Title: Birds of Prey (Second Review) Game Type: Flight Sim Company Argonaut Players: 1 Compatibility: All (Platinum Edition re-release) Submission: BillWays Review Birds of Prey is a flight sim with quite a large choice of aircraft to fly, either NATO or Soviet based. (Side A, or side B). The platinum edition being the one I have, is basically just a bug fix to run on AGA machines. Once loaded, you're given the choice to enter your name as a new pilot, or select a previously saved game, once this is done, you can set the difficulty (Rookie, Pilot, Squadron Leader or Wing Commander), and Graphics levels. Birds of Prey has one of the best manuals I have seen for a flight sim, well laid out and easy to understand, study it to make the most of the game. It does go overboard a bit with explaining the principles of flight, but I found this informative. There may be only a limited area to fly around in compared to other sims, but the game more than makes up for this in its ease of play. Different mission types - enough to keep everyone happy, and as the game progresses these become more important. The game is basically played as a campaign, so keeping an eye on the battle progress report will help you decide which type of mission to fly. As planes are shot down, radar and SAM sites taken out and Airfields destroyed they all affect the outcome of the campaign. To replenish destroyed equipment and locations takes the time and resources of factories and cities. So checking the battle progress report after each sortie, you will be able to decide how to keep the enemy on the run. The type of missions vary enormously, with Interception, Air Superiority, and Bombing and Supply missions to name but a few. Select Close Support for some Tank Plinking, allways fun on a quiet Sunday! For a bit of fun (If your campaign is going well). Try the Test Pilot option in the X-15. You get dropped from the underwing of a B-52 and the object is to push the aircraft to the limits. It's a quick trip up, and a long trip back down, (the autopilot can't be used with this option). You'll get your astronaut's wings for this one. The trip back down can take forever; free-falling until there is some atmosphere to go around the stubby wings of the Test aircraft. Not the best part of the game, but everyone will try it at least once. Two flight modes Realistic, for those of you who like to see the wings tear off in high-G turns, and Easy for those that want to get away with just about any manoeuvre. I particularly liked selecting Easy flight, going on a ground attack mission with an F117, and flying to the target at an altitude of 30 feet !!! In what is mostly flat terrain, this makes it harder for enemy radar to spot you, but even with the easy flight model selected, you best keep an eye on the altitude! Graphically, Birds of Prey isn't going to win any awards, selecting different terrain types just results in a change of colour for the scenery, and turning mountains on and off (Now wouldn't that be handy for Airbus pilots!) is an option that's needed for those who like to set a Waypoint and go for coffee. For close-up dog-fighting fans, this game is a must. With realistic flight selected, it can be pretty hairy putting the likes of a Harrier up against a Soviet Mig-29. You can spot an enemy aircraft from a long way off, just a single pixel, but you can see it. Dogfighting needs a good control of aileron and rudders to get the angle on your opponent. The enemy fighters follow the same flight rules as you, so no mysterious direction changes in this one. The dot your chasing stays just that until around 3km away, when it becomes apparent that your prey is another aircraft, but my eyesight is this bad anyway, so its natural for me! Although not as detailed as other flight sims, Birds of Prey is a must for all fans of the genre.