Fly some of the world's most advanced military hardware and classic jet aircraft in Fighter Bomber! You take the helm of and are given historical and technical information for the Saab AJ37 Viggen, the Panavia Tornado IDS, the McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom and four other incredibly powerful flying machines.
After choosing a vehicle, you will select what type of enemy to engage during your missions. You can battle the Mirage 2000, the F-14 Tom-Cat and five other types of enemy planes. To combat these forces, your aircraft are outfitted with a number of missiles and bombs. The missions, each of which must be completed in succession, include Covert, Tactical, Strategic and Offensive.
Based on the actual Strategic Air Command's annual bombing competition, Fighter Bomber takes place above Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and South Dakota. You'll fly over pastures, rivers, highways, mountains, farms, cities, lakes and many other types of terrain and locations. You can view the game from 12 angles, including a "free spirit" point of view in which you can look at the world from an infinite number of points.
After you have completed the four missions, the game is not necessarily over. You can create and design your own missions and exchange them with other Fighter Bomber pilots.
Up until now Amiga flight sims consisted of Interceptor (though good, not much of a simulation), Falcon (good simulation but extremely tough to play) and the Sublogic sims (expensive and hard to obtain). Since then everybody's been waiting for a cross between these three: a flight sim that is detailed, accurate and above all, controllable. Vektor Graphic's Bomber fits the bill perfectly. Instead of being restricted to one aircraft you can choose between an F15, F4-E, Tornado (German and British), Saab, Viggen, Mig-27 and an F111-F. Each is represented with a 2D picture and a 3D rotating image. The technical specifications are all accurate and include a brief history of the craft. On top of that are another half dozen different enemy fighter aircraft, though you don't often get to see these close up.
One thing that needs to be remembered that by the nature of the simulation the onus is on bombing runs and ground attack, not air to air combat. Consequently, the majority of the weapons are designed for blowing up land based targets. Some missiles and bombs are specific to a certain plane, such as the JP233 multiple bomblet dispenser which can only be attached to a British Tornado. Whereas Mavericks and Sidewinders can be fitted with to Nato planes, with the Russian equivalent for the Mig-27.
Even the armaments sequence is well presented. The screen displays a frontal view of your plane with a plan view showing the weapons pylons. Every time a missile/bomb is attached it shows up on the picture, giving you a good idea of how formidable you really look. Missions are graded in difficulty: Covert, Tactical, Strategic and Offensive, with each contain for scenarios. Sixteen is a generous amount of missions for any game, but that's just the start. There's also a full mission designer, allowing you to do everything from placing targets on the maps to editing the scenario text, giving Bomber an almost infinite amount of missions.
The most significant thing in Bomber's favour is the control method. Rather than an endless bank of keys the few that are essential are well located and easy to remember. I'd be lying if I said flying a plane was a piece of cake - it isn't, but it is easy to pick up basic manoeuvres and this keeps the simulation playable without making it simple, you just have to try the mid-air refuelling sequence to find out.
The graphics are surprisingly well detailed, especially the ground targets. A host of cities, bases and even Mount Rushmore make an appearance. As is common nowadays you can pan around your plane. Bomber plays like a flight simulation really ought to. It's extremely well presented throughout, with good sound and high quality graphics. It's not exaggerating to say Bomber is the best flight game on the market at the moment. Don't just take my word for it, try it yourself.
A nice aeroplane fighter simulator game, also released on the C64. The Amiga version is faster and playable.
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F/A-18 Interceptor, F15 Strike Eagle 2, Gunship 2000 AGA, Gunship, F-29 Retaliator, Combat Air Patrol, Formula One Grand Prix (Microprose), F117A Stealth Fighter
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