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Price: $50.00 - $60.00
Genre: Helicopter Flight Combat Simulator
Release: JUNE 6, 1996
Developer: Origin (Jane’s Combat Simulations)
Producer: Andy Hollis and Origin Skunk Works
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Phone: 415-571-7171
requirements: 486 DX, 66 MHz, 8 MB RAM, 2X CD-ROM, 256-color-SVGA, Sound Blaster compatible sound card, 36 MB hard disk drive space, DOS 5.0 hit_.gif - 6.9 K

Andy Hollis used to work for Microprose where he worked with Gunship, F-19 Stealth Fighter, and F-15 Strike Eagle III. Longbow resembles most combat flight simulators with instant action, campaign modes, but there are not any cooperative or competitive multiplayer modes.

Longbow has only one campaign and a tutorial system with eight missions that starts with basic flying lessons and ends with target practice. Wingman commands work well with the sophisticated friendly artificial intelligence, but forget about human wingmen, this one from Origin just does not work with your friends in mind.

Flying a helicopter is not as easy as it looks. Taking off is easier, but flying becomes a tricky proposition at best with a balance between the collective, throttle, tail rotor, and joystick. Real pilots can fly a helicopter sideways while pealing off non-homing missiles that pop off a series of stationary targets. Longbow has difficulty levels of Simple, Advanced and Expert that allow the most inept and inexperienced to progress to the point of understanding the subtleties of helicopter aerodynamics.

With 250 missions to keep you busy, this game is a flight sim addicts dream. Not only do we have a sweet sim, but we have enough scripted and planned missions to keep even the most grim faced grognard happy. carnag1_.gif - 8.0 K

Hints: On a reconnaissance mission do not destroy your target or you will fail the mission. Pay attention at briefings, and this is your last warning, rookie. Targets and expected opposition determine ordinance load. Always fly the D variant of the helicopter, it is better equipped. Fly slow and low. Use cover and intelligence to get in and get out without being detected. Avoid conflict with hostiles unless they are mission objectives. When confronted by enemy threats get the fast kill or evade. Take out the radar, AAA, and SAMs, in that order, and the rest will be blind and helpless if you are careful.

Review references:
Ben Chiu,
Joe Porter,
Tom Chick,
Bill Mansill:
Tom "KC" Basham:
Dan Bennett, PC Gamer, volume 3, number 7, July, 1996, 94%
Denny Atkin, Computer Gaming World, number 144, July, 1996, pg. 164-169, 5/5 (100%).

Strategy references:
Ben Chiu, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 70, September, 1996, pg. 124-125.
Kevin J. McCann, Computer Player, volume 3, number 3, August, 1996, pg. 40 - 43.
$16.95 Origin Strategy Guide:
Robin G. Kim, Computer Gaming World, number 146, September, 1996, pg. 192-194.