MiG-29 Fulcrum logo

Publisher: Domark Price: £34.99

MiG-29 Fulcrum is the only flight simulation dedicated to a Soviet attack fighter. Programmed by ex-British Aerospace design team SIMIS, with the co-operation of the Tass news agency, MiG-29 gives you the unique chance to fly this fearsome aircraft.

The world's most deadly fighter was first put on public display at the Farnbrough air show in 1988. Constructed by the Mikoyan and Guryevich Design Bureau, MiG fighters have become the backbone of the Soviet airforce.
As with all Russian aircraft, the MiG-29 adheres to a common ideology - simplicity of design, ease of maintenance, toughness and the ability to land and take off from the shortest possible runway. The MiG-29 can operate from a 240 metre strip, whereas its US counterpart the F-16 needs twice that length.

MiG pilots are the elite of the Soviet air force. However, critics of the system claim that despite first-class weapons, the Russian pilots are too rigid and inflexible during combat. Tis sentiment is displayed in a comical saying brought about after the defection of a MiG-25 pilot - show a Soviet pilot initiative and the next thing you know he's landing in Japan.

Now you have the chance to prove the critics wrong and show the world what a MiG-29 can really do when pushed to its limits.
As a newcomer to Soviet technology you'll be called upon to attend the pilot's school at Orzusk Aerodrome.
Having been chosen as an elite cadet you must perform well in order to be assigned to one of the many MiG squadrons around the Soviet Union. Your training schedule will encompass all aspects of aerial combat and only when you have become adept at handling the MiG should you really attempt a live mission.

There are five real-life scenarios to attempt. Having passed your training missions, you'll be assigned a number of tasks. Each new scenario will test your skills in a particular field to extreme limits. If you succeed in all your sorties you may be called upon to face a full-blown international incident. Only when you have proven yourself and your skills will you be registered in the elite cadre of MiG-29 veterans.

Your first real mission, codenamed Blue SeaSprite, sees you on a reconnaissance mission above a wintry sea. Flying below enemy radar, you must try to locate a nuclear sub and identify it before returning to base.
Yellow Dragon sees you flying a mission of revenge against the Chinese. Out to avenge the destruction of a MiG, you must teach the Chinese pilots a salutary lesson.
Mission three, White Pegasus, sees you taking part in a covert mission to destroy enemy oilfields and refineries.
Red Witch is a matter of national security. The KGB have infiltrated a terrorist group operating within the Soviet Union. Your task is to intercept the gang's convoy and aid your ground troops.
The final mission, Desert Strike, sees you attempting to halt the growth of the military power of an obscure Middle Eastern state. Flying alone, you must secure further strategic positions before destroying the country's nuclear capabilities.

The missions will test your flying skills and completion of all five will prove your air supremacy. MiG-29 Fulcrum can be controlled by either the mouse or joystick, with additional keyboard controls.
The game is lavishly packaged in an oversized box complete with a full-colour, 128 page book featuring superb shots of the Fulcrum.

The game includes all the regular features found in flight sims - out of the cockpit shots, missile-eye views and the ability to look at the aircraft from a number of different angles. All in all, MiG-29 provides the best insight you're ever likely to experience.

MiG-29 Fulcrum logo Amiga Format Gold

Domark £34.99 * Joystick, keyboard, mouse and analogue-joystick

The bear may now have a friendly face, but his claws are sharper than ever. Attackers of Gorby and Co. can no longer count on the 'F' brigades technological edge, because them there Ruskies have gone and built MiG 29s. A fighter aircraft so spiffy that the Luftwaffe are likely to buy them instead of US jets next time around.

MiG 29 is about accuracy, because with fighter planes being such fun - flying fast and blowing stuff up - the game takes care of itself. Thus Domark went to Simis - a development team with a track record of working on real aircraft - to turn their Soviet superdream into simulated reality, and what a dream MiG 29 has turned out to be.

The scenario allows you to assume the role of a new pilot who has just joined an elite MiG 29 squadron. You have to undergo some training and then take your skills and aircraft into the fray for Mother Russia. The training lets pilots explore the wonders and amazing abilities of the MiG 29. It's best to experiment with the ordnance and plane's capabilities here, because a crash just sticks you back at the end of the runway for another try.

