In the world of Mac games, there’s a
certain type of game that is always
wanted: The flight simulator. And whether
it be war or peace, day or night, Mac users
love to fly. Thankfully for us, there’s a
plethora of flight simulators out there to
choose from. Of all the simulators available,
however, not one has impressed me as much as “A-10 Cuba” from Parsoft Interactive.
“A-10 Cuba” puts you in the cockpit of a mean, green A-10 Warthog. Guerilla forces have taken control of Cuba, and it’s up to the “hogs” to save the day. Bombing buildings, escorting aircraft, destroying tanks, and having brutal dogfights with a large arsenal of weapons is part of the fun in “A-10 Cuba.” Additionally, you can join your buddies over a network and have a grueling battle.
Graphically, “A-10 Cuba” surpasses all others in its field. The look is incredible! The planes, tanks, ships, missiles, houses, and cities are realistic. You can look out your cockpit from all sides to see where the enemy is, where your comrades are, or where that pesky anti-aircraft missile was just fired from. You can see the view from where a friend or a foe is located, switch to missile view and watch your enemy get blown to bits, or watch the mayhem from several other viewpoints. And it all takes place over lovely scrolling terrain (over 15,000 square miles). Nothing is spared in the air or on the ground. Entire cities with cars and movement, houses, rivers, lakes, canyons (my favorite), dams, and bridges are some of the unique geographical features in “A-10 Cuba.”
Game play itself couldn’t be any better. Aircraft control is easy to learn, and with a little practice, you can fly the plane, complete missions, and land your craft with the mouse itself. Joystick preferences are available as well, which adds even more realism to the game. What’s really cool, though, is the real-time response of the aircraft. Internally and externally, the Warthog responds to your joystick or mouse. If you have the external view mode on, you see the rudders, flaps, gear, and other devices move and respond to your actions. Want to fly an A-10 at night? Yep, you can even control the time of day. All of this without any of the slow-downs experienced by some of the other simulators.
Anyone with “A-10 Cuba” can hop on a network and fly with a few buddies. Network games are simple with AppleTalk. You prepare yourself, join the crew, and fire away as you taunt your pals. Network games are a blast, and Parsoft makes it easy to order more serial numbers for more network players. The scenarios included for network play give you an alternative look from the regular terrain. You can take your hog weaving through tall pillars, flying over windy water worlds, or even into the depths of space.
Another great feature of the game is the fact that you have complete control over the look and feel of the game. Preferences let you adjust the game to your liking, adding or removing detail to enhance the speed of play on slower machines (although the game ran great with full detail on my 75MHz Performa). Using the preferences, novices can set weapons to easily aim at targets. You can also give yourself unlimited cannon rounds. Of course, if you want to fly with any dignity, you’ll have to turn that feature off after you get used to the game play.
This is a fantastic game. With twelve regular missions and four network scenarios, you should be prepared for hours upon hours of dogfighting, blown-to-bits action. If you have the original “A-10 Attack,” you can even use the Mission Editor to create your own game scenarios. Many times I would find myself cheering and yelling as I hit my target. When not cheering, I was screaming at the enemy who had just sent a sidewinder my way. You’ll find yourself escaping into deep canyons, trying to keep your A-10 in the air with only one (or none) functional engine, and watching friend and foe spiral to the ground as they desperately attempt to gain control of their aircraft. If you’re like me, however, you never run… and you only eject when you know that your Warthog will inevitably meet the earth at 300 knots per hour.
The strategy, the sounds, the graphics, the action, the excitement. All of these things come together and get you hooked on this game. By reading the Pilot Reference Manual and documentation, you can tell that the creators were passionate about making “A-10 Cuba” the best game they possibly could. You will revel in the excitement of putting out engine fires, ejecting from your A-10 and watching it go down in a giant fireball, and destroying the enemy with a selection of mighty weaponry. This game gives you just what you want without the frustration of slowdowns and unexplained crashes (no pun intended). From the opening music to the fiery end, this game is awesome.
(Note: Parsoft recently released updates for both A-10 Attack and A-10 Cuba. These updates can be found on their web site (http://www.parsoft.com) as well as on their AOL site (keyword: PARSOFT). They incorporate many bug fixes and enhancements.)
Shay Fulton (firstname.lastname@example.org)