Title		Shuttle
Game Type	Flight Sim
Players		1
Compatibility	OCS/ECS and most likely AGA
Company		Virgin/Vektor Grafix, 1992
Submission	Glenn Larsson (Sweden)

Today is the 17th of July 2006, I was watching the shuttle land live on
NASA TV. While talking to a friend about it, I remembered the old game
"Shuttle" on my Amiga which I bought for the price of a pizza from a
friend because he thought it was too complex.

Shuttle is one of the coolest flight simulator games I have ever played
and I have played a lot of them, from the old "Chuck Yeagers AFT" on the
C64 to the "Flight Simulator" games on the PC.

Apart from the (thick) manual, the game came on 2 disks and a VERY large
poster that showed the entire dashboard of the shuttle (I think I still
have that somewhere). I remember spending a long time studying it to get
an overview of where things were before I started the game.

After the easy installation, the game loads and you can choose from two
different launch sites to start from, or take on proper missions (which
unlock in turn other missions). Remember to save when you complete one.
Some missions just involve orbitting Earth and others require you to
launch a satellite or use the RMS (Remote Manipulator System; the "arm"
that is carried aboard the Shuttle.

What I mentioned earlier about the complexity may have scared a few people
off, but the game does have an easy mode. In easy mode the game shows you
what buttons to click as if it was a training mission. Just click on what
the game tells you to click on, and enjoy the ride. When you feel ready,
you can turn off easy mode and go for the real thing.

One note about the gameplay; this is not a fast paced space shooter,
things take A LOT of time and a complete rollout from the VAB (Vehicle
Assembly Building) can take hours. Fortunately there is a time
acceleration feature but the game can still take ages for just one

Well out in space you see Earth and the Sun. You open the payload bay
doors and voila - you are ready to start your mission. Some people may
find that the RMS is rather hard to get the hang of at first but you will
learn how to operate it correctly after a while.

What I remember about the missions mostly is that you perform a task now
and then, like push a button and enter commands, and then you use the time
acceleration feature - a lot. You won't find the game very exciting unless
you are into space and flight simulators and it helps if you find powering
up the 3 auxillary power units at X  minutes before launch a real turn on.

One mission I remember clearly is the "747/Enterprise landing mission".
The main focus being the last 5 minutes during the final approach where
you are launched from the the top of the 747's fuselage and you attempt to
land the shuttle on the desert airfield, just like the original Enterprise
shuttle did during final flight testing.

If you are new to flight simulators, or have never played around with a
simulator like "Chuck Yeagers" simulator, then you may find landing a
bit... problematic. You see, the shuttle has no engines to power its
flight during landing. It "lands in a controlled crash" as one NASA guy
put it. However, launching, landing and other mission elements can be
skipped if you so choose.

If you want a fly around and look at the beautiful scenery type simulator,
Shuttle is not for you. If you want a very realistic simulator that allow
you to push a gazillion buttons, to pilot a "real" spacecraft, to get the
feel of what it is like to be an astronaut as well as to fill your head
with useless commands like "ITEM 27 EXEC" and "OPS 104 PRO" that you have
absolutely no use for in real life, then this is the game of your dreams!

This was one of THE most well done games I have ever played in my life,
and I seriously wish that it had been ported to the windows platform, but
I suspect that the market for such advanced simulators is very small.

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