Try Your Luck Battling Cold War Jets in F-19 Stealth Fighter Game: Have you heard of the F-19 Stealth Fighter?
No, it’s not a new warplane from the United States, NATO, China, or Russia. The airplane exists on the video game platform Steam. I had to ask my 14-year-old son for the lowdown. He said the F-19 game is popular on Steam with many fans, and it is only $6.99 to play.
The graphics for the combat flight simulator are not great, but it is well thought out, according to my son, a Steam enthusiast.
The game was originally made in 1988, so it isn’t the most modern video game you will ever play but read on because it may become your new pastime.
F-19: Going After an Iranian F-14 Tomcat
The premise is that you are flying a stealth fighter, but it’s during the Cold War. The missions are randomly generated, and you can receive an assignment that puts you up against an Iranian F-14 Tomcat, for example. My son said it has a decent number of reviews – 56 “Very Positive” ratings, which is considered good for Steam.
Remember the Commodore 64?
I mentioned the graphics will not blow you away (it’s not Red Dead Redemption), but you have to remember this game was initially designed for the Commodore 64 and old-school IBM PC DOS. So, it was ahead of its time. This is also a full-color game, which was rare in the 1980s.
Mission Briefing Then Intelligence Report
You first sit in a briefing room and receive your mission to go to Libya or the Persian Gulf and two other regions, including Europe, if you want to take on the Soviets. Then you are offered an intelligence briefing, and the mission targets are highlighted. The game lets you choose how many Sidewinders or AMRAAM missiles you have on board. You can also select munitions such as HARMs, Harpoons, Mavericks, and other missiles and bombs.
It Even Has Aircraft Carrier Take-off and Landing
You take off conventionally or from an aircraft carrier. Your main view when flying the F-19 is a heads-up display. There are three radar views (in-air, on ground, or on-sea) that allow 360 degree views. You can toggle among the three radars and choose a rear view if a bogey is on your tail.
You are in a contest with enemy airplanes and surface-to-air missiles, so many missions have you assigned to take out a radar installation first. But you have stealth attributes, so safely penetrating air defenses is possible with skillful flying.
It Doesn’t End When You Get Shot Down; Try to Evade Capture
One exciting aspect of the game is failure. If you get shot down, you may eject safely, but you must fight to be rescued by close combat search and rescue aircraft. If you get captured by the Russians, the game shows you an article written by Pravda heralding that the bad guys caught an American.
Players can also select “Cold War” version. If you are detected flying over an enemy base, there is a “diplomatic incident,” and you are penalized. Scoring and achieving “air medals” depends on the success of your mission.
Authentic Reviews from the Old Days
The old PC gaming magazines from the 80s found F-19 Stealth Fighter worth the money. “On the C64, F-19 Stealth Fighter was a near perfect flight simulator, succeeding through accuracy, realism, depth and atmosphere. On the PC it’s all so much better thanks to MicroProse’s considerable talent in using the host machine’s capabilities and surrounding it with top-notch presentation,” one reviewer wrote.
So, pony up the seven bucks on Steam and give it a whirl. It should get you excited about taking on various 1980s adversaries like Libya, Iran, or Syria, not to mention the Soviet Union. Be warned, one reviewer said it is “Compulsive, addictive and ruinous to your social life.”
Real Stealth Fighter Photos
Expert Biography: Serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.