B-17 Flying Fortress is a simulation of the legendary heavy bomber of World War II.
After customizing one's bomber with nose art and a name, one of several randomly assigned bombing missions into Germany must be flown. The game not only features actual flight simulation, but also crew management. Each of the 10 crew members has ratings for categories like piloting, bombing and gunnery. During a mission, crew members can be reassigned to other posts if needed because of injuries. Each position including the pilot seat, the guns and the bombing sight can of course also be controlled by the player.
A historically accurate number of 25 missions must be flown and survived to complete a tour of duty.
1943. The war in Europe rages on. The United States gives men the opportunity to leave the war and go home if they fly twenty-five missions with the US 8th Air Force. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Join a bomber crew, serve for three months at most and then go home? It can't be that bad... But you still have to worry about German anti-aircraft artillery, and of course their mighty Luftwaffe. Twenty-five missions doesn't sound that easy now, does it?
Microprose's B-17 Flying Fortress gives you the chance to command your own personalized B-17 bomber through twenty-five missions. Although you are the pilot, you can switch to any other position in the bomber. Command a gun turret and defend your plane and your wingmen from German airplanes. Navigate your airplane and make sure it's going on course. Target enemy ground structures using the Norden Bombsight and drop bombs on them.
B-17 does its best to recreate the entire flying experience as accurately as possible. For every mission you take off at your assigned airbase, fly into formation, and move in on your target while fending off enemy fighters and hoping that the flak turrets on the ground don't hit you. Once you've dropped your bombs, you fly home and try to land the plane in one piece. Each member of your crew is trained in one or more fields pertaining to the smooth operation of a bomber, such as gunnery, piloting, first aid, and navigation.
Unfortunately, you do not get any escorts, so you are pretty much on your own. Apart from that, the gameplay is all right. The graphics are (for the most part) pretty good, aside from the fact that most of the time the colors are rather dull. When your bomber is rolling along the airfield, the outside movements are choppy when you are moving at slow speeds. Taking off is pretty hard to learn, and once you figure out where the runway is, you'll need to practice a lot before you can finally manage to get off the ground. Sadly, the game's technicalities don't get any easier from that point on, but it does make the game much more realistic.
If you are to at least get off the ground, the manual comes in very handy. I recommend at least printing out the keyboard map so you'll know what each button does.
This hugely underrated flight-sim adds a novel element to the genre: the pilots' personalities. True to the real-life characteristic of the B-17, a veritable "flying fortress" of WW2 bomber that houses a team of 10 pilots and gunners, the allocation of the best man to the best job and constant monitoring of their morale in this game are as important as your pilot skills. Missions are varied and interesting, and flight dynamics more or less accurate. In a rare display of courtesy to the gaming public, MicroProse gave consent to the game's developers to release it as freeware in 1997, to cheers of fans worldwide.
For users who enjoy edutainment style games or at least historically accurate combat simulations, B-17 Flying Fortress has a lot to offer. MicroPose Software Incorporated both programmed and published this game in the early nineties. It is a simulation of the famous heavy World War II bomber of the same name.
It is the year 1943 and the war in Europe is in full swing. Many of the United States soldiers have been in battle since the beginning of the war; they are tired and want to go home. The U.S. gives them an opportunity to earn their passage home by flying just twenty-five missions with the U.S. 8th Air Force. Of course, if it were an easy task, the reward would not be nearly so great.
B-17 Flying Fortress offers the user the chance to experience almost every position available within the bomber. The user can pilot the plane, navigate, serve as a gunner and fire the .50 calibre M2 Browning machine guns, or use the Norden Bombsight to drop bombs on ground targets. There is even a first aid specialist on board. Each member of the ten man crew is designed for a specific purpose, and the user can switch between them at any time during each mission.
As the missions begin, the user takes off from his designed air base and quickly forms up with the rest of the planes on the mission. The squadron navigates toward the predetermined target, fights off enemy bogies, and takes flak from ground defences. When the target is destroyed, the user returns to the base and lands the plane, hopefully still in tact. The user, however, is allowed to break from the mission and cruise over Europe looking for his own enemy targets to take out and other chances to be heroic. The success of this action greatly depends on the skill of the navigator, since such an act will take the plane off from its predesigned sortie and into other territory. The most difficult targets could be found around Berlin and the Nazi encampments surrounding the town.
The user must be careful in this game because, true to life, friendly fire can be just as dangerous and devastating as enemy flak. The user can take damage from allies if he is in the wrong place, and he is also able to destroy allied Flying Fortresses by shooting at them.
Overall, B-17 Flying Fortress does a good job of accurately presenting a bombing run of this great bomber plane. It is a good game with adequate graphics and a high degree of realism and precision. It is recommended for all gamers, including flight simulators, action lovers, and war fanatics.
People who downloaded B-17 Flying Fortress have also downloaded:
B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th, B-17 Gunner: Air War Over Germany, Command Aces of The Deep, Aces of The Pacific, Aces over Europe, ATF: Advanced Tactical Fighters, Silent Service 2, Armored Fist
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