Three different combat skills are touched upon: firing unguided rockets or cannon at a defenceless barn, launching fire-and-forget missiles at unguarded vehicles and shoot down a very mobile, extremely well-defended Mirage. Then, of course, there's the thrill of landing the thing and the aerobatic maenoeuvres to master!

Nightmare scenario...
Once your pilot has earned his wings and proves that he can fly, he is sent on four different missions, each of which puts different elements of flying skill to the test. If he scores enough points and is still alive and kicking then he's sent on the ultimate test which unites all these ne abilities in one nightmare scenario.

The missions were supposed to reflect the more stable political world of the '90s, but with MiGs seeing active service in Iraq, and obviously the Soviet airforce, they already seem dated.
The missions, however, are just the icing. This baby puts a pilots mettle to the test, providing some of the most realistic flight fights ever seen. Falcon had the gloss, Stealth Fighter had thousands of missions, but MiG has 'seat-of-the-pants' flying.

When you are running either of the two 'force' models - simple or complex - the MiG has an unnervingly-real edge. You will find the plane handles according to the physics that govern things that are airborne and feels like it. The hose dips just when you don't want it to, the roll is graduated - occasionally flipping viciously, the bird slips during tight turns and the first power-dive induces panic you'll not forget.

Sorties and dogfights
What makes MiG so good is not just the purity of the maths that support this impressive project, but the dogfighting. For the first time the enemies actively hunt you, they try to sucker bad pilots, flying in wings they attempt to set the plane of your dreams up for a clean kill. This is real gut-wrenching stuff, going man to man with a computer-generated foe. Using the 'Jump to Enemy' view it's even possible to watch their attempts to lock you up!

The Top Gun style of head-to-head flying is made all the more edgy because the missiles used are fallible. No guaranteed hits here just because you get a red lock. The computer gives its own pilots the same chance you have, equipping them with flares, chaff and smart moves to dodge missiles. This makes for heavy-duty white-knuckle flying. Pilots must fight for the lock not only aiming for a red lock, but also a clean, close lock that is sure to hit. The limited number of missiles too - four generally, occasionally six - make life a little awkward for the Russian superstar. With two hits per kill and two shots - on average - per hit means you have to get some fancy cannon work in during lengthy sky wars.

Real battles are possible because each of the three aircraft you encounter are pushed to their limits in order to shoot you down. The MiG's edge is obvious but not easy to exploit, and all its incredible performance must be used if you are to see Red Square again.

Thrills and spills
Hand in hand, though, with the dramatic realism - hammered home in the dogfights - are a few weaknesses in the MiG's airframe. The most obvious of these is the limited number of missions, five in all. Luckily their depth and the sheer thrill factor do compensate somewhat. The lack of a graphic shadow on the out-of-plane views is annoying and the need to keep locking the same target can prove fatal. The latter may be very realistic - who knows the secret of a Russian fighters HUD (Head Up Display)? - but it does handicap joystick wielders.

These elements aside though, the MiG supplies the fun side of the game with its limited armoury and the outstanding performance that it gives. When it throws some fantastic loops and high ballistic climbs you'll find it's crazy speed-based entertainment.

As a study of flight dynamics and a truly impressive flying machines, MiG 29 has an authenticity that breaks new ground in the air-simulation field. Its cockpit layout isn't as glossy as some of its competitors and the brevity of the missions leaves it outclassed by others. None though, can quite touch its edge of MACH 1 'catch me if you can' dogfights. It is just what flight fans have been waiting for.

