I think my very first experience with any sim was with a demo of 688 Attack Sub. My grandfather made my sister and I some 5" floppies of some small games like Frogger, Mummy and some sort of side scrolling WW1 biplane game as well as some demos. One of those was 688 Attack Sub. It fascinated me and I loved the graphic style and I remember well that dot matrix printer typing out orders and the sound of it. This was on an old Tandy computer and I have a memory of the sound not always working so when it would decide to work, I was thrilled because then I could hear the sound of the torpedoes hitting.
Immersion is what I miss most out of sims. Most sims are missing that special element of yesteryear. The old games can't do a fraction of what modern sims do technically but they always managed to do what modern sims today consistently fail to do. It doesn't seem to take that much either to breath some character into them because for the most part it was simply the way they used art and music and in game screen menus and being clever. They did a lot with a little. I even miss the full motion video stuff like in Navy Fighters, Top Gun Fire at Will and Jedi Knight Dark Forces 2.
I've always wished someone could develop a solid engine base with good flight modeling, physics, damage modeling, weather, dynamic campaign generation with plenty of design tools to create in-game, non-flight immersion fluff to flesh things out that was moddable so that we could get unique eras of aviation and military aviation. That way someone could make a Test Pilot sim out of it and let us fly over the desert Southwest in all the X planes and interesting lifting body and misc. experimental aircraft but with the visual presentation and soul of the old sims. Then maybe someone could make a Korea War Naval sim out of it.
I suppose if someone out there really wants to make it happen with regards to bringing back old school sim charm they'll do it they want and have the money. I know it seems that there is not the same interest or customer base as back in those days for this kind of product but I suspect many people out there would really take to it including people who are a generation of people who just don't know anything about it so they don't know that they may like it. Even today I see that many people still desire the old school adventure games including newer generations who seem to be just discovering it for themselves and they genre and seem to appreciate the aesthetic, charm and even totally different kind of game play that they are used to. I tend to think that if its done right, it could very well be one of those situations where, "If you build it, they will come".