Knights of the Sky (Second Review)

Title		Knights of the Sky (Second Review)
Game Type	Flight Sim
Players		1 or 2 (in Serial/Modem Link)
Company		Microprose (1991)
Compatibility	1 Meg Amiga
Submission	Kristian Hesketh (

Knights of the Sky is a 3D flight sim set during the first world war. You
can fly any number of different planes over France for the Allies or
Central powers with reasonably detailed vector graphics. You can play an
Allied campaign, very much in the style of the Cinemaware classic Wings,
or just go for a quick dogfight.

There are loads of flight sims by Rowan and Microprose, but strangely this
old game is the pick of the lot. Flight sims have always been guilty of
occasionally concentrating on the "realism" and forgetting the fun and
enjoyment factors, but this one didn't. Shuttle was an extreme case and I
even thought TFX far too clever for it's own good and not really that
wonderful, actually. (Please send complaints to my address).

Quickly booting this up and you are greeted with a lovely little black and
white intro complete with classic piano tune. The menu graphics are very
good which initially surprised me considering the game's age.

The training session allows you to get stuck in with a minimum of fuss and
without the danger of getting shot down on your first ever flight. Start
the engines, increase the throttle and you are away. Nothing too complex,
but just enough to make it seem like a real plane, which is nice.

Mouse control is best, giving full control of your kite. It's a bit tricky
to start with, but you'll soon get the hang of it. There are loads of
different views, which are needed to spot enemy planes. You have to be
careful that you get behind them and they don't get behind you, then line
them up in your sights. A quick burst of machine gun fire and they're
down. The machine guns can and will jam (perhaps a little too often) so
you must learn to avoid your own destruction. The planes will also stall
with too much provocation.

If you start a campaign, there are loads of missions to fly. Destroying
bridges using bombs is fun, although you do sometimes just patrol for the
enemy. The maps are historically accurate (for those who care) and the
different planes are all real (if a bit similar to each other). If you do
consistenly well you can get all sorts of honours (just like Wings).

The game is so much fun because you can always see the other aircraft. You
swoop up and down, actually dogfighting instead of shooting homing
missiles at the speed of sound towards a dot on the horizon. You can
almost see the pilots shooting at you.

The best part of the game is the link-up. You can fly against human
opponents in the room next to you!! It is much better when you play human
vs. human. Everyone got really excited with the prospect of link-up Quake.
"It's real 3D!" they squealed. "You can shoot someone from above or below
them, just like in real life!". Yes, but you could do it in Knights of the
Sky years ago. When will they learn?

To sum up, Knights of the Sky is the best flight sim there is. Dispensing
with the tedium of reality and replacing it with a large dose of
incredibly fun flying. Or something. I still prefer Wings, but that isn't
technically a flight sim. If you want multiplayer fun, get this and Stunt
Car Racer. You'll be set-up for life.

N.B. This was a bit unstable on my 060. It was designed for an A500 after

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