So what does that red knob do then?
MiG-29 Fulcrum: Main screen explanation
  1. Airspeed Km/hr.
  2. Pitch indicators.
  3. Velocity vector.
  4. G-rating.
  5. Artificial horizon.
  6. Angle of Attack/G-meter.
  7. Number of Flares left.
  8. Remaining chaff units.
  9. Cannon, S-240, AA-8, AS-7 stores indicator.
  10. Hydraulic systems warning panel.
  11. Compass.
  12. Current way point.
  13. Airspeed.
  14. Altitude.
  15. VSI.
  1. Engines.
  2. Fuel.
  3. Warning lamps (left column first, from top to bottom) Hydraulic damage indicator, Nav' system damage, Radar damage, Hud damage, Low altitude warning, Stall warning, Low fuel warning, Autostab (auto pilot) on/off.
  4. Threat and target radar.
  5. Angle of attack (AOA).
  6. Vertical speed indicator (VS) i.e. climb rate.
  7. Altitude, shown in metres NOT feet.
  8. Waypoint indicator.
  9. Heading and compass.
Mission 1
MiG-29 Fulcrum: Mission 1
Mission 2
MiG-29 Fulcrum: Mission 2
Blue Sea-sprite. Fly over the arctic to get a real close look at a crippled US nuclear sub. Sea Harriers guard the boat. Can you get in undetected and unmolested? Yellow Dragon. Here you go and scare the Chinese by buzzing three of their fighters, two airbases and four tanks! But you can only fire if you're fired upon.
Mission 3
MiG-29 Fulcrum: Mission 3
Mission 4
MiG-29 Fulcrum: Mission 4
White Pegasus. Some tinpot dictator has tried to take over the Straits of Hormuz. Go and teach them a lesson in sabre rattling. Watch out for those SAMs. Red Witch. Strike at the heart of a counter-insurgence group operating within the USSR. There's the chance to shoot a train, jeeps and people. Unethical but fun.
Mission 5
MiG-29 Fulcrum: Mission 5
What lies ahead on the final mission? You'll only be able to find out when you've a pilot with 500 points. Hint - it involves an arab country and a nuclear reactor. Spooky.

"I'll take the training run Sir. Ah, um, because I've never flown a MiG before, uh, I'm not even Russian really!"
MiG-29 Fulcrum
On the runway, and it is all systems go. The engines are powering up, pull away, remembering to indicate for oncoming traffic.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Banking in for a look at the target run. The big V guides you in and then let rip with the unguided missiles and blast the barn.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Going in slow over the lake it's time to try out the guided air-to-ground missiles. Just lock-'em-up and let-'em-go.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
From the missile-view you can see that the strike on the boat is a palpable hit. Bang bang you're dead!
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Flying over the lake and the wreckage that was once a boat can be seen sinking below the waves. Onwards to target three.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Looking totally head up - i.e. no instruments visible - the target has been missed, but it's worth going in for a second shot.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
From an out-of-plane view the MiG is seen screaming through a turn, lining the target range up for a second pass.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Wham bam, good night Mr Barn! The S does the trick and it's time to turn onto way point two and some guided missile practice...
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Target three is an airbase, it will churn out fighters until you blast the hangar. Lock and load. The closer you are the cleaner the hit.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
It's ready to rock, but watch that speed as two hits may be needed to destroy such a large building.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Check via the rear-view shot to make sure the hangar is really dead and then go upwards for the real war.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
It's Bogies at three o'clock! Swtich to the air-to-air missiles and wait for the red lock on his engine vents.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Turn and burn pal. Seen from the outside the dogfight gets serious as the enemy plane fights to break the lock.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
The fool turns his afterburners on and gives you a red lock. Launch now for a certain kill. Hemay launch flares though, so press on.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Bye-bye boy! This is when the enemy plane explodes into a shower of debris. You have managed to win the duel in the sun.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Taking the plane down on the enemy base, you line up for final approach, steady now don't waste all that hard work.
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Touchdown, you can almost imagine your stressed out little flyboy breathing a sigh of relief. And that was just training.
MiG-29 Fulcrum

MiG-29 Fulcrum logo

Nun hat Gorbi also auch die Computerwelt revolutioniert: Bisher kannte man MiGs nur als Gegner, jetzt dürfen wir sie endlich mal selber fliegen!

Unzählige Male habe ich die Dinger schon vom Himmel geholt! Von der guten alten MiG-21 über die MiG-27 bis zur aktuellen MiG-29 mußte in diversen Flugsimulationen alles dran glauben, was mir vor den Monitor gekommen ist. Doch nun hat das alte Feinbild wohl endgültig ausgedient - sogar in den hangars der Bundeswehr stehen schon ein paar "wiedervereinigte" MiGs aus den Restbeständen der NVA herum. Was die damit machen, weiß ich nicht, bei Domark jedenfalls hat man den Glasnost-Vogel kurzerhand versoftet...

