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.