Publisher: GameTek Inc.
Platform: Classic MacOS
Release Date: 1993
Media: Floppy Disk
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Flight simulators tend to be too realistic (complicated) or not realistic (complicated) enough. Valkyrie strikes that perfect balance for helicopter simulation much in the same way Hellcats does for airplanes. Valkyrie was developed by the late Donald A. Hill Jr., developer of half a dozen great Macintosh flight simulators. With multiple missions, simple controls and a sandbox environment Valkyrie has a lot to offer.
The control scheme is as simple as it can be for a helicopter while still feeling realistic. Keyboard buttons control lift and rotation, the mouse controls horizontal movement. The “h” key will put your helicopter into hover by re-centering the controls. You have two weapons available, guns and missiles, controlled by the mouse button and “m” key respectively. The controls are extremely intuitive. A few minutes playing around in the training ground will have you piloting like a pro.
Graphics are average quality of the time. The game seems to sacrifice some detail for the benefit of smooth animation. Scenery between bases tends to be barren, which makes for a boring wait on your way out. However, once you get deep into a mission, you’ll be glad that your helicopter remains responsive. Objects are still easily identifiable. When you shoot down an enemy helicopter it crashes in a satisfying explosion.
Valkyrie’s major shortcoming is its limited number of missions. It comes loaded with 10 missions, 6 of which are for training. Fortunately even the training missions, which focus on multiple configurations of dog fights, have a lot of playability. Dog fighting in a helicopter is more difficult than it may seem. The actual missions focus more on strafing, which your helicopter is much better suited. Still, the actual missions are quite varied from blowing up tanks, bridges, and even leveling an entire island.
My favorite thing to do in sandbox games is see how far beyond the intended game play I can push them. The thing I love most about Valkyrie is that virtually everything can be blown up. Trees, vehicles, buildings, they’re all fair game. In Valkyrie, you don’t just defeat your enemy, you burn their base down to the ground. Combine this with a realistic physics environment and you have a game with long-lasting playability.
Valkyrie works well in BasiliskII. Download it from the Macintosh Garden and give it a play.