Every Atari 7800 Game Reviewed
Funkmaster V Challenges
Cheat to Win
The List of Lists


5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom

Funkmaster V Reviews

7800 Rank: Unranked

Genre: Flight Sim

Awards: None
This game inspired this yellow man to end his life by running into the jet at take off Pros: Good graphics overall/ technically impressive
Cons: Ridiculous control system/ tedious-not fun
(Insert little joke about how bad this game is... or... don't)

Overview: Life is crazy, dudes. I used to have a 7800 website in the double aughts that also boasted "Every Atari 7800 Game Reviewed", and it was true. I lost that domain because it was associated with a band
I quit playing in, and eventually, the site was lost forever. As I was preparing to do the Tomcat review for this new, band-less, site, I looked at the "Wayback Machine's" snapshot of my old web page and couldn't believe what I read: Tomcat was THE ABSOLUTE last game I reviewed of the 7800's original 58 library on the old site. Flash forward nearly 20 years later, and Tomcat is ONCE AGAIN, the last official game reviewed for the NEW site. That's crazy. That is really crazy, in fact. This should tell you how much I hate these Atari 7800 flight simulators. I save them for last, much like a terrible household chore that involves dealing with dead animals or human fecal matter. So... human fecal matter... Tomcat... pretty fitting. In the manual, the sexy Absolute programmer (complete with image Buffalo hide bomber's jacket) gives us his take on military planes and his love for them. He also said he spent hours talking to pilots and experts before making this game. This poor brother was forced to cram the thing he loves more than anything (besides maybe grooming his thick mustache) into an 8 bit console from 1984. While it looks like he did the best he could, Tomcat: F-14 just doesn't do the trick as far as fun gameplay is concerned.

Graphics: The game has many faults, but the graphics are not to blame for the game stinking it up. Of all the flight sims, this one has the most intricate systems and most complicated menus in place. The Dashboard (again, is that what you call it in a fighter jet?) has all of the shiny bells and whistles you could stand to look at. On the plus side, the control stick for the jet doesn't look as much as a sex toy as Ace of Aces', and the colors are much brighter than that dreadful Super Huey game. You even start on an aircraft carrier that is done well. As you juice your engines up, there is a guy twirling his finger around like he's going "whippee! You're in a plane! Big deal!" He then salutes you and runs into one of your engine to end his life. Even the opening title screen is cool. But don't let this fool ya, folks. It may look like something shiny and new, but friends, death awaits those who play. And I don't mean a carnal death, I mean brain death...perhaps the worst kind.

Sound: We all knew this category would suck...so why do I have to tell you fine people? I will say that a cool feature in this title is that when you hit the speed of mach 1, something that sounds like a bean fart fires off signaling that you have broken the sound barrier. Wait a minute...is that cool?

Gameplay: Here is the deal for all of you kids too young to know or all of you fine people that avoided this genre of games altogether back in the day. Maybe, and I will even say probably, the amount of labor that went into programming these flight games mammothed the work that went into remaking Ms. Pac-Man and Xevious. I'm sure the research involved in a game like this would score an "A+" if turned into a local community college as a term paper. But here's the deal: When I have to sit down with an instruction manual in my lap and flip my difficulty switches back and forth and press "select" and "reset" over and over again to keep this bird in the air...it just isn't worth it! How can this be fun for anyone? You have to read in the manual how to do everything in this game: What altitude to engage enemy fighters, how to switch to machine guns (which is a chore), how to land the blasted thing at night, matching up numbers, flipping switches, shooting at "washed out" jets bumbling over a confusing radar. What is the deal people? What possessed you to think this was a good idea? Can I get an "Amen?" This game has few gameplay flaws except for the fact is that it is totally unapproachable. Gamers will hate it for the fact that it is boring and trite and flight sim fans will hate how lame the graphics are and how there is no point in playing this. Oh yeah, they also will hate the fact that this is not like flying a plane at all.

Originality: This is the most in-depth flight sim in the Atari 7800's library. But even with the landing on an aircraft carrier at night portion of the game, Tomcat just isn't exciting and doesn't push the envelope. It's basically a game where you struggle to get in the air, struggle to blow something up, and struggle to land. No thanks, I have things in real life I can struggle with, thank you.

Value: The value of this game is poor.

Overall: I hate to tell the man in the bomber jacket this, but bucko, you sure wasted a bunch of time talking to all of those pilots and experts. I'm sure you and your friends thought you were gonna win a Nobel Peace Prize when you designed this game so long ago. I mean, hell... it seems like you knew what you were doing. Everything is so confusing and annoying that it really feels like I'm laboring in a jet rather than playing a video game. I'll betcha a buck, that whoever sold you guys on the idea that flight sims for the 7800 would be a great idea is selling life insurance right now. In the end, this game is presented well and the hours it took to program it are not worth five minutes of your time to play it. Sad, really. I'm really really really sad. Hey! But that's it! No more flight sims to review ever! AND! The original 58 games have been completed and it took me and the boys less than two years to do it! WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!

Other reviews of Ace of Aces:
CV's Atari 7800 Panoramic Froo-Froo: 2.5 out of 5.0 (Weak)

Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Atari Age for allowing the use of these screenshots for this review.