Serious: SAM Simulator

If you’ve ever flown a simulated jet in a simulated combat zone there’s a very good chance you’ve been killed by a simulated SA-2 Guideline SAM missile. Some young pasty-faced AI routine sitting in a radar caravan on the edge of an airfield, has spotted your plane on his scope, locked you up, set appropriate fuses, and – pulse racing – pushed the launch button. What would it feel like to be that young pasty-faced AI routine? A free sim from Hungary provides some fascinating clues.

Spotted by NaiseFail, an eagle-eyed SimHQ forumite, SAM Simulator is not for the faint of heart. After a couple of hours of tutorial watching, note-taking, and switch-flicking I can just about down a dawdling airliner in training conditions. The swift, wary F-4s in the War Of Attrition scenarios have nothing to fear.


Black Shark, Falcon 4.0 and Dangerous Waters fans will feel right at home amongst the bristling banks of knobs, dials, and lights. Others should install simply for the joy of pressing the power button (highlighted in blue in the second pic). Once prodded into life the SA-2’s antique targeting apparatus emits an electroacoustic murmur the Radiophonic Workshop in their heyday would have been proud of.


Unexpectedly, considering its origin and theme, there’s excellent English language documentation and a multiplayer mode. Development appears ongoing with the last update a month ago and plans afoot for the inclusion of a third missile system (the SA-2’s younger brother, the SA-3, is playable in the current build). Vietnam War scenarios are also on the cards. If SAM Sim wasn’t already the epitome of a mainstream crowd-pleaser, the chance to protect Hanoi from waves of evil B-52s, will surely make it so.


  1. Fr3ak says:

    Speechless, just speechless…

  2. Wooly says:

    Forget zombies, SAMSims are the meme of the gaming future!

  3. JonFitt says:

    This is why I love PC gaming.

    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      Amen, even if I have no intention of playing it.

      /the youtube tutorials on their website are good though it must’ve taken the guy a long time to get that familiar with the system.

    • Vinraith says:

      @JonFitt: Amen, this kind of thing would never turn up on another platform. For my part, I’m just deranged enough to give it a try, we’ll see how long I last.

  4. Shadowcat says:

    I shall name my young pasty-faced AI routine “Delilah”.

  5. wcaypahwat says:

    I always wanted one of these. now ebaying vietnam era SAM installations.

  6. fulis says:

    lol awesome, I have to try this

    SA-2 are pretty terrible by modern standards though

  7. hmm says:

    Good lord, this is amazing. Just when I was wondering where Stone was, I get this gem. I’ve been reading about the war of attrition lately too. wot a coincidence!

  8. Psychopomp says:

    My brain hurts :(

  9. skooma says:

    It won’t even start without setting your monitor to a specific resolution.

    • blarghhh says:

      @skooma Yeah, that’s a major WTF.

      I know these are mostly obsolete now, but I still wonder what sources this guy used to make this. Cause I wish I’d been able to find them before :(

    • Serondal says:

      Strange enough I can’t even start the game up because of this. I can’t set my monitor to the res it is asking for O.o

  10. Lim-Dul says:

    Yay! This is SO cool! I’ve been shooting down practice drones of various types for like an hour now. If you feel pro, then launch several of them at various intervals and see how quickly you can switch between all the tracking modes. :-D

    It even has the Ustka test grounds which is in Poland – I’m from Poland, so it adds to the realism factor! But be careful – in Ustka there will be two contacts, one of which is the ship firing the missiles, so don’t destroy it, which I totally didn’t, I swear. ;-)

  11. Spoon says:

    I used to be a crewmember in a PATRIOT engagement control station, and used to joke about how old and outdated our stuff was. This game gives me a newfound appreciation for what we had, lol.

    • pepper says:

      Scary thing is is that most military equipment computer wise still somewhere in the late 80/90’s.

  12. Torgen says:

    the term “multiplayer mode” intrigues me.

    Evil, evil Mr. Stone will now make me go research what that entails before posting to my favorite warbirds forum.

    • meeper says:

      Hey Torgen.

      I thought your name was familiar :)

    • Torgen says:

      Hey Meeper! How’s the snow?

      WWIIOL should get in touch with this guy if they ever expand to the Korean War. ;-)

      (I wonder how much interest there would be in a Korean War online combined arms sim?)

  13. Bob says:

    Can’t wait for the Daily Mail to pick up on this! Terrorist training tool blah blah :D

  14. KP says:

    This is amazing. I love shit like this. It’s satisfying to play with something that gives you real world knowledge of a system, like KA-50.

  15. Martin Edelius says:

    I have a guy in SIMS called Sam – is this the same thing?

  16. Arnulf says:

    There are no bounds for human imagination.

  17. l1ddl3monkey says:

    I know some military enthusiast types who will adore this. Ir is quite entertaining in a strange way.

  18. phuzz says:

    Well, I can now reliably hit drone targets of various types on my own, but doing the Egypt missions I don’t get the option to automatically track targets.
    Still, after a little while of flicking incomprehensible switches, the thrill of watching your fuzzy green smear intersect with the fuzzy green smear of the target is pretty good.

    Now I’m set if I ever need to try and operate an old Soviet AA missile system :)

  19. Dozer says:


  20. Mr. Versipellis says:


  21. LionsPhil says:

    @Pepper: That’s not scary at all. Modern kit is more fragile, and generally chronically overcomplicated. Hell, modern Intel kit now comes with free rootkits (which, naturally, they advertise as an anti-rootkit solution). EFI is likewise another “throw it all in and damn the consequences” committee abomination which makes the aging BIOS look straightforward and elegant.

  22. LionsPhil says:

    Yay the random reply targeting.

    Anyway, on-topic: BUTTONS.

    None of them appear to be big and red, though. (That thing bottom-right is a knob, isn’t it?)

    • DMJ says:

      @LionsPhil: I hear the next RPS comment system upgrade will actually have reply targeting based on this sim’s interface.

    • Dozer says:

      The launch buttons are big and black, I’m afraid. So are the ‘oh crap, detonate the missile now plz’ buttons just beneath them. (Dont’ know if it’s possible to detonate the missile before it’s launched though, haven’t tried that yet…)

  23. John Beeler says:

    It’s all fun and games until the mainstream media gets wind of this. Next on Fox News: Missile Launch Simulator on PC trains terrorists. Download this and you throw caution to the wind. They know everything.

  24. Morti says:

    The videos are brilliant

  25. doublewat says:

    Pepper: Well, keep in mind that the stuff needs to be ECM hardened, which greatly limits the manufacturing process. Additionally, the more coarse the hardware is, the more resistant it is to mistreatment (which should be common in a warzone).

  26. Antonio Enrique Delgado says:

    I’m going to play this on my flight home.

  27. Vanger says:

    Actually, you should compare S-75 to Hawk.

    Patriot should be compared with S-300.