I still play this game from time to time, and as computer games get more sophisticated every year, it surprises me more and more how much game play they fit into this game designed for the 286.

F19 Stealth Fighter was a combat flight simulator put out by MicroProse, meant to represent the top secret Stealth Fighter then in development at the Skunkworks. Of course, the details weren't all correct, but the game wasn't strictly about realism.

The game play focused on flying missions in four different theaters of war: Libya, the Persian Gulf, Central Europe and the Kola Peninsula. There was around 5 dozen missions, involving such things as shooting down a plane carrying a terrorist leader to photographing an enemy SAM Missile. An interesting feature was that you could fly missions in Cold War, Limited War and Conventional War modes. The rules of engagement were different in each.

The different amounts of enemy targets, and the different behaviors they might take, were quite large, especially given the small amount of disk space that the game took up, which couldn't be over a meg or two.

Another interesting thing about the game that was impressive was that in most of the missions, doing such things as making sure you had enough fuel and that you were flying in quietly was just as fun as blowing stuff up. An entire game where all you did was photgraph two targets without firing a shot could be engrossing. On the other hand, blowing stuff up left and right and dogfighting (something the real Stealth Fighter could never do) were also fun.

If the game has a fault, it is that it doesn't always feel like it is a "flying" game. In other words, once you have taken off, you may as well be in a hovercraft since there is not that much worrying about the actual mechanics of flight until it is time to land.

Although probably for anyone under the age of 18 this game would only be interesting in a historical context, I still think it got down the basics of the combat flight simulator better then any other game I can think of.