LGR – Ford Simulator II – DOS PC Game Review

LGR – Ford Simulator II – DOS PC Game Review


[LGR Theme] [fizz, sip] Aahhh! First thing’s first, if you have heard of this game, then my hat is off to you. If I wore a hat. Ford Simulator II is one of those strange games that was released right around the beginning of the ’90s. This one came in 1989. It was developed by Soft Ad, and was actually published by a whole bunch of weird, random shareware-type
companies like Value-Ware. It’s a CGA games that is essentially– no, it is EXACTLY– a decently-sized ad for Ford Motor Company’s line of cars in 1990. I finally found it again recently on eBay,
having lost my original disk. This version actually came on two disks. The one I had I think only came on one. These are 360K disks, so this is probably closer to the
original way it was released. It requires a CGA graphics adapter with 512K of free RAM. Hard drive optional. Just the way I like it. To start things off, you are greeted with this wonderful introduction screen. Ford presents… Ford Simulator II. Yes, this is an improvement over Ford Simulator I. Just in case you were wondering. “You’ll find a gold mine of facts, figures
and fun in every section of the program.” Test your driving skills, browse through the Electronic Showroom, study the Infocenter, and explore the Buyer’s Guide. Let us see if we do find, indeed, a gold mine. In every section. Press F10 for the menu. And the menu shows… There is the Driving Simulator, Electronic Showroom, Buyer’s Guide, Infocenter and Customer Feedback, as well as Exit to DOS, which is
very handy for these types of games. Believe it or not, a lot of games didn’t
have an “Exit to DOS” at this point. This one does. A lot of games didn’t. That annoys me. So, uh, let’s go to the Electronic Showroom. This always confused me because as a kid, well, look, look, you’re selecting different cars. You’re looking at cars like the Ford Aerostar, which we had when I was growing up. Uh, you know, a whole bunch
of other things that you can… look at here as far as information about the car, which is very boring. You can look at very bad artwork of the different cars, which were ugly to begin with, but in CGA graphics, they’re even worse. I seriously hate this time period for cars. And it is in fact a simulator of… Ford’s… products. And I mean that in the most liberal sense. Complete with selling points, attributes which the dealer would probably tell you, such as its low cost, very good economy, and it’s a city/second car. You look at the cylinders for… whatever reason you may want and cargo capacity and miles per gallon. The Escort actually gets pretty good mileage. Anyway, okay, so the car information section’s a bit of a dud. Next up is the Infocenter.
Now this is very interesting. I hardly ever messed with this when I was younger,
but I just started messing with it today! About five minutes ago. And… it’s… Well, like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Just take a look. [PC speaker beeping] [PC speaker beeping] [melodic PC speaker beeping] You have to hear it to believe it, indeed. The PC speaker’s rendition of the JBL audio system did not exactly sell me on buying that nine-piece extra. This thing came with a CD player. In 1989, that’s hardcore as crap, man. The only other thing in here is
Customer Feedback. It is what it is. You can give feedback and then print it out and send it to Ford. Whoop-dee-doo. Lastly here, we have the meat of the game, the Driving Simulator. It is in fact so much of a simulator that once you drive the car around for a while, the starter goes out,
and then once you get that fixed, the transmission goes at about 80,000 miles. [taps on keyboard] Ha ha! Oh, car jokes. It’s simple enough. You can make the difficulty easy or not so easy. The game is controlled with the arrow keys and A and Z. which shift gears. This first event here is the drag strip, where your car is in a manual
transmission no matter what you do. The car is a piece of crap. The steering wheel says “SC,” which I assume, perhaps,
it is the 1990 Thunderbird SC. If that’s the case, I would
never want to own one of these, because it only goes to 100 miles an hour. Maxes at 5,000 RPM in fifth gear. Kind of sad, my Buick outperforms that thing. Interestingly enough, this is the ONLY
car that you can drive in the game. Remember how I said the car
showroom earlier was very confusing? Well, that is because it is nothing more than a digital car showroom
intent on trying to sell you cars. From a video game. Which is pointless, because you
can’t actually buy them in the game. Uh, you’d have to go to a real
Ford dealership in order to do that. Choosing a car in the showroom does
not mean you can drive it in the game. You only have this “SC” car to drive with, which always maxes out at 100 MPH. Even on this mode here, where it lets you drive on a road. Against… traffic… cars… [chuckles] Or, at least, you can try to drive against it. The steering is unbelievable. I will admit that the road animation is rather nice, especially for a CGA game. I’ve always been impressed with that. I think the goal of this is to get to the end the quickest without hitting too many cars. Or running off the road. You never really know when the end is because nothing ever changes.
The background just shifts left and right. So that’s the city challenge. There’s also this backroads deal which puts you in a mountain type of environment. If this is the mountains, this has got to be the flattest mountain road I’ve ever seen. I live in the mountains, and, uh… [chuckles] this is absolutely comical. You try to avoid semi trucks on
this one, which strangely look like… uh, no semi truck I’ve ever seen. They look smallish-large on the horizon,
and then when they get close to you, it’s like a bug is splatting on your windshield. I guess you’ve noticed there is no crashing in this game. I do suppose Ford didn’t want their cars crashing. Interestingly enough, games still do this today. Hence Gran Turismo not having damage. I suppose this is a predecessor to
those random Xbox and PS2 games like Ford Racing and Mustang Racing
and whatever else they come up with. To sell off at ten dollars, brand new. I’m still waiting for a next-gen
one of those games because there’s a very special place in my cold black heart for Ford Simulator 2.0. I played it back in the day when
I couldn’t get other games working. So it was awesome because it
was racing an ambiguous car on non-existent roads with the most unrealistic physics and handling model ever. I love it. I don’t know why. I… think this is probably a horrible game, but… that’s what nostalgia does for you. There is definitely nothing more to say about this game, if you could even call it a game. It’s just a very, very awkward piece of history. And also of adware. You still see companies doing this today. I like the quote-unquote “game” Yaris on Xbox Live. Usually these games were released free of charge, like Yaris, for the sole reason of advertising a brand. And back in the day,
I suppose this was rather effective. At least, it got around places.
I knew several friends that had this, so… Ford Simulator II. Very awkward game. At least worth trying out.

