Space Shuttle Mission Simulator  - Review

Space Shuttle Mission Simulator
Rating: T - Teen

[Ed. Note: We have revised this review in light of additional information we have become aware of, and apologize for the incorrect information we gave before.]

The product is a simulation of more than 10 space shuttle missions, and you will be handling take-off, re-entry, landing, even a space walk. The graphics are very good - both from outside of the space craft to the inside cockpit and crew. A little jiggling imitates the initial shaking upon take-off. Communication sounds exactly like that heard from mission control when you listened to the actual broadcasts of space flights.

Then it comes time for you to take control. You are faced with an enormous control panel with almost indecipherable abbreviations. It is so large that you can only see segments at one time. From the very beginning, you are instructed to read the Captain's Reference Manual - and where it this manual? It turns out that when you install the game, the Captain's Reference Manual is installed in the folder where the game was installed - but we did not see any in-game links to it and did not know it was there. If you launch the game from it's desktop icon, you will never see the manual. To find the manual, use the Start->Programs menu. It will be in the list under SSMS along with the application itself. I finally found a reference to this buried in the last page of the printed Quick Start Manual that came with the disk.

The Space Shuttle is a very complex vehicle, and its control panel is enormous! You really will need to study the 130+ page Captain's Reference Manual in order to accomplish anything. Consider this as indispensable pre-flight training, where you will become aquainted with the myriad dials, switches and readouts, and be able to find them when you have to.

It could be an exciting and very educational 'game'. Finding the right switch or knob and the right readout at the right time is difficult. I wish that there were a 'passenger' mode, where everything happens automatically and you go along for the (successful) ride, with the controls that have to be activated being highlighted but running by themselves.

Fun Factor: The views out the windows are stunning.
Player Friendly: This game requires serious study to play. Like the real shuttle astronauts, you will have to practice for your missions many times.

Reviewed by: Editor - Jul/10

  • Space Shuttle Mission Simulator
  • © Iseberg
  • Platform(s): W7 Vista XP
  • To Order: Win $50.00