More of a board game for the computer screen than a flight simulator, Achtung Spitfire is not meant for the serious flight Sim fan. However, World War II buffs will feel right at home with the design and execution of this game. The premise and gameplay are simple; players move and shoot their airplanes. There is no cover fire, advancing fire, etc. Neither is there a sense of flight maneuvering or fancy flying. In most cases, the air combat seems to take place on a flat surface rather than in the air.
The game complexity, in both controls and the way opponents fight, is determined by rank/skill setting. The field of combat--in this case, the skies over Europe -- is a flat surface, except in the General rank. Here, the action is a little more complex, allowing pilots to experience loops, rolls, and even negative G-force. Controlling the plane at each level is the same. For the most part, Achtung Spitfire is a point-and-click game, with the controls of each plane accessible from the mouse. Only in the harder levels (rank doesn't seem to have privilege here) do you need to worry about speed, stalls, and the effects of wild spins.
The missions mostly involve dogfights over Europe, but the game rounds out with bombing runs, anti-shipping, and strafing attacks. For quick games -- usually under fifteen minutes -- you can take part in the Dogfight or Combat Mission, while longer campaigns -- like the Tour Of Duty -- offer more intense gaming. A network option is not available, something all too common from Avalon Hill, but the game does allow for E-mail play.
The graphical interface is easy to use and the QuickTime video is a nice feature, offering mini-cut scenes and actual combat footage. It is too bad that the footage is so limited, because it wears thin after a while. The dogfight scenes could use some degree of variety too, as it seems as if every battle segment is over the same-clouded sky. At least the icons for the planes are unique, but it was sometimes difficult to keep track of the individual aircraft.
Achtung Spitfire is the type of game that Avalon Hill (a company with deep military simulations for roots) should be making: a war game with lots of historical detail and background, one that is suited to board game players. Like most of their war games, the manual is like a mini-text book; this one is complete with historical background on military aviation and the factors in the air war from both sides. In addition, the CD/ROM contains an excellent airplane database of 25 planes from the war, including some of the most popular German and English aircraft, as well as aircraft the French used for the fifteen minutes they were in the war.
Graphics: A board game played on the computer.
Sound: Board game sounds.
Enjoyment: It is simple and fun.
Replay Value: This game is fun and easy.
Achtung Spitfire is the sequel to Over the Reich. It is a turn based Strategy/Simulation game which covers aviation history from 1939 to 1945 and includes the R.A.F., the Luftwaffe, and the French Armee de l'Air and has different campaigns for each air force.
The game shares the same interface and flight engine of its predecessor, so anyone that has played Over the Reich is familiarized with this game.
The game itself consists of commanding a series of pilots which you can manage to achieve the mission goal. It also regards the technical evolutions during the war, which means you have different types of planes at your disposal as the game progresses. After you have chosen the right pilots it's time to intercept, attack enemies or defend your own allies.
The game is turn based but you have limited autonomy each time you play according to your plane's speed and torque.
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
People who downloaded Achtung Spitfire! have also downloaded:
Over The Reich, Battle of Britain (from TalonSoft), Flight Commander 2, Aces of The Pacific, Aces over Europe, 1942: The Pacific Air War, Aces of The Deep, Carriers at War 2
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