100 thoughts on “LGR – Ford Simulator II – DOS PC Game Review

  1. We once had this cd rom with a ton of games on it. Demo's, shareware, full versions…it was hard to tell as it didn't explain a darn thing. It was all legal and on it was one of those Ford racing games too. I'm not sure what version it was but you where given a map and had to meet up with friends at a lake. That was all you could do, though there where multiple roads leading to it. You started at the retailer and drove to the lake. Events happened on the way like someone having a broken down car and you could choose if you wanted to stop and help or cruise on. Pretty nifty back then.

  2. I had this fucking game lol. Couldn't decide if it was fun or not because it came across so oddly at the time. Was it really a game? Shit I'm still trying to figure it out.

    Props on the boards of canada shirt.

  3. I played all of these Ford Simulators last year on DosBox. They are interesting but not super fun. I did like one of the later ones slightly better as you can chose what path you want to take (whilst driving) to get to the location that you are supposed to go too ( i forgot which game it is).

  4. One of my favorite racing games when it was new was Beetle Adventure Racing. It really was just an overglorified ad for the new beetle by VW too. (for N64)

  5. One actually good game like this is "Volvo the game" released by SimBin. It's basically a small slice of Race 07, but with only one track and all the cars being Volvo cars. 

  6. Watching a classic LGR. 🙂 I actually had the first Ford Simulator. Came on a single, blue 3.5" diskette. Good times.

  7. Hey Clint, listened to this review with headphones and, for the first time, noticed the 80s-sounding music in the background. Do you know the name? I already tried Darude – Sandstorm. It's not that.

  8. Would it be strange to say I love your videos and at night they put me to sleep . And I mean this in a positive way love your stuff man . After a long day they seem to take my mind off things.

  9. That was interesting; didn't think they made this sort of thing back then. Kinda strange making you only drive one car though. Seeing the case for the disc's brought back a lot of memories too; I mind some of them had a key so you could lock them. Though at 4:16; I was reminded of the infamous Crazy bus theme; I had to stop my speakers from trying to self destruct but on the plus side I totally dig the main theme when the game starts. Oh and yeah those trucks look like Tea bags lol.:D

  10. Ford have some of the greatest cars ever. The Mustangs, the Galaxies, the Torinos, the Thunderbirds, the Edsels, the Explorers, the Mercuries, the Elites, the Rangers and many more. Love Ford.
    Also Cadillac, Volvo & Dodge are my favourite brands of cars.

  11. Gran Turismo 5 and 6 finally included a damage model based on the structure of the car… though this has seemingly no effect on aerodynamics or performance…

  12. You have a lot of games that I played on your channel. I'm back here again after 2 years.

    Ford Sim is a good example of those kinds of 80's oddball shit.