Die MiG ist quasi das sowjetische Gegenstück zur F-16 und hat daher auch etwa dieselben Aufgaben zu erledigen - das Repertoire reicht vom dramatischen Luftkampf bis zur Bombardierung von allerlei Bodenzielen. Folglich sind hier ganz ähnliche Missionen zu absolvieren wie bei "Falcon" oder "F-16 Combat Pilot": Trainieren mit Übungszielen und Gegnern, die nicht zurückschießen, Identifizieren feindlicher U-Boote, Bombardieren von Ölrafinerien und Atomreaktoren, Zurückschlagen chinesischer (!) Angreifer usw. An die anspruchsvolleren Aufgaben kommt man allerdings nur heran, wenn man mindestens 500 Punkte auf dem Konto hat - und die wollen erst mal erflogen sein!

Wie kann sich die modernste Errungenschaft sowjetischer Militärtechnik gegenüber westlichen Konkurrenz behaupten? Gar nicht mal schlecht! Der Vogel ist leicht zu handhaben und fliegt sich trotzdem sehr realistisch. Man kann zwar mit ausgefahrenem Fahrwerk durch die Gegend düsen (wahrscheinlich sind russische Flugzeuge einfach stabiler gebaut...), aber allzu übermütige Piloten werden auch hier mit einem Black Out bestraft. Dirigieren läßt sich die MiG wahlweise mit Maus, Joystick oder Tastatur, wobei die Joysticksteuerung am empfehlenswertesten ist.

Die (Vektor-) Grafik kann sich zweifellos sehen lassen: Wer sich mit 16 Farben begnügt, erreicht fast "Retailiator"-Tempo, wählt man den Modus mit vollen 32 Farben (nur mit 1MB), so bleibt die Animation immer noch ausreichend schnell. Vor allem wird hier endlich einmal der volle PAL-Screen ausgenutzt, was eine deutlich bessere Sicht zur Folge hat.

Es gibt prachtvolle Zwischenbilder, Nachtflüge und alle wichtigen Außenansichten (leider ohne Anzeigen). Der Sound ist dafür eine herbe Enttäuschung - fetzige Musik à la "Interceptor" aber Effekte, für die sich selbst ein PC-Piepser schämen würde. Der gravierendste Nachteil des Games ist jedoch die geringe Anzahl von Missionen, ein erfahrener Pilot hat das Programm in ein, zwei Sitzungen durchgespielt. Bei Domark überlegt man zwar, eine Missiondisk herauszubringen, aber das ist letztlich doch nur ein schwacher Trost.

Dennoch sollte sich jetzt niemand von einem Probeflug mit der MiG abhalten lassen - besonders Anfängern wird durch das realistische Flugverhalten bei gleichzeitig sehr einfacher Bedienung ein ausgezeichneter Einstieg geboten!(mm)

MiG-29 Fulcrum logo

When it comes to air power, America enjoy a technical superiority almost unrivalled by any other country. However, there is one plane American pilots are worried about, Russia's Mig 29.
Even with Gorbachev's policy of Glasnost very little is known about the MiG 29. Domark, in conjunction with the programming team Simis have collated the limited info that's available to produce a fighter sim base around the cream of the Russian air force.

A total of seven missions incorporate the full range of the MiG's abilities. You have to practise precision bombing, assaulting enemy installations, observation and air to air combat runs. Each mission has a detailed background as to why you're going, details about your primary and secondary targets and what to expect when you reach them.

There's nothing original about the controls. The joystick is used in its usual capacity with the fire button triggering the cannons. And there are very few keys for flying, thrust, weapon and target selection. These are all easily accessible, the only difficulty being that the missiles are fired with the space bar, which causes a few problems when one hand's flying the plane and the others holding the joystick. A mouse control option is included, though I found this fiddly and unresponsive.

Getting into the game is very easy. There are only a few options and plenty of attractive presentation screens. The manual is very detailed, giving a breakdown of tactics and basic flight control. A 132 page colour book and poster are also included in the package to help justify the game's asking price.

External views are now the norm with flight sims and MiG presents nothing new with its use of this feature. Your plane can be viewed form almost any angle, including from objects that you're targeted on. A missile's eye view is a nice way to get an impression of what it is you're actually shooting at, but it means relinquishing control of the plane while you watch, which is risky.

