Flight Simulator II, by Sublogic, is an early, pioneering flight simulation game designed and written by Bruce Artwick and first released for the Apple II in 1983. This enhanced Atari ST conversion was first released in 1986.
The game simulates flight in real aircraft – in the ST version the Cessna RG Turbo II and Learjet 25G – and is generally aimed at pilots-in-training, but does have an ‘easy mode’, as well as a more detailed realistic mode for enthusiasts.
Flight Simulator II was one of the first commercial flight games to use real-world data to create the environments, although this was restricted to just a small portion of the USA. Nevertheless, it was a groundbreaking game and was far more detailed and realistic than anything that had preceded it. And it has a multiplayer component via null modem link-up.
The game also has a built-in WWI dogfighting game, called WWI Ace, which is accessible from the pull-down menu. In fact: you can change aircraft, views, situations, and many other things, directly from the pull-down menus (and also by using certain key-presses).
Although it may look primitive by today’s standards, Sublogic‘s Flight Simulator II really was a trailblazer when it came to early commercial flight sims. And playing it now – in 2022 – it’s surprising how much fun you can still have with it. If you’re patient, and learn the control basics, it’s easily possible to become absorbed by this 36 year-old game.