Since it's been so long since I've played a PC game that actually required me to think about specs (most of my FPS and gaming is on the Xbox360) I guess I should mention my rig's performance in the game. I have an HP with an i7-2600S CPU, 2.80 GHz, 8GB of RAM. My video card is a pretty much bottom of the barrel Radeon HD 6570; I got this as an office machine rather than a gaming rig. Still, the game (and this is
a game, not a sim, more below) runs fine at Low and Medium graphics settings and stutters just a bit at High. This is in daylight with some puffy clouds and pretty good sight distances.
This is not the next generation of Microsoft Flight Simulators! The first hit, err, download is free to give you a taste. You get a nice little amphibian to fly around the Big Island of Hawaii. No NAVAIDS are available, although they are listed on the map. I suspect that as you upgrade these will become available. There is another plane, a Stearman, which you unlock by reaching level 2 or 3, you level up by getting XP through completing lessons, flying to new airports and completing missions and challenges.
The business model of the game is pretty much all DLC. It's 1600 Microsoft Points to unlock the rest of the state of Hawaii and more missions and (I think) planes. You can also spend MSP to buy a basic P-51 Mustang or a Maule
. The Maule is needed for missions on the big island.
This is definitely a casual flight sim. In that respect, it's not a bad approach. You don't have to pony up $60 to get flying. Graphically it's prettier than FSX, the last Microsoft Flight Simulator version. Also, apparently the game is continuing in development. I suspect that if there isn't a lot of public reaction we won't be getting much more than we see now in the DLC, but if they do get some interest from folks they will add on stuff bit by bit.