Super Huey: UH-1X logo

Cosmi/US Gold
Price: £19.99

With a name like Super Huey, a game has either got to be extremely good, or else be prepared to be subjected to ridicule; for, where I come from, Huey is something that you do when you had one too many the night before! Americans, it seems, are far too refined to use a word as vulgar as this, because THEY all realise that a huey is a helicopter, and Super Huey is a flight sim.

Upon opening the lavish packaging, you find one 3.5" disc together with a small manual and what looks to be a photocopied piece of pink paper. On closer inspection, it turns out that the pink paper serves as mission instructions, and that the manual too seems photocopied.

The bad news is that the manual is one of the best things about the game (and it is pretty poor). It says in the bumph you get with the game that Super Huey is an "Authentic helicopter flight simulation" that... "teaches you how to fly rotary wing aircraft." Now I am not saying that the game is unrealistic, but if I ever get offered a flight in a helicopter flown by a Super Huey trained pilot, then I am going to run very fast in the opposite direction!

Once you have sat through the seemingly endless loading period that Super Huey demands (a combination of the Amiga incredibly slow drives and a surprising amount of data - especially when you consider the end product) you are confronted with probably the best part of the game, the loading screen.

Featuring excellent hi-res graphics, and some impressive sampled music, it is a pity the game could not keep up these high standards.

Having flicked through the manual, and pressed a few random buttons to see if I could get the game to crash, I decided to attempt a take-off. This is where I encountered my first problem. My Amiga is one of the early A1000s and I must therefore load Kickstart prior to loading any games. Having dutifully loaded Kickstart 1.2, and then Super Huey, I started the engines of the chopper, only to notice the rev counter moving across the screen, and various other instruments jumping about. Apparently, this is caused by Kickstart 1.2, but it hardly bodes well for the game, does it?

Starting again with Kickstart 1.1, I turned the engines on and followed the instructions until I was just about to take off. Having been lucky, or unlucky depending on the strength of your stomach, to have been flown around in a helicopter - albeit briefly - I know a little bit about the experience of taking off, and it is not too pleasant. In this game, however, it is all very simple and within seconds of first starting the game, you are hovering, having taken off as if you were in a lift.

The lack of realism does not, however, end with the take off. Flying is as simple as pie, combining mouse movements with the odd button depression. After about five minutes I was confidently zooming about the skies. Unfortunately, unlike some games, the ease of getting started in Super Huey is one of its biggest faults. Too many software houses mistake playability for ease of play, and Cosmi (the American software house originally responsible for this game) are a bad example.

In an attempt to convince myself that Super Huey was not THAT bad, I studied the manual a little harder, and took on one of the more adventurous of the three missions provided. Although not as dull as simply flying around, even this was spoiled by the appalling graphics and general playability.

The animation within Super Huey is awful, and the so-called 3-D objects look more like cardboard than anything else. Nowhere withing the game is there any indication of the Amiga's power, and that is one of the game's biggest faults. On a Spectrum, or even a Commodore 64, Super Huey would be a passable game, although the gameplay criticisms would stand, but on the Amiga it is nothing short of dreadful.

If you want a flight simulator, try Flight Simulator II, but please, don't waste your money on Super Huey, otherwise you really will feel sick!!