Title           Gunship
Game Type	Flight Sim
Players		1
Compatibility	Any Amiga
HD installable  Yes
Company		MicroProse
Submission      Seppo Typpö ( Profiled Reviewer

If there ever was one company that revolutionised the world of computer
flight simulation, it has to be the original MicroProse. Housing some
computer game legends like Sid Meyer, Arnold Hendrick and Andy Hollis (not
forgetting "Wild" Bill Stealey) this was The Company that brought the
simulation games to the masses. They pioneered several gameplay features
we now take granted (like unlimited mission generators, career modes with
medals and promotions etc) and packed them in state-of-the-art graphics
and sound. All this was done on humble 8-bit computers like the Commodore
64, Spectrum and Amstrad CPC.

Gunship is without doubt the simulation which started the revolution. It
set new milestones in graphics and especially gameplay, striking a perfect
balance between computer game and flight simulation. Amiga owners had to
wait eons before MicroProse finally released the Amiga version of this
classic - for some reason it took much longer to complete than the other
16 bit versions - but it was well worth the wait - well, almost...

As was common to the MicroProse conversions of that time, the 8-bit games
were converted with minimal enhancements to the 16-bit machines. Before
MicroProse started to use more of the (then) advanced features of the
Amiga (Pirates! and Red Storm Rising being the prime examples) games like
Gunship were ported from Atari ST versions. While the conversion was very
well done one could not help but think whether the Amiga version could have
been better - as it was it felt like an Atari version with additional
sampled sound effects.

Forgetting the looks, the gameplay was successfully lifted intact from
the 8-bit versions. All the features of the original were in the Amiga
version too - sadly MicroProse did not want to add any extra stuff (like
additional battle regions) to the 16-bit versions. Even in its original
form, the simulation offered something for everybody. Just about every
aspect of the game is configurable, from flight model to enemy AI which
offered a suitable challenge from flight sim novices to Gunship veterans

The high-tech nature of the game means there is a multitude of controls to
learn but even this was fixed by providing a handy keyboard overlay (again
something MicroProse pioneered on 8-bit computers). This allowed a quick
way to find the correct key without resorting to the manual - once again
something which lifted the user-friendliness of this sim high above its

The missions the player flies are varied and challenging. On easier
difficulty levels the enemy forces offer a light challenge but after
cranking up the various parameters (like mission profile and enemy
quality) even hardened computer pilot veterans get into serious trouble if
they don't play "by the book".

Speaking of game literature, the manual of Gunship is still one of the
finest handbooks written for a computer simulation. There might be thicker
and more colourful handbooks around but few of them actually pack as much
information in an easily digestible form between their covers than the
operations manual of Gunship. The informative Amiga technical supplement
nicely completes the professional packaging.

There are only couple of faults in this simulation classic - written
before faster Amigas or AGA chipset were invented, Gunship is quite
unstable when run in 68030+ ECS+ Amigas. It can be installed to hard disk
but the original disk is still needed for copy protection. Considering the
game already has manual protection to fight agaist software piracy the
disk protection (which effectively prevents the honest buyer from backing
up the disk) is an unnecessary hassle. As the player data is also saved
on to the game disk (!) there's always the danger of corrupting it and
destroying the game altogether.

In conclusion, Gunship is still one of the best Amiga flight simulations.
Although it looks a bit dated it offers weeks of solid gameplay and gives
an interesting insight into the world of combat helicopters. I did fly all
99 missions needed to qualify as Brigadier General (like I did with the
C64 version) and loved every minute of it. Call me biased but I think
every Amiga flight sim fan should have this 'golden oldie' in their game


Gunship 2000 by MicroProse. This excellent sequel to the original Gunship
             offers uppgraded graphics, multi-chopper missions, multiple
             helicopters to choose from, a command option and a real-time
             mission planner. Without doubt the BEST combat helicopter
             simulation and generally one of the finest flight simulations
             for Amiga.

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