F/A 18 INTERCEPTOR is an exclusive Commodore Amiga combat flight simulator developed by Intellisoft and published by Electronic Arts in 1988. The game looks stunning and plays great!
STORY / GAMEPLAY You are a US combat pilot and start the action with some simple reconnaissance missions. Working your way through the next ranks, you must also protect the President when the Air Force One is attacked and accomplish several interceptions fighting enemy MiGs that fly over San Francisco Bay. Ultimately, you assign for your final mission: A hard encounter with a submarine just off the coast of the US. You have the option to either fly with an F-18 or with an F-16. Note that the interceptions do not always require shooting down incoming jets. Instead, you have to just spot and identify them for your squadron and return back to the your US Air Force Base! You will additionally need to make two defective F-16's surrender and this can be accomplished by flying in front of them or by blasting them in case you fail on the first attempt. As we understand, there are lots of things to accomplish in this combat flight simulator. The game will take you through a series of progressively tough missions. A specific menu will allow you to select a number of different scenarios, but it's a good idea to start training and practice a few maneuvers yourself. To get further to the game, you have to qualify for mission selections and this can happen by earning wings via training (like landing on aircraft carriers (a tough thing) or executing specific maneuvers following your instructor's aircraft and doing loops, turns and rolls. But, as you approach the air-carrier, an enemy fighter may attack before you touch down. At this occasion, you can pull up and spot the enemy without banking. You can barrel-roll and scissor but beware; the enemy jets can too, with the artificial intelligence recreating the moves of an actual pilot.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The game's visuals are great for a 1988 flight simulator and they offer fast 3D solids with a surprising amount of detail, including EA's offices in California (of the time) and Alcatraz. The physics are well programmed, so its flying mechanics are pretty good. The cockpits are basic in design though, but they include the HUD, the radar and other jet readings, fully simulated. I would only complain for the fact that the cockpits are similar whether you fly an F18 or an F16, but that's ok! The 3D jet models, carriers, airports and a few other touches such as the bridges on the ground are well designed too. Note that this game was developed and released a year before the almighty F-16 Fighting Falcon from Spectrum Holobyte! Soundwise, F/A-18 Interceptor includes some wonderful sampled sounds that get louder when you change the pilot's view. All the game's sounds, including the gears going up/down, the engine thrusts, the missile/cannon gunfire, the explosions, are all present! Again, for a 1988 combat flight simulator, the sound is just great!
In-game music sample:
CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs