Posts Tagged ‘The Flare Path’

Wot I Think: City Car Driving

City Car Driving, or ‘No Need For Speed: Lada Unleashed’ as it’s known inside my skull, is a motoring sim from Russia that prides itself on the realism of its automobiles, traffic flows and pedestrians. Aspiring bus queue splashers, hedgehog squashers, and cyclist harassers are sure to find it a useful companion to real-world driving instruction. Qualified drivers with sim sympathies should warm to it too as it captures the feel of urban motoring in winter and night-time conditions uncommonly well. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Makes For Moscow

Men in balaclavas and frosty greatcoats are jumping up and down to keep warm. Lumps of snow dislodged from bowed pine boughs by rising exhaust fumes fall like icing sugar mortar bombs on idling panzers. A few miles away to the east, framed by twin smoke columns, the fairy domes of St Basil’s Cathedral gewgaw a cloudless, corpse-blue sky. Everyone wants to know ‘What’s the delay? Why aren’t we moving?’. The frozen soldaten can’t see their famished fate-shaper – the Englander hurrying upstairs with a cheese and chutney sandwich, a glass of blackcurrant squash, and a happy “Back to Drive on Moscow!” look on his face.

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The Flare Path: Unstitched

Crisis! Geoff, the retired sailmaker who usually stitches together FP news stories, phoned in sick this morning (housemaid’s knee). We’ve experimented with alternative fastenings – velcro, staples, bulldog clips, ant-head sutures… – but none of them are strong and flexible enough to join this week’s selection of topical sim and strategy snippets. Unless Irma’s ongoing porridge experiments prove successful, I fear today’s column will have to take the form of an index finger inconveniencing gallery. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: In The Denmark Strait

The trick of using high prices to imply high quality goes back a very long way in digital wargame publishing. Computer Bismarck, the title that launched the genre in January 1980, was advertised as “the $2160 wargame” ($60 for the software, $2100 for the Apple II Plus necessary to run it). SSI proudly proclaimed their creation was “worth every cent” of this princely sum. Whether you ended up agreeing with them depended largely on how much you valued novelties like artificial opposition and effortless fog of war, and how ready you were to overlook design quirks like an onerous interface, an absence of alternative scenarios, and a monstrously magenta North Atlantic. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Laminar Floes

There’s a saying in my village:

“When sloes and cobnuts early fall,
And goatsuckers in daylight are heard to call,
You’ll be playing a spiritual sequel to MicroProse’s Red Storm Rising and a new instalment of X-Plane in no time at all.”

The local sayings related to wargame pricing and acceptable frame-rates in heli sims scan better but are less relevant to today’s column so I’ll save those for another day. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path Grand Prix

Vaguely aware that we’re living in a race sim golden age? Not sure which of the ‘Big Six’ you should invest your precious time and money in? Me too! Hopefully, by the time the inaugural Flare Path GP is over (Oct 14) little of that bewilderment will remain. Guided by the preferences and observations of that section of the RPS community that knows and loves realistic Cars Wot Go Fast games, it shouldn’t be hard to find a high-quality race sim that suits you and me to a GT. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path And The Sea Lion Tamer

I’m glad Strategic Command 3’s camera is a tad myopic. Not being able to see the Panzers parked in Parliament Square… the SS Sturmgrenadiers marching down The Mall… Mosley and Hitler shaking hands on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street, means I can push north towards unconquered Scotland with a spring in my goose-step. Read the rest of this entry »