In this 3D jet flight simulator, tactics and combat maneuvers - all are captured completely. Probably one of the best war flight sims on the home computers. Note that the flight dynamics is one of the most accurate for its time. For example, when landing, you should use your AoA (Angle of Attach) indicators in order to get a successful landing (a feature not simulated on most other flight sims at the time!). You pilot the F-16C in assignments as diverse as dogfights, bombing raids or reconnaissance missions. It is up to you to plan your flight route by setting waypoints on the tactical map prior to take-off; you can also select the armament of your plane. As you advanced with your missions (staying alive of course), you may advance to Mission Commander which gives you the opportunity to control a squadron of other pilots which could be assigned missions by you!
Due to limitations in processor speed, memory, disc capacity and cassette loading time, there a few compromises made in order to produce an 8bit version of F-16 Combat Pilot game. The most significant missing (but found in the 16bit versions only) are the following:
- The following weapons are not available: Mk 83 1OOOlb bomb, Mk A4 2OOOlb and Snakeye bomb.
- The zoom thermal image is not available for Maverick AGM-65D operation
- There are no intelligence reports during the pre-flight briefing.
- Setting waypoinls on the pre-flight briefing map does not display your flight path.
- The air-to-air radar does not have Single Target Track (STT) mode.
- The air-to-air ground radar does not have a Ground Target Track (GTD mode).
- There is no digital artificial horizon option on the MFD'S.
- Only one enemy aircraft may be tracked on the Up Front Control panel.
- There are no left, right or rear views from the cockpit
- Call-signs have no purpose.
More on that, the C64 cassette version do not allow a pilot's Log option but instead allows the user to select Operation Conquest or squadron number. Also the damage report screen has been omitted from the C64 cassette version.
The graphics are nice on the Commodore, although there are no bridges or helicopters in the simulation. Wire-frame graphics are used throughout but the cockpit is detailed and colorful, depicting most of the instruments found on an F-16C. There are small differences of the cockpit between the CPC and C64 version. The C64 versions gives a more 3D perspective cockpit view. Flight dynamics of an F-16C are fully featured and modeled, while the cockpit instruments are fine modeled and up to the 8bit hardware capabilities! The frame-rate is low, which is normal for a 3D graphics-based game release on the 8bit Commodore(and the Amstrad, Spectrum ZX) but playability is acceptable here.
The sound is quite basic and limited to engine thrusts and radar lock alerts (which sounds pretty good though!).