*On playing the game, this is clearly F-18 Thunderstrike for the Game Boy Color, developed by Morning Star Multimedia and published by Majesco games. Strangely, there's no "Thunderstrike" on the cartridge's sticker - only F-18, whilst Take Two Interactive and Hasbro Interactive logo also appear (instead of Morning Star Multimedia and Majesco games).*
This is the first flight sim I play - it being on an handheld console and a Game Boy Color title, expectations of it being a good game were not sky-high.
The details in the multi-function display are plain to see; the sky and sea are plainly-coloured. You can see waves in the sea and colour changes, as well as clouds at takeoff, in the sky. Conditions are tricky when it is dark, although it is always sunny for the photo finish after successfully completing a mission. Sidewinder and Sparrow missiles look the same; and the aircrafts appear flat. However, the engine sound effects are decent and the few tunes in this game are fair.
There are two game styles. In Arcade, enemies automatically become engaged for the one-on-one dogfights. Takeoff from and return to the cabin are taken care of (even though the former is easy), so they could perhaps have taken these sections out. Although players still have refuelling responsibilities, they start each mission with a full fuel tank, whereas in Simulation the ship is sent out with fuel left over from the previous mission, which may seem silly.
What's strange is how the enemy always appears from the right side in a dogfight. And also how, unlike your craft, the enemy cannot cross over from one side to the opposite on the radar. Now, for each mission you are equipped with finite (straight) Sparrow, and maybe (homing) Sidewinder, missiles. These destroy the enemy in one hit. Since the Missile Bonus is so measly, you may as well make the most out of these.
I've never come across the instruction manual (which I've read was really thick), but I believe the controls in this title are broken - at times targetting can be terribly unintuitive. This can be kinda dodged though. F-18 Thunderstrike is not a tough title. Evading enemy missiles is easy. Even with just the 20mm Vulcan Cannon, taking down the enemy is easy. Refuelling at the right times and landing are the trickiest aspects of the game, but extra squadrons are awarded for doing well. I doubt there is an end to the game, and although the pace picks up, it never became challenging enough - thus I was well bored before I maxed out the score in both modes.
Whilst F-18 Thunderstrike isn't the worst Game Boy Color title I've played (which isn't really saying much), I've played plenty worse titles on superior consoles.
"F-18 Thunder Strike" is a combat flight simulation game released to the Gameboy Color console. In it, players must control a large fighter jet while engaging enemies in mid-air strikes.
Gameplay is presented through either "simulation" or "arcade" modes, chosen by the player prior to beginning the game. There is also an option to disable the music which could prove beneficial appeal wise. While neither mode truly differ from each other, I found "arcade" mode to feature a greater number of enemies in a smaller space over "simulation" mode which took slightly longer to engage a smaller number of enemies. Players have a selection of on-board weapons ranging from standard turret style gun to heat-seeking missiles, chosen and cycled by pressing the "Select" key and fired by pressing "A". The plane is guided through use of the arrow keys.
Graphics I found to be poor in this game. The display is split into two clear sections with the bottom portion occupying a solid blue colour, meant to represent water, and the top featuring a gray solid background which is meant to suggest sky. These sections are also perfect rectangles and don't feature rounded corners, noticeable when doing a full turn and neither part of the screen adapts appropriately. Detailing of the enemy jets is somewhat "blocky" though it is difficult to see this with the numerous twists and turns the play must make to accurately target and fire upon the jets.
The musical compositions on this title aren't great and, as previously mentioned, the player has the option to disable these prior to play. Sound effects otherwise include various "puffs" and "pops" with each weapon fired; very low in quality and not contributing greatly to the title at large.
Overall, "F-18 Thunder Strike" is not a title I would recommend to prospective buyers. The presentation of the game is too poor and not something I would want to play again.