"But captain, she's held together with tooth
Come on now all you programmers out there, isn't it about time you concentrated on playability rather than detail? In about a year's time there are going to be flight sims where you'll have to get your pilot dressed in the morning and send his kids off to school.
After getting the kids off to school you'll have to drive your car to the airfield only to find that your plane hasn't been built yet, thus you'll have to build your plane out of Hope and Glory matches and Evostick. Detail is getting a little out of hand on these games.
If you are a generally impatient person like me, then you must probably find games with too much detail infuriating instead of engaging.
Megafortress is one such game. It's so involved that you have to plough through a manual of proportions similar to that of the Domesday Book just to install it onto your hard disk.
In general, the aims of the game are quite similar to Falcon - you choose various missions which include bombing innocent coach loads of vicars and so on.
There are three different "theatres" as they are called that you are part in.
There is the compulsory Persian Gulf without which all the flight sims in the last year or so wouldn't have existed. The Old Dog (your guess is as good as mine) and Red Flag.
Basically a theatre is a number of missions geared toward the political climate of the era. So the Persian Gulf theatre entails bombing the buggery out of everything that moevs and a lot of things that don't and the Old Dog involves an ageing Digby.
Each theatre has eight missions which you can take part in. Once you have chosen a mission you get a quick briefing and off you go.
After choosing the mission you must choose your weapons - a bomber's not much sodding good without bombs, is it? Wow man, the armoury is awesome - every possible type of bomb you could think of - but let's not get silly. There's no point dropping a Cruise missile on one measly control tower, so you must choose the missiles vaguely suited to your use.
Once you have chosen your mission you have to fly the plane - a bit of a pain, I know. You can choose from a number of views, such as the main cockpit, the co-pilot panel, comms and external view.
So first off, you'd better start the plane, really. Now I know that I'm not exactly the Red Baron, but I still thought that starting a plane wouldn't entail much more than a simple twist of a key and pushing a few buttons.
But no, procedures for starting the plane on Megafortress just about stop short of chanting, drawing pentagrams on the floor in chalk and making sacrifices to the God of Aeronautics.
It's all turning on batteries, flicking switches, levering levers - h, the thrill of the chase. But eventually you will get the thing in the air and off into the great blue yonder.
The detail is a little over the top but flight sim fantatics will lap it up. The different scans and radar are very convincing. It even has the view from the cameras on the bombs, which is a nice touch.
One of the features that I most liked about Megafortress was the mouse control. On all the old flight sims, when you lifted the flaps or something, the lever or whatever moved on the screen, but on MF you actually move the thing with your mouse instead of using the keypad.
From the pilot's view, you control most of the plane's movement. You can use joystick if you want to, but cursor keys are generally a lot better. From here you can do things like identify yourself before your own guys blow you out of the sky, and turn the lights on, it's even got sodding air conditioning. I thought this was a plane, not Marks and Spencer.
To make full use of the game you would really have to scrutinise the manual quite hard - there were loads of little buttons and bells that I'm sure did something, it's just that I'm not quite sure what.
If you like flight sims you will enoy this game, but then again if you like them to be graphically smooth and speedy this is definitely not the game for you, and if you don't have a hard drive and you hate swapping disks then you're really knackered.
I tried to play this without a hard drive on an unexpanded 500 and it was diabolical - every single icon you click on brings the old "please insert disk blah blah" ten minutes of that and I was fit to nuke a nun. Like a lot of simulation games around at the moment, Megafortress suffers from painfully slow screen updates.
The only way I got it running at anything like a decent speed was by having it installed on a hard disk in an Amiga 3000 with an accelerator, so you can see how serious the problem is.
A lot of time has been taken over Megafortress, but it doesn't do anything new for flight sims. If you like 'em though, you'll like this one.