Birds Of Prey – Amiga -Argonaut Software
As a rule Sim fans used to love detail and they still do. Today of course the games that are being released are so full of detail you’d think you were actually in the fantasy world but, not more than a few years ago, the quality of the detail wasn’t much to write home about.There was a game, however, that was very popular and for its time was packed with vast detail. Birds of Prey, the Amiga flight simulator from Argonaut Software, had spectacular detail as a matter of fact.
For its time Birds of Prey was a truly ambitious flight sim. It had over 40 different planes to choose from, including the Hercules Transport, the B-2 Stealth Bomber and the Boeing 747, among others. Want a few more? Birds of Prey came with a F-16 Fighting Falcon, an A-10 Tank Killer, an F-15 Eagle and even a freaking MiG-29!
With a fictitious setting the game takes place during a time that’s unknown but is obviously an ‘east vs. west’ type conflict. You’re the lone player as a pilot in the game and, at first, it’s hard to force any sort of outcome that you may want. As the ‘conflict’ moves along however your ‘forces’ will start to take the edge off of the ‘enemy’ and you’ll begin to get the upper hand. It’s also played in ‘real time’ so if, for example, you take off on a mission you could come back to find that your entire base has been decimated!
Learning the game was not particularly easy and so you needed to be really diligent to learn how to maneuver the planes just right and get them to do what you wanted and go where you wanted. The more maneuverable a fighter would be the more that a player has trouble keeping them from sliding.
One of the best features of Birds of Prey was that there was an autopilot feature for the long, boring periods that you were ’in flight’. Once a target and cruising altitude were chosen the plane took off, giving the controls back to the player at a predetermined point.
It was a great game to be sure and one of the best of its kind for the time. Like I mentioned earlier it was one of the most detailed of the early flight sim games and, as such, was a heck of a game.