Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Favorite Flying Games

Regular readers of this blog know that for the last few months I have spent a lot of time flying flightsim 'games', either Pacific Fighters or IL 46. Do they know that I've had a thing for flying games for quite awhile?

I admit that a lot of flightsims (eg European Airwar) and more traditional 'physical' games about flying combat planes (eg. Avalon Hill classics such as 'Dauntless') haven't exactly excited me. And the concept of flying a civilian airliner or light plane around a peaceful map (ala Microsoft Flight Simulator) absolutely doesn't excite me.

Besides the two I play these days, other flightsims which have somwhat interested me include:

Pacific Airwar - particularly the aspect that allowed one to control entire fleets on large scale map, focus in and take control of a particular plane, swap planes under control, etc. The game also had the 'feel' which makes good flightsim games so immersive.

Janes ATF - modern jet combat. Never really understood the game's finer points but loved the vast sweeping battles and the relatively realistic terrain (for the era of about 10 years ago, that is).

B17 - More 'realistic'/difficult than the above two games, it was the functioning cockpits and difficulty of taxiing in this game that both totally frustrated and intrigued me.

Going back another ten years, there were two games which grabbed my attention more completely than anything else has until IL46 came along.

Wings - This was a graphic book game, one of those carefully designed games which usually only get one print run but whose components, luckily, seem to last forever. From memory, each player had a book with illustations on each of its pages of views from a cockpit. The players simultaneously planned and announced their actions for the turn, the announcements were cross indexed, and players turned pages in their respective books to get an updated view from the cockpit. I think we used dice for the shooting. The planes were WWI biplanes. It was great, truly excited the imagination.

Aces High - An old WWI biplane game which we played on my friend's amiga compter for over a year. Never lost its thrill. You could almost smell the oil, and I can still remember the sick feeling coming over me when given a trench strafing mission.

So what brought all of this on? Reading the review for the relatively recent card based flying combat game of 'Wings of War' over at Roll Dice Kick Ass.

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