Orbiter Spaceflight Simulator

Orbiter Spaceflight Simulator

Blast off with this realistic space simulator

Platform: Windows 95, Windows 98/ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista

Type: freeware

Manufacturer: Martin Schweiger

Size: 60.7MB

Bottomline: An excellent simulator

Simulators are not just about combat, many peaceable missions require just as much skill and practice. Orbiter is a space simulator with a mixture of real and science-fiction spacecraft.

Installation is very simple, just unzip the download file and double-click on the Orbiter program. There is no wizard or entry in Add/Remove programs. Simpy delete the folder to uninstall. The disadvantage with this is that you will have to create a shortcut for the Desktop and Start Menu by hand.

The interface is similar to most serious flight simulators. A window appears in which you can select a scenario and change the program settings. It can be run in a window or in full screen and works well with both widescreen and standard monitors.

Unlike many free games, there is plenty of documentation. This makes essential reading as this is no arcade space sim. Very careful handling is needed for all the included craft along with an understanding of how space flight differs. As an example of how detailed this simulator is, the Space Shuttle cannot launch properly if infinite fuel is selected; it relies on the reduction of mass as the fuel is burnt to maintain acceleration.

This is a very rewarding simulator if you are willing to learn the controls and procedures. You can also record and play back missions, just in case you don't believe tales of successful Shuttle landings.