Most of the relevant cockpit information is displayed on the HUD (Head Up Display). This gives you a read-out of airspeed, altitude, the current weapon selected and distance to target should you be locked on to one. The cockpit itself is clear with easy to read dials, the most important feathre here being the radar.

The plane's ordinance is preset before a mission, this usually includes a compliment of AA-8 air to air missiles, A8-7 air to ground missiles, 36 S-240 rockets and 250 rounds for the 23mm canon. With an arsenal like this you're equipped to take on whatever is thrown at you, providing you can target it. The only available countermeasures are flares and chaff. Selecting chaff releases a cloud of foil which blinds enemy radar and radar guided missiles for a few seconds hopefully enabling you to take evasive action. Flares last longer than chaff and are used to distract infra red seeking missiles from your plane's heat signature.

The MiG banks and weaves in an extremely convincing manner. This level of realism can be attributed to Simis' previous experience working on British Aerospace flight simulators. Although the MiG is simulated very well, there's hardly an abundance of action from other parties in the game. By elaborating some of the scenarios, more aciton could have been included. As it stands MiG 29 teeters on the edge of being dull.

If it wasn't for the high level of accuracy of the MiG I don't think I would have liked this. Dedicated simulation fans will appreciate the realism of the plane's performance, and the way the game works. If it's a fast-paced sim you're after I suggest looking elsewhere.

THE MIG 29 Known by NATO as the Fulcrum, the MIG 29 is one of the formidable weapons in the Russian arsenal. Primarily developed to oppose American F15's and F16's it's also very capable in the ground attack role. At low levels no other combat plane can catch it. One remarkable manoeurvre that only the MiG 29 can perform is the tailslide. This involves the pilot placing the plane in a vertical climb then shutting off the engines, the plane then slides vertically down with it's nose still pointing up. It's not so much the move that's impressive, rather the engines ability to recover from the complete stall in which they were placed.
Regular contact with Russian news agency Tass provided Simis with much of the information used, te appearance of the plane at the 1990 Farnborough airshow also helped the programmers' research.
A great deal of research went into making MiG 29 as accurate as possible. The computer generated cockpit, though simplistic, bears a close resemblance to its real-life counterpart. The diagram of the plane shows thrust and active brakes, next is the target direction indicator above which is the pitch indicator that displays the MiG's angle of tilt. On the far left is the radar screen, this shows all air and ground targets within a 45 degrees arc from the front of the plane.
The HUD is projected onto the windscreen through split glass, which makes the display act like a hologram. Critics of the MiG say its HUD's too large and obscures forward vision.

MiG-29 Fulcrum logo

Domark, Amiga £34.99

One of the most powerful Soviet fighters, the Fulcrum has gone from Russian threat to star performer at Farnborough to Iraqi menace. Domark's sim puts you in the cockpit of a MiG in Soviet service, from pilot's school to combat. Sadly there's no sim to pit the MiG against the USAF or RAF, but five combat missions take in photo-reconnaissance in the Arctic, air-to-air combat over China, strafing terrorist trucks, a bombing raid against oil installations and destroying a nuclear reactor. The latter is the final mission (requiring 500 points to enter) which involves taking out air defences and landing on a runway to rearm.

As you'd expect there's a savable pilot's service record but sadly no weapons selection - you always fly with the same mix of cannon, unguided rockets plus air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles.

Robin Hogg MiG is a big disappointment as realistic plane performance alone isn't enough to counter the lack of extensive missions, too few enemy types and substandard graphic display (flying over a few crudely updated lines and mountains for 90% of the mission time is not my idea of fun). The secondary targets were interesting additions but the whole thing just didn't excite me, especially with no graphic reward for mission success. Ultimately I wanted a LOT more for my money but MiG just doesn't deliver compared with the long-term appeal of F-19.
Stuart Wynne After wading through the packaging it's a shock to find a single disk with a mere six missions. The graphics are also unimpressive with a severe lack of polygons and ground detail, while controls response sluggish. On the positive side, graphics move quite quickly, providing realistic aircraft at all distances which act relatively intelligently, while instrumentation is novel and missions interesting. Nevertheless compared to the comprehensive F-19 and arcade-biased Interceptor (just £10 now), MiG is overpriced and lacking depth.