Aircars Review

First thoughts on Aircars - 6/30/97

After a few minor snags, Aircars is here at last! Here are some first thoughts and observations on the game.

Good points:

  • Control is dead-on and frame rate is decent, probably 20 FPS.
  • Enemy AI is surprisingly smart -- once they take a few hits, they retreat with a smokescreen for cover, then circle back for another attack.
  • Lots of weapons and powerups to collect. The shotgun and rocket launcher are particularly enjoyable.
  • Explosions are nice (although not IS2 quality).
  • The terrain fades in nicely, avoiding a lot of pop-up like Cybermorph has, and there is some shading, too.
  • You can momentarily launch yourself off the terrain... kind of fun... :-)
  • It networks!!!

Bad points:

  • Some weapons are rather dull, like the machine gun. It looks like the bullet is suspended in front of your aircar.
  • Missions are sporadic -- for 1-2 minutes you may not find any enemies, then suddenly 4-6 are on screen.
  • Even the normal difficulty setting is really tough! One or two hits and you're dead.
  • Not enough strategy.
  • Very little to no t-mapping.
  • Repetitive sound effects.


Aircars is a decent game of its genre, which is all too prevalent on the Jag. The smooth control and networking features will set this game apart from the crowd, however. It's hard to believe this game wasn't released in 1995, when it could have been a contender, and is clearly superior to other Jag games (DDV, CF, etc.) in terms of pushing the system. In 1997, of course, the graphics aren't quite up to par, but still solid enough for an enjoyable game. I recommend networked play over solo, however.

And as an added bonus, Aircars has a superb full-color label and glossy manual with plenty of artwork! A nice touch on top of it all... great work, ICD!

Jaguar "ship/tank/mission" games ranking:

1 BattleMorph
2 Hover Strike CD
3 Aircars (tie)
3 I-War (tie)
3 CyberMorph (tie)
4 Hover Strike cart

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Copyright © 1997 by Carl Forhan. All rights reserved.