Ford Simulator

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Ford Simulator
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An interesting way to advertise your lineup.
Genre: Racing/simulator
Platforms: DOS, Windows 3.1/95, Mac (Ford Simulator 2 only)
Release Date: 1987 (The Ford Simulator), 1990 (Ford Simulator 2), 1992 (Ford Simulator 3), 1994 (Ford Simulator 5.0/6.0), 1996 (Ford Simulator 7.0)
Developer: Beck-Tech, The Soft Ad Group, Inc.
Publisher: Ford Motor Company
Franchise: Ford Games
Next Game: Ford Racing (2000)


Ford Simulator is a series of video games that was developed by The Soft Ad Group, Inc. (and Beck-Tech for the first game) published by Ford Motor Company itself between 1987 and 1996. During its 9 years of lifespan there are six known/discovered games of the series and they were distributed free from Ford dealers.

Gameplay

Ford Simulator games were about Ford Motor Company's cars and they were more of an "interactive showroom" than a "simulator" game. Users could look at the lineup of Ford Motor Company at that time, learn informations about it and even test them (in Ford Simulator 1).

Why They Used To Rock

  1. Ford Simulator series started Ford's long-lasting saga in video games, which would be carried over by Ford Racing series later.
  2. They gave very detailed informations about Ford's then contemporary car lineup and their options.
    • Ford Simulator 7.0 takes this to even further, to the point of including FMV's of cars.
  3. Starting from Ford Simulator 2, games started to include cars from Mercury and Lincoln as well.
    • Ford Simulator 7.0 adds Jaguar cars to an already wide lineup.
  4. Graphics of each game are neat for their era.
  5. Idea of an "interactive showroom" was already great on paper and it was executed well in each game. It was also largely unmatched for a long time, it took almost two and a half decade for other manufacturers to imply a similar idea (in their websites off course, but without any simulation thing).
    • Lamborghini actually came a bit close to Ford Simulator when they released Lamborghini Huracan Driving Simulator in 2014 to promote their car Huracan.
  6. The plot of a demo weekend drive to "Lake Wakatonka" can be interesting and entertaining.

The Only Bad Quality

  1. The "simulator" aspect of games were nerfed further and further in each game. In first and second game, you could take your cars into tests, but from third game the WTUTR #6 became mandatory for every next game and each next game was nothing but a nerfed down reskin, to the point that it wouldn't even allow you to select the car you want to drive in 7.0, only options being automatic or manual transmission, that's it. Instead of maintaining a healthy balance between simulator and self-advertisement, developers and (probably) Ford Motor Company leaned towards advertisements more and more and that effectively ruined the "simulator" part of the game.
    • Despite a period of four years from 3 to 7.0, even graphics of simulator aspect (espect player's dashboard from 5.0 and smooth framerates in 7.0) is same, showing developers were never ever bothered with improving the "simulator" aspect, but rather preferred to weaken it down in each game.

Aftermath

The Ford Simulator series effectively ended after 7.0, but there would be another game series with Ford marque itself being main character of it: the Ford Racing series of racing games published by Empire Interactive, which its last game Off Road sadly ended up in Crappy Games Wiki.


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