism to actual flight as is capable by the QL.

For £19.95, the purchaser will obtain the software on a single microdrive cartridge and a 30 page manual. It can easily be believed that both the software and manual were written by an aeronautical expert. Like many experts, the author of this manual has not fully appreciated what is simple to him might be very confusing for the complete beginner. There is a short step-by-step sequence towards the back of the manual, which takes the beginner through a simple flight. But it takes many hours of practice just to achieve this; and that's before anything moderately complex is attempted.

Within the limits of the QL's graphics capabilities, 'QL Flight' from Microdeal does produce some good effects. All scenes are line drawings, and there is some flicker between frames but, with some imagination, the scenes presented, and the operation of the aircraft are quite believable. From taxiing to take-off, then controlled flight, landing and re-fuelling, everything is realistic.

There is also a choice of 'worlds' (countries would be more accurate) and weather conditions. The complex operation of the aircraft requires almost half of the keys on the keyboard to have some specific operation, all of which have to be learnt and mastered for successful flight.

If you have never flown an aircraft, several hours with this simulator will give you some appreciation of what it is really like.