Ford Simulator 5 has to be one of the silliest games I have ever played. In my opinion, it is one the weakest attempts at public endorsement I have ever seen.
In a rare move in 1989, Ford Motor company teamed up with the computer industry in order to make a game that would attract young customers and influence them to buy their new cars. The result: Ford Simulator. Ford ended up making 6 games: one for every year from 1989 to 1995. Each game was exactly the same in playability: simply different cars and graphics each year. All but the last game were made to run in DOS. Ford obviously must have made a lot of money off of these games, or they would probably not have continued making them.
The game is dull and repetitive. The main menu consists of a list of all the Ford and Ford spin-off company’s cars for that year. You can see cars in all the colors they come in, plus a nifty little profile of the all the car’s statistics. As you can see, the game is packed with consumer information. When you click PLAY! You choose a level: beginner or advanced. After that, you are presented with a much smaller list of about 15 cars to choose from (it doesn’t matter, they are all pretty much the same). When you get on the roadway you have one object: get to Lake Wakatonka as fast as you can.
There are, of course, obstacles: policemen (if you go too fast you get a ticket - 3 tickets, and your out) and crashes. If you crash into pretty much anything you may get a POW! If you get 4 POW!s, you get a CRUNCH! And you die.
Updater's remark: Every now and again you will see a huge blue truck in front of you. If you drive behind it it will fix one of those POWs.
Every once in a while, you can stop at a gas station. After you pay for your gas (the game worries about money for you, don’t worry) you always have one dollar left over. You can buy stuff (drink, candy, map, nothing). I recommend a map, as you can use it to figure out where you are going. When you get to Lake Wakatonka, you win. The End.
Colorful and sickeningly sweet, almost like a cartoon. The cartoon image is also upheld when you crash; a large POW! Flashes across your screen. All in all, they are mediocre for the year, 1994.
When played in DOSBOX, the sounds are just beeps and whistles like Artoo-Detoo. When played on Windows, the sounds come from your PC speaker in the form of horrible static and buzzes.
No thinking involved. Up arrow to accelerate, down to brake, left and right to steer, Space bar to click through menus. Note about driving though - the driving simulation state is ridiculously sluggish. When I was driving, I felt like a drunkard, weaving in and out of the curbs. The car handles like a hippopotamus.
In Conclusion, I give this game a 2, because most people probably would play the game once and then forget about it. There is nothing addictive about the plot or the drive handling. I suppose if you like Ford cars, download this, but for the amount of money Ford Motors has, they could have made this game state of the art. The first game, made in 1989, was great for its time, but the games never really got better. The screen is heavily pixilated, and the sounds are elementary. It is also very unrealistic, because you have to crash into four 18-wheelers at 100 miles per hour to finally die, and the fact that you have to get gas every 5 minutes is also annoying. I'm surprised Ford didn't realise that its not really the right message to send about their cars. Ford Simulator 5 is a mediocre game, but it could have been much, much more.
Installation of this game is a little strange. When you get the file, unzip it and click install. Click your way through the process, and when you are done, go to your C: / drive and click FORD. When you get there, click Ford and it should start playing.