Retro Helicopter Simulation


Growing up in the 1970s, the first home computers started to gain popularity in the early 1980's with machines like the ZX81, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64,BBC  Micro, Dragon 32, Oric 1 and IBM PC. The 1980s was one of the best ever decades, excellent movies, the best music,  new technology being made available in the home and the rise of home gaming! 

zxspectrum3  commodore64  bbcmicro  pc

There were so many different operating systems but it was an exciting period for gaming. Simulation games began to be made available for the home user. Psion Flight simulator and Night Flight were one of my favorites.

  sierracover sierra

Sierra developed a 3D helicopter simulator in 1987 and now as technology has advanced so much you can even play it in a browser window ! In fact if you follow this link, you can play it now and see how helicopter simulators were like in 1987! 

LHX Attack chopper is another, decades before DCS was around, this was a combat helicopter simulator. Developed by the makes of FIFA series, electronic Arts in 1990.

lhxattack lhx2

Yes electronic arts were around then and they were also very big even back in the 1990's. Again if you want to try this yourself head over to this link to see actually play the game.

ds2  ds3

Desert Strike was realeased in 1992 and you have an outside isometric view of the helicopter. Again released by Electronic arts. It features the Pache AH64 helicopter. The graphics are quite good although dated but it is remarkabley fun to play! Check it out and play it here

Gunship 2000 was a helicopter combat flight simulator and is the sequel to Gunship by MicroProse. It was released in 1991 for MS-DOS. Amiga, Amiga CD32 and PlayStation versions were released in 1993, 1994 and 1996 respectively. Gunship 2000 significantly enhanced and expanded the features and gameplay from the original Gunship. Key areas of change were a move to full 256-color graphics, enhanced terrain and general visuals, the ability to fly multiple helicopter types and finally the ability to command a team of helicopters and their crews. Play it here

gunship2000 gunship2000a


Comanche was a series of simulation games published by NovaLogic. It feature a RAH-66 Commanche attack helicopter. The graphics used wer based on voxel technology which allowed more detail and more realistic terrain than other simulators at the time. There were a number of games and you can play a selection of them at this link.

Comanche Box Art comanche 4 48548


The commanche games were a series of games made between 1992 - 2001, The games at the time were very advanced and even a real helicopter pilot was quoted as saying on the Commanch Maximum Overkill version that  the terrain it created was more believable than the army simulator's at the time! The graphics were cutting edge at the time and pilots were used to evaluate some of the games. The series included the following versions :


Comanche: Maximum Overkill (1992)
Comanche: Global Challenge (1993) - three new campaigns
Comanche: Over the Edge (1993) - four new campaigns
Comanche CD (1994) - a compilation of Maximum Overkill and mission disks, plus 10 bonus missions. Rereleased in 1997 from SoftKey As Comanche CD Special Edition. Includes a demo of America Online, and features Windows 95 compatibility.
Comanche 2 (1995)
Werewolf vs Comanche 2.0 (1995) - a pack of two games with a compatible multiplayer mode
Comanche 3 (1997)
Comanche Gold (1998) - Comanche 3 with additional campaigns and various enhancements
Comanche 4[6] (2001)


Some of the above can also still be played online, check this link for commanche maximum overkill version.

So thats it, I'm sure there may be other retro helicopter game sout there but as far as I remember , the ones listed in this article were amongst the most popular. Dont forget to join our helicopter community here :