- Formation Flight Simulation -
Copyright/Publisher: Accolade, Programming by: Martin Edwards,
Designed by: Rick Banks &
Paul Butler, Opening by: Lise Mendoza, Graphics By: Grant Campbell, Sound by:
Release Year: 1990, Genre: Mixed Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
A beautiful female robot leads you into her labyrinth of sensations... whoops, that
was last month. This time the Blue Angels, far from being metallic striptease
artistes, are in fact the US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron who perform such
manoeuvres as the 360 degrees Pass, Dirty Roll, and Line-Abreast Loop, but alas
So you want to be a Blue Angel? Well, obviously before you attempt a full airshow
you'll need plenty of practice. The Flight Simulator option allows you to learn
manoeuvres in complete safety with the aid of two DDIs (Digital Display Indicators)
which tell you how to complete the manoeuvre using a series of joystick actions.
The four basic joystick direction allow you to bank left/right and climb/dive, while
with the fire button depressed you can control speed and roll left/right. All
the manoeuvres included in the game are explained in a detailed manual. A countdown
clock helps you time your action perfectly while a 'tunnel' of rectangles guide
The practice option is much the same excepty that this time you can crash and
you don't get any rectangles on the cockpit view (although you still get a small
display showing the ideal and the actual positions of the plane).
After attempting a manoeuvre (either in Practice or Flight Sim mode) the evaluation
This is a trio of graphis showing how much you strayed from the
correct flight path in three aspects: yaw, pitch, and roll (get three stright lines
and you must be Robin 'Biggles' Hogg!) You also get average and maximum percentage
errors (the lower the better).
Flying in one of three positions (diamond, lead solo, or opposing solo) you can
then attempt a full airshow (or simulate or practise one). There are three types
of airshow - flat, low, and high - each comprising several manoeuvres. At the end,
you'll be given your average percentage error and, if good enough, enter the pilots'
hall of fame.
I'm not sure quite what to make of Blue Angels: it's far too simple to be a proper
flight sim. Play merely consists of making the correct joystick actions (which
you're told) at the correct time.
Even I managed to get an average 2% error for
a full airshow, while on most flight sims I usually nose dive into the ground
after about two seconds! That's not to say the game is terrible: trying out the
plethora of different manoeuvres is fun, especially with the evaluation graphs.
But plane maniacs beware, this certainly isn't a full-blown flight sim and
will prove far too easy for most computer pilots.
It's out-and out-aerobatics all the way with this oddball game from Accolade.
While Blue Angels is very simplistic in terms of flight controls and graphic depiction,
with the only major worry being hitting the ground, it's a fun game to get to grips
Following the chase aircraft is a demanding occupation with post-flight eveluations
really rubbing it in if you go way off course. Play it with a few other friends
and you can have a great time trying to beat each other's error rates. If you think
flight sims are much too serious for their own good, take a flight with the
Blue Angels, it's a fun ride.