Developer: Disney Software
Publisher: Disney Software
Flight simulators usually involve either air combat or standard civilian aviation. There are very few games in the genre that offer a truly unique aerial experience. The Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer series let you participate in disciplined test flying, and Gee Bee Air Rally introduced air races to the genre, but perhaps the most creative and fun oddball sim ever released was Stunt Island.
Stunt Island put you in the role of a Hollywood stunt pilot, and also let you play director with its outstanding movie recorder and editor. There was no plot to speak of - just an island that could be filled with hundreds of buildings, vehicles, and other props. You could create any set your imagination could cook up and then film yourself flying over and through it. There were also several unique missions involving crazy things like landing a biplane on the back of a moving freight train. The filmed action could be spliced together in the movie editor, which also included tools for adding soundtracks and synchronizing voice files.
Despite the game's terribly low resolution, lack of 3D hardware support, and general age, budding directors are still using it to create their own mini-masterpieces. Amazingly, a team called 21st Frog Productions has used the software to make three feature-length Star Wars parodies that are technically brilliant and surprisingly funny. The first, Truck Wars Episode I: The Bovine Threat, featured nearly 40 minutes of footage, and subsequent installments went on for hours. These and other movies prove not only what kind of creative genie can be uncorked by games of this type, but also the surprising power of the original Stunt Island engine and movie editor.
A sequel to Stunt Island would be the stuff of legends considering the power of today's hardware, but there's nothing in the works at this point. Until someone gets smart and develops a sequel, we'll just have to content ourselves with fan-created movies and flight sims like Crimson Skies that are imbued with similar levels of creative flair.