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Game info
PC

Falcon

Falcon
GenreFlight Sim
DeveloperSpectrum Holobyte
PublisherSpectrum Holobyte
Released1988
Rating
Graphics:7.0
Sound:4.0
Gameplay:8.0
Overall:6.0
Reviewed byndial
The hype with any F-16 flight simulators, starts right here! Falcon F-16 is the first and one of the best F-16 combat flight simulators ever developed mainly on the 16bit home computers. The game was initially released for the 8bit MSX computers in 1984 and for the Apple Macintosh (Classic) in 1987. It was later developed for the Atari ST/E, Commodore Amiga, PC (DOS) home computers and the NEC PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 video games console!
 
Review
FalconSTORY / GAMEPLAY
Falcon is the first and one of the best combat flight simulators I have ever played on the 16bit home computers. It's an authentic flight simulator and offers everything a player wanted to experience to its fullest, back in the days! So many players have invested plenty of flying hours (like me!) playing it. The missions provide dogfights and bridge bombings and they are designed for successive play, so anything you achieve on a previous mission will influence the outcome of any upcoming attempt! What is your final goal? Total destruction of highlighted ground targets and -of course- enemy MIGs! The ground targets vary from tanks, trains, amphibious landing crafts, trucks, bridges and ground-to-air missile sites! Sometimes the opposing jets make some very cool maneuvers while your plane's electronic displays and radars resemble the real thing with great success, giving you 4 different styles of HUD (Head Up Display). Not only can your plane barrel-roll and scissor; the enemy planes can too! Actually, the Artificial Intelligence recreates the moves of an actual pilot and the reactions of an actual F-16. This is one of the earliest games to offer a head-to-head gameplay by linking two machines. It comes with a massive manual, showing in details all those functions and maneuvers, mainly written by actual F-16 pilots! Note that the game supports head-to-head battles with another human opponent too (via direct computer link)! Well done Spectrum Holobyte! Your game is a masterpiece!

GRAPHICS / SOUND
The PC (DOS) version supports an early 4-color CGA mode and another later version (called Falcon AT) that offers sharp 16-color EGA graphics. Both PC versions share good visuals with detailed (for its time) terrains and aircraft models. Due to the higher CPU clocks of the PC systems compared to the 8Mhz CPUs, the 3D graphics move smoother and faster compared to the ST and Amiga versions. But overall the game's visuals look and feel a bit inferior due to the 16-color selection of the EGA palette (the AT version). the screenshot we provide below are from both CGA and EGA versions (Falcon and Falcon AT) for comparison reasons. The PC sound is pretty poor in quality with the sound effects performed directly by the PC speaker. But the sound is adequate enough to play the game without complaints.
 
Screenshots
  • Falcon
  • Falcon
  • Falcon
  • Falcon
  • Falcon
  • Falcon
  • Falcon
  • Falcon
  • Falcon
 
Comparable platforms
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS
Atari ST
PC MS-DOS
Apple Macintosh 68k
 
Hardware information

PC (ms-dos based)

PC (ms-dos based)CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site)
MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996)
GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines.
SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!
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The PC (ms-dos based) (default) color palette
CGA: 16-color palette (4 on-screen)
EGA: 64-color palette (16 on-screen)
VGA: 256-color palette (256 on-screen)
 
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