Have You Played… Microsoft Flight Simulator 98?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

The best thing about Microsoft Flight Simulator wasn’t that it let you fly planes. It was that it let you fly remote controlled planes.

This might seem counter-intuitive: why simulate a simulation when you could simulate the real thing? The answer of course is that I was 13 and the simulation of the real thing was intimidatingly, bafflingly fiddly. I couldn’t face the manual and the 13 switches needed for take off. I could, however, face the simpler controls for flying an RC plane.

To be honest, it was a more ideal fantasy for me anyway. I didn’t know anyone who flew 747 airliners, but I did know and was terrible jealous of people who flew model planes.

Of the game itself, I mainly remember soupy ground textures, awkward ground camera positions – since there’s no cockpit view for remote controlled planes – and crashing a whole lot. None of which stopped me playing this thin slice of game over and over again.


  1. Detournemented says:

    This is a game that made me – so much so I went out and became a real pilot with a college degree in aeronautical science. Too bad I don’t get to fly often anymore – would have been a lot cheaper if I stuck to simulating flight….

  2. kulik says:

    MSFS 3.0 vet here bitches!

    • Cederic says:

      Sigh, these youngsters. I remember being four hours into an instruments only flight from LHR to DFW on a Commodore 64 before deciding life was too short and booting up Elite.

      It was instruments only because actual graphics would’ve needed 20 minutes loading from tape per frame.

  3. peterako1989 says:

    MSFS98 was my first FS.

  4. Scobie says:

    This, or something of that era, was one of the Dad Games my dad would let me play.

  5. Arglebarf says:

    You kids are cute. Try Jumbo Jet on an Atari 400, mofo. Of course, now some real old timer is going to school us on Link trainers or mechanical Turks or some business like that.

  6. pip3dream says:

    I remember getting my first CGA card and rocking out Flight Sim. Everything was colored Pink, Cyan, Blue, or Purple. But by god, it was not monochrome.

    Jesus, we’re old.

  7. samwyse says:

    In the late ’70s, a guy I went to college with got a job with a computer manufacturer making what seemed like a crap load of money. His first purchases were an Apple II, a copy of the original subLOGIC Flight Simulator, and an Advent VideoBeam 1000 projection TV. The TV had a seven foot screen that completely filled your field of view while playing. Yes, the “high-resolution” graphics were 280×192, meaning the pixels were the size of your thumb, but for me it was still the best “VR” experience I would find for several decades.

    link to soundandvision.com