Flight of the Intruder was yet another sim ahead of its time. This sim features things that we now just take for granted like multiplayer, a mission planner, multi-flight missions (with ability to switch planes during missions) etc. |
The game, inspired by the popular novel of the same name, takes you to Vietnam in 1972 during the Linebacker bombing campaign: A campaign that could have given a favorable conclusion of the Vietnam War to the US (this is the last sim dedicated to Vietnam War; USNF '97 does include a Vietnam campaign as a sort of "add on", so does USAF, but still these sims are not specifically dedicated to this war). Here you can fly the A-6 Intruder or the venerable F-4 Phantom. This sim models the intricacies of the Vietnam War quite well. For example, the ROE (Rules of Engagements) sometimes demands that you visually identify a bogey, a practice that practically takes away the Sparrow advantage carried by the Phantom. Ignore this, and you may end up in a court martial! Mission procedures, like setting up a bomb run in the A-6 are also painstakingly modeled here. Even the use of a "bull's eye" in order to refer to a certain point on a map is implemented here. Such a feature only reappears, as far as I can remember, in Jane's F-15 more than 6 years later. However, like other sims developed by Spectrum Holobyte and Rowan in those days (Falcon 3 and Mig Alley come to mind), the game is highly tunable to suit your preferences (yes, you can turn off the ROE, too!).
The manual is also a work of art, including everything you need to know to play the game, and also other things lik ae brief history of the Vietnam War, technical references for the planes modeled in the game, etc. This is something that greatly enhances the atmosphere, but nowadays seem to have less and less importance to game developers.
Flight of the Intruder is highly recommended to people who are interested in the Vietnam War, people who enjoy the book (or movie) and in general people who enjoy good flight sims. In short, a sim that belongs to the Great Flight Sim Pantheon, along with names like Falcon 3.0 and Falcon 4.0.
Reviewed by: Iwan