Doug Zabizewski is back with another colorful review, this time he goes on a safari into the wilderness of Africa by ways of Aerosoft’s African Airstrip Adventures and it seems like he is not coming back for a while: “Hello fellow sim-pilots! This week I am writing about another Aerosoft-Online product. This one is mission based and it is called African Airstrip Adventures. …/….
This is not my first Aerosoft-Online product I have reviewed, and if I had to summarize this add-on in one word it would have to be, Totally cool, fun, adventurous, challenging, with neat animals and over 20 missions!!!!!! Okay so I never did admit I was good with numbers LOL. The fact is you can’t sum this little gem up in one word. I have enjoyed several mission based flights and add-ons, but none like this one. They have the usual necessities of course, good professional and believable voiceovers. They have a wide range of things to do from jockeying luggage to flying excited onlookers for a chance at a close up of “the big five” animals, it is Africa of course. There are some insane landing strips that can barely even be called a landing strip, which will challenge even the best there is out there. (For those of us that find it a little too hard on those certain strips, you can always turn crashes and damage off, just for those ones, I won’t tell if you don’t).
Okay back to the necessities, enough variety to make you want to keep coming back for more, and very nice graphics. Now it is the extra’s that this one has that really impressed me. There is a career mode within the add-on. Basically you get dispatched on different jobs that actually pay. There are over 20 missions in all so you may get the odd repeat, but you always have the opportunity to turn down a job, but to be honest with the weather, the animals, the variety that this comes with, even reflying a job is worth it. You can even take 2 jobs at once, but make sure you can complete both!
You are Charlie 1, coming in to replace the outgoing Charlie 1, apparently ruffling a few other pilots feathers because normally you would start as Charlie 5 and work your way to Charlie 1, but because of your excellent flight record you were promoted before you even started the job! Nice. All of the missions are worthwhile I will tell you that, but I don’t want to be a spoiler so I have said enough about the missions.
Another very neat feature that this program provides is about 30 flight plans waiting for you in the free flight section of flight simulator. Now most flights suggest a plane, but you can of course fly anything you want. These flight plans range from what amounts to a sightseeing trip to what really has the feel of a couple of bonus missions. So be sure to go to the free flight section, press load, and there will be a long list of flights all starting with AAA- and then a brief description of the flight. They are all worthwhile and I think a definite bonus to an already value packed program.
The graphics are very solid with an excellent frame rate. There is a compass with pointers for those who like/need/enjoy that feature and I do recommend using it at first. There is not a lot of radio procedure or even tower contact so eventually you are able to turn that feature off and because of the solid graphics, you start to use VOR before you even realize it. There are several “official landing strips” and probably twice as many regular strips. At the official strips you have about 9 different aircraft at your disposal. Just fly close to one and you will be given the option to switch. They range from a helicopter to a Maule Orion. I will let you find out what else there is to get your hands on. I am always very afraid of spoiling something for anyone who try’s a suggested product from me so I intentionally keep some information to myself so you, as I did, can enjoy the programmers hard work first hand, however this is not a spoiler, but a strong suggestion. Do take the introductory flight from the outgoing Charlie 1, he has many years of experience and what he tells you will come in useful.
This add-on has the whole package. Great graphics. Great story line. Nice structure, with enough flexibility for anyone who likes to go rogue LOL. Tons of challenge, yet not impossible by any means. I found the fact that I could recognize villages and know where to fly next without any radio aid or using the mission pointer kind of empowering.
Okay, I will stop gushing about this program so you can stop reading and checkout the web site info for yourself. As always I will try to break it down to help you make an informed decision.
- Superior value for the money. The story line is unique and enjoyable. The career mode fits the same category, unique and enjoyable. The graphics are very good and the frame rate is excellent, I didn’t notice a single stutter the entire time I flew and I had the bells and whistles turned all the way up
- Installation: Above average. Just use the EXE and in minutes you are taking/refusing your first job. It’s up to you.
- Documentation: Above average. Once again I fear being a spoiler, but the documentation is extremely informative. It has a very unique presentation, and all in all it is one of the few manuals I have actually enjoyed reading. There are also some good pointers in there so all you “docuphobics” (I know it’s not a word, but you know who you are!) out there don’t completely ignore the documentation. There is a full version and a printer friendly version provided.
- Textures and presentation: Both very good. Remember this is Africa, so there will be areas of sparse desert type land, but there are also areas with lush beautiful colors and other things that I describe as eye candy. (Still no spoilers…I am proud of myself 🙂 )
- Extras: I don’t really know if this would fit under an “extra” category, but I will put this here. The animals in the add-on are realistically difficult to find. Not impossible by any means, and (oooo I feel a little spoiler…..) when you do find them, most have full motion graphics, which really makes it worth the time to search them out, get low and enjoy the scenery. Also approximately 30 flight plans installed for you when you initially install the mission pack to be flown in “free flight mode”.
So in conclusion, this product is most definitely worth the money. I know a product is good when I find myself driving somewhere and thinking….Hey, if I went south after such and such a spot, there may be something of interest there, I will have to check that out when I get home. (A spooky look into the mind of a proud flight sim geek, I hope nobody was injured or emotionally damaged while reading that LOL). Anyhow my point is, if you have to choose one mission based add-on program to purchase out of this paycheck, this would probably be a really good one to choose.
P.S. I can’t promise to answer all e-mail’s but I do feel I stand behind my reviews and I welcome opposing views, suggestions, comments, recommendations, etc. In that light I would like to make myself available at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can also be found occasionally lurking about the following web site (link provided) as well www.simflight.com
NB: simFlight strongly recommends the use of the comments function for any discussion about this article.
At a Glance:
- Installer: EXE — Excellent. You are flying in minutes.
- Documentation: DOC — Well above average, dare I say it, enjoyable.
- Modelling: FSX Format — Above average.
- Texturing: BMP — Above average.
- Extras: The animals in the add-on are realistically difficult to find. Not impossible by any means, and (oooo I feel a little spoiler…..) when you do find them, most have full motion graphics, which really makes it worth the time to search them out, get low and enjoy the scenery. Also approximately 30 flight plans installed when you initially install the mission pack to be flown in “free flight mode”.
- Download Size: 311.37 Mb
- Price: EUR 20.96
- Publisher: www.aerosoft.de
- PURCHASE HERE: http://secure.simmarket.com/aerosoft-online-african-airstrip-adventures.phtml
- Test System: Intel Core2Duo E2220 @ 2.40 GHz-2.40 GHz, 4Gb RAM, Nvidea Geforce G100, Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 (DX9)