Saturday, December 15, 2018

Reach For The Skies

Why am I reminded of S Club 7?

It's time for some cool BoxArt and today we have a wonderful flight sim by Rowan/Virgin called Reach For The Skies. I've definitely landed lucky because the box is in superb condition and even the contents are in good nick: manual, keycard and disks. It's almost like I used a time machine and revisited 1993 ( sigh... just imagine... )

Reach For The Skies was released back in 1993 and attempts a recreation of the Battle Of Britain era between the Royal Air Force and the German Luftwaffe. That is obviously a crucial part of the entire war and is split into four mammoth sections. If you're up to the task, you can be either a pilot or the controller for an entire squadron.

Okay, the box looks awesome but what about those pixels? Are they just as good? Let's see...

Now, this is what I call awesome pixel artwork. Look at the detail. Love it!!
The German on the right looks like Colonel Von Strohm, I thought.

Awesome pixel art throughout and I love the moustache and pipe. Very British lol

Read The Flipping Manual

Obviously, the first thing I did was skip the manual and read nothing more than the keycard. This humble sheet of paper displays an array of keys that are used to successfully pilot the planes. Don't be too scared because there is a practice mode which is great for newcomers, like me. Why not completely bypass the take-off procedure and pretend to be a stuntman like Colt Seavers whizzing across those lovely 16-bit skies? Well, I did...

Those that prefer to take things seriously are advised to learn the cockpit and keep the keycard sheet at hand. As you get accustomed to flying the skies, you will note some great external views: I really enjoyed these and you can watch me messing about on my YT channel. There are other awesome features like video recording and even the ability to flip between each member of your squadron. Yup, this is a big game that will take time to master.

Let's take a look at some of the missions you'll be sent on...

Anything here catching your eye, hero?
Love the dated information that presents the mission ahead perfectly.
Those plucky German's with their technology, commitment and wishful thinking!

The CryptO'pinion?

Overall, this is a demanding flight sim with some neat features that help a novice, like me, get the most from the very start. I love the authentic cockpits, and the external views are stunning, but learning to hunt down and destroy the enemy will take much practice. But that's definitely a good thing, right? Reach For The Skies is one of the best flight sims I own and something I will enjoy time and time again. Tally-ho and chocks away, old bean!!

Whatever plane you decide to pilot, make sure you run this from a hard drive if you can (floppies on Stonish).

And finally, here is a video and some 3D camera angels which excel in Reach For The Skies...

The camera views are superb and I loved messing about with this feature. A lot!!
The graphics are incredible. It's like you're really there, well, for this 90s gamer anyways...
Oh no, pull up!! Pull up!! Why do I always die...?
Please note: the video recording is based on my own Mega STe (16MHz). I have tried to show the game's basic elements for both the German and the British sides. Perhaps I should have used the standard computer, but there are lots of videos out there on YouTube so I fancied putting the extra grunt of this amazing computer to use.
However, it is worth noting that the standard Atari ST performs so well (no change there then!).

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