TFX: Tactical Fighter Experiment
Refining the jet fighter sim.
After F-29 Retaliator, which was nice to look at but had severe gameplay issues, developer Digital Image Design finally came out good in 1993 with TFX (Tactical Fighter Experiment), a game of modern air combat set against the topical background of a UN peacekeeping force. In common with all of DID’s games, the graphics are top of the line as far as 1993 technology goes. It’s got some of the smoothest 3D around, with a virtual cockpit and an effective sense of height and distance.
The game is actually based on three real-world ultra-modern jet aircraft – the F-117A Stealth Fighter, the Eurofighter 2000 and the Lockheed F-22. The aircraft data that the team had to work with in developing the sim was understandably sketchy, so TFX might not be perfectly accurate but is altogether the best the team could work with. With the provided test data the sim does a good job in working out lift, drag, weight and the aerodynamic performance of each plane, and come with a large array of usable armaments.
In terms of play area, TFX is one of the most impressive sims of 1993. Almost five million square miles of scenery has been carved up between the game’s five different campaigns. Each scenario is topographically correct and all cities, rivers and major landmarks are in their correct positions within the virtual worlds. Campaigns take place in the former Yugoslavia, Lybia, Somalia, Colombia and the South Atlantic. Within each scenario you get objectives which range from basic interception to air superiority, defense suppression and close air-support tasks.
The only thing that lets this down is the poor documentation, and a few omissions in the aircraft. Still, this is one of the best flight sims released on DOS and, with a bit of effort, a hugely playable game for those interested in ultra-modern aircraft and weaponry.
System Requirements: 386 CPU, 4 MB RAM, 17 MB HDD, DOS 5.0
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