Hell Yes Bring Back That 1990s Flight Sim Aesthetic

Hell Yes Bring Back That 1990s Flight Sim Aesthetic
Screenshot: Tiny Combat Arena

While some retro video game looks are making huge comebacks — muddy PS1 textures, I’m looking at you — I’m particularly excited here to see here a developer bringing back one very particular aesthetic that I was super into as a kid: that of early 90s hardcore military flight sims.

From the F-15 series to Chuck Yeager to Falcon 3.0, these particular games coming out at this particular time all had a few things in common when it came to their visuals, like low-poly aircraft, sparse terrain and dithering. Oh, the dithering.

You don’t see that kind of game anymore because flight sims, obsessed as they are with realism, quickly moved to fill those empty landscapes with hills, and buildings, and satellite data, while the aircraft themselves are in 2021 practically photorealistic.

Not here! This is Tiny Combat Arena, which despite the aesthetic is actually an arcadey aerial shooter for the PC that’s due out in September. What’s more, it’s being published by Microprose, the same brand that released so many of those original flight sims back in the day, and while this isn’t the same company — the original died years ago and a new company simply bought the name — it’ll still be nice seeing the logo turn up before a game that looks like this.

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