    I ended up playing a lot of these weird fuckin games because I would scour people's computers and floppies when we were bored at fiends places, family gatherings, or like when I was being babysat somewhere else instead of at home and so on just to see what was on there, and sometimes I'd find some games.

    Kingdom of Kroz, ford sim, blockout, ascii games, I found indiana jones once the one where you jump around on a train. Some remake of Asteroids my father didn't even know he had. He also had a super basic miniputt game.

    I see them pop up on youtube nowadays

  13. Love this review. Hilaroiusly good fun man! Though a real SC does 140mph and handles pretty good for a big car.

  14. I knew Ford Racer 2 existed because I own Ford Racer 3 on steam (Don't ask how it got on there because I don't know, I don't drink or do drugs), so does that count? :3

  15. Some time has passed since you made this review. I may have agreed with you im 2009 about that era of cars and the digital showroom. Now i really appreicate the late 80'e and early 90's cars and that pixel art digital showroom oozes with retro coolness. Agree?

  16. I have the second floppy disk for this game but not the first so I can't play it. Do you know any places online where I can download it? (I know you have it on floppy not online but whatever)

  17. Just a few videos away from clearing your DOS playlist, its been one hell of an insightful and entertaining experience so far. Good to see you are (and hopefully still) a BoC fan as well.

  18. SC is indeed the Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe. It had a supercharged V6. It put out 225 hp, quite a bit for the time as we were still gun shy about making cars that had rip-your-face-off acceleration. Unfortunately, being a Thunderbird, after the engineers design a really nice speedster to recall the days of the 57 Tbird, marketing weighed it down with "conveniences" that were not wanted by anyone who wanted a Tbird.

    That caused its performance to droop. 61 mph in a quarter mile is about the best it could do.

    So, most people at the time opted for a Mustang, instead.

    Ford as a result of this mistake cancelled the Thunderbird. ..a line that outlasted any other model. And, because marketing people are easy at selling (themselves) and engineers aren't, Ford canned the entire engineering team who worked on it.

  19. We had the Macintosh version of this on our Mac Classic when I was a kid. It was basically the same except in black and white and some of the sounds and music were better.

  20. You got to admit though, 90s Ford trucks (especially the diesels) were sexy. :^)

    Also where can I find a copy of this game? Been searching for months on eBay and couldn't find any of the Ford Simulators.

  21. this reminded me of a street racing sim i played that wouldve been about this same time. i dont remember it having colors but there were lots of muscle cars and you could customize your car by finding better parts and engines in the newspaper. you raced the computer and won money which is how you purchased the better parts. cant remember what the title was tho.

  22. I had a '92 Mercury Cougar that had the same steering wheel and analog gauge cluster. The trans went, then the master cylinder, and it ultimately turned into a Flintstone mobile after being left outside for four PA winters. It was a damn nice car though and I wouldn't mind having it back. The car in the game is a Thunderbird Super Coupe, which I also have a soft spot for.

  23. Oh god, I had a 91' Probe GT V6.
    TERRIBLE car! Transmission was made of glass. Always broken. Everything else was mediocre at best

  24. I used to play with the ford simulator I i think.. It had the ford escort xr3 and ford sierra.. These are cars from the 80s

  25. Oh damn! Boards of Canada! Hell yeah dude! If you like 'em you should check out royksopp, plaid, trentmoller, aphex twin, square pusher, the flashbulb… Etc. I know this is an old video but I Love that shirt!

  26. I liked as soon as I saw the oldschool BoC shirt. Also i saw someone else already mentioned it but im still going to leave this comment because this is america damnit!

  27. Slight correction: You didn't necessarily have to physically go to a dealership to get a copy. I electronically responded to something from Ford back in the Prodigy days and was then apparently put on some mailing list as I had a copy of each new release of it mailed directly to me.

  28. I had an '89 Thunderbird SC – I once had it up to 120 on the highway before I started wetting my pants and backing off. It most certainly went over 100 mph. I think the speedo went to 120 or 140… I loved that car and miss it sorely.

  29. I would love to mention the fact that you went from one of the "I drink beer and play games, I'm cool." youtubers to now where you just focus on what is on hand with class.

  30. LGR shout out on The Drive https://www.thedrive.com/news/29908/this-1989-ford-simulator-ii-floppy-disk-lets-you-preview-1990-ford-mercury-lincoln-cars

  31. Even for the time this was a pretty bad game. We had it and it didn't gain much play time over the cga classics of the time.

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