DOS - 1988
Also available on: Amiga
Description of Battlehawks 1942
Ohh boy ! This was my first flight sim. Back then, I didn't even have a joystick, but this one really made me buy one. The whole premise for this game is simple: you are either an American or a Japanese, flying fighters, dive-bombers and torpedo bombers against the enemy.
The action can be pretty hectic sometimes. The graphics are pure 1989 16 color EGA, and the best sound hardware supported is Adlib, but even so, this game can capture one's imagination.
The only problem is unfortunately pretty annoying. As the computers going around back in 1989 were incapable of moving the large amounts of polygons needed for a flight sim, every aircraft and ship is a sprite, a 2D drawing, which changes regarding the angle of sight you have on the object.
However, the sprites are drawn in angle intervals, for example, if you were 5 degrees to the left of the 6 o'clock position of a fighter, it would draw it as if it was dead ahead of you. If you were 60 degrees from his six, it would draw it side on. This made deflection shooting (shooting ahead of the enemy plane, forcing it to fly into your bullets) very hard. Torpedoing was also difficult.
Flight modeling isn't really realistic, but gameplay is pretty furious when enemy fighters approach, and the game is fun. Even so, this is a great game, and one that deserves a place in every nostalgic flight sim fan's shelf.
The most recent game that portrayed this scenery was Microprose's 1994 1942: The Pacific Air War, an excellent game that also mixed in tactical naval ops as well as some of the best WW2 Pacific theatre aircraft modeling ever, which could be regulated to your preferences.
Review By HOTUD
Comments and reviews
Ygrek 2016-05-04 0 point DOS version
Our brain plays time-tricks with us. I cannot recollect what happened to me just a month ago, but I remember playing this BH back in 1990 as if it was just yesturday and not 25 years ago. This is how impressive this game was to me - me first "pseudo 3D" PC game. I would play it for many hours in a row almost every night while I had access to our laboratory computer when I was a student. Nostalgia.
Felix the Cat 2015-11-30 0 point
For Amiga and Atari in 1989 a joystick was not supported, unbelievable! During the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands you are flying a mission in a Wildcat, protecting the Hornet from a combined attack of Vals and Kates. The mission is rated "Impossible". I wonder if anyone did this misson successful? A PC486 equipped with a CH Products Flightstick was a great improvement in 1990, compared to Atari and Amiga, which of course had better sound.
handle 2014-11-20 0 point DOS version
depending on which version this is, the manual is a complete necessity because in order to play the game you had to match up a sillouhette of a plane to a password and there were hundreds of variations, all spread out through the rather thick manual. good old primitive anti-piracy, unfortunately making the game useless unless you also got the manual with it. I think the manual is floating around somewhere online, otherwise it's one of the best flight sims made prior to the VGA era.
Alumni72 2014-08-01 0 point DOS version
Ah, yes - this was my first flight sim as well, and I absolutely loved it! I moved on to Battle of Britain when that came out, but I had no CD-ROM drive so SWOTL was out of the question.
Thanks for bringing back such memories - now I have to go searching for my floppy disks!
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