As anyone in the technology business knows, the life-cycle of most computer programs, whether practical or entertaining, lasts little more than 18 months. But there are some that stand the test of time and become classics, much in the way that the Beatles' music has outlasted 80s hairbands and 90s boybands. You might call these programs the Golden Oldies of the computer world. Some are more evident than others: Tetris, for example. One such gem that you may have missed when it first came around was Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, the 9th in Microsoft's flight simulation franchise.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 actually hit the markets in mid 2003, and for its time it brought in a wealth of innovative design features. For the first time ever, players could synchronize their flight simulation experience with weather conditions from the real world. If you wanted to fly in the snowstorm that was pounding your Chicago apartment, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 let you do it. And the weather looked gorgeous, too: clouds were fully 3D modeled, another first, and responded in real time to changes in the weather.
The weather feature was a big deal for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, but it wasn't the only feature that made the game a classic. Also, people could soar over any location in the world, which would be faithfully mapped in an accurate 3D rendition, and populated by appropriate vegetation and habitation according to the climate and cultural location. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 took advantage of all this by giving you the option of spreading it out over multiple monitors, fully hardware accelerated, of course.
It's no surprise, then that the press loved Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004. The game won dozens of awards and was lauded as the best of its class in dozens more magazines and Internet sites. And it still offers loads to the gamer intrigued by flight simulation. Give the tested and true a shot: step into the cockpit of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004.