Mig Alley Ace

Reviewed by Jim Short


Issue 18

Nov/Dec 85

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Microprose (U.S. GOLD)
48k disk 14.95
48k cassette 9.95
1/2 players

Someone at Microprose is obviously rather keen on flight simulators. MIG ALLEY ACE is the latest in a long line, following in the wake of previous releases such as SPITFIRE ACE, SOLO FLIGHT and F-15 STRIKE EAGLE.

There seems to be a trend these days toward combat-style flight simulators and this one, as the name implies, is no exception. The action supposedly takes place during the Korean war of the early 1950's where inferior U.N. jetfighters took on the mighty squadrons of North Korean MIG-15's, or so the blurb in the enclosed booklet says!

You have a choice of three different game options, 1 player solo, 2 player head-to-head or 2 player co-operative. The screen is split into two separate cockpit views, the top being player one's cockpit view and the bottom player two's or the computer's depending on your game choice. This is slightly unusual for this type of game and takes a bit of getting used to at first

The simulation covers several different combat scenarios. You have 3 lives in which to try and battle your way right through the card and, afterwards, you are accorded a rank based on how well you fared in battle. The ranks go from Novice through to WGFP {World's Greatest Fighter Pilot).

As flight simulators go, MIG ALLEY ACE is something of a let-down, particularly in the graphics department. All the action takes place in the air with no facility for taking-off or landing and control is almost entirely from the joystick with the bare minimum of keyboard input. As a result, the game is best suited to complete beginners and a good idea would be to use it as a flight trainer before moving on to something more complex such as the brilliant F-15 STRIKE EAGLE.

Sadly, the Atari version of MIG ALLEY ACE loses out to the C64 one. The cockpit view is much more realistic on the 64 version with a proper cockpit canopy and an authentic rotary-dial instrument display. The Atari version is more like a view out of a plate-glass window and the digital instrument bar is about as unrealistic as they come. The Atari is capable of a far superior display to that of the Commodore as Microprose have already shown with their versions of SOLO FLIGHT and F-15 STRIKE EAGLE and I honestly I cannot understand why they should purposely make Atari the poor relation this time. Let's hope Microprose don't repeat this in any forthcoming releases.