Although the IBM version of Jet by Charles Guy has been available since 1985, SubLogic has just gotten around to releasing this air-combat simulator on the 68000-based home computers. These Amiga and ST versions, designed by Chris Green, and developed by Matt Toschlog, Bruce Artwick, Mike Kulas and Green, use elements from the 68000 versions of Flight Simulator 2 as well as some innovations created for Radar Raiders, a never-released Amiga product.
Jet offers workstation-based pilots one of the cleanest, simplest and most attractive jet combat programs around. Users can fly either an F16, which takes off from a standard runway, or an F18, which is launched from a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, on any of eight missions. The program also offers a fascinating option which Sub-Logic introduced on the 68000 versions of FS2: two-player dogfighting, by modem.
The heart of any flight simulator's control system is its Heads Up Display (HUD), and SubLogic has worked at streamlining the on-screen composition of the HUD since its earliest simulators. The visual display dominates the screen, as it should, with the altimeter, weapons information and instrument controls laid around the edges of the playfield. Jet's system is simplicity itself and should serve as a model for future programs.
The left side of the screen contains the airspeed indicator, a vertically-scrolling gauge that indicates speed in Mach (the speed of sound). Weapons, fuel, throttle, thrust, compass and clock fill the bottom of the screen while the right side of the frame contains the ADF (Automatic Direction Finder), DME (Distance Measuring Equipment), yoke position and altimeter. The top of the screen features a series of seven warning lights, relating to landing gear, danger indicators and missile targeting.
Jet uses your computer's function keys to invoke a series of secondary visual displays (maps, radar, etc.) which are brought up in overlapping windows. The keyboard is used, in FS2 tradition, to call up alternative viewpoints (cockpit, spotter plane, control tower, tracking and the everpopular missile s-eye view). The user's aircraft is easily flown using the keyboard, mouse and/or joystick in FS2 fashion.
Jet offers an impressive array of weaponry. For dogfights, there are short-range AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, medium-range AIM-7 Sparrows and old faithful, the M61 machine gun. The AGM-65 Maverick is an air-to-ground missile used in target strikes while the MK-82 Smart Bomb is just that, a bomb, with no propulsion system, limited accuracy but a large hit radius.
Visually, this 68000 version of Jet is the slickest air-combat simulator this reviewer has ever seen, an obvious improvement over even the ST/Amiga versions of FS2. Terrain and ground objects are realistically detailed and shaded, though there are far too few of them.
More good news: there are none of those annoying freeze points where the on-screen image goes into gridlock while the next area is loaded into memory. Jet will interface with all available Scenery Disks, whenever SubLogic produces them for the 68000-based systems.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP