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Back in the Atari 2600 days, flight simulation in any form was just a promise. Something whispered of in arcades or on long rides on school buses. We watched movies and TV shows that showed animations passed off as flights sims, but those were just mock-ups that mocked us, and a home 3D flight sim would have to wait. That doesn’t mean that when a game that hinted at a flight sim came along, that we all didn’t run out to buy it. Or at least add it to our wish list.
I spotted Spitfire Attack in a catalog and was instantly interested, but I would not have gotten as excited about it as I did if it weren’t for a certain accessory that caught my attention, The Atari Flight Commander. Why did this particular Atari accessory pique my interest?
It was a gun! I quickly added it to my wishlist, but before I could get it a friend of mine got it. Naturally, I invited myself over, and we whiled away many an afternoon blasting planes. I had not played it since then but decided to fire it up last night (sans Flight Commander). The results were mixed. The game is impressive looking and the sounds are decent, but the game itself is repetitive, and it gets boring quickly.
You basically just move the joystick around blasting things (that flight commander really fooled me). Occasionally a plane might move in more quickly than you anticipated, but more often not, and you can play the game for a long time.
Sadly, though, you probably won’t want to. I am not sure what sort of spell the Flight Commander had cast over me as a kid, but this game is pretty flimsy without it. That is why I can only give the game 2 stars.