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Dogfight: 80 Years of Aerial Warfare

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Ian Martin

GAME DEVELOPER:MicroProse

GAME PUBLISHER:MicroProse

Copyright 1993, MicroProse

A “light” flight sim from MicroProse UK that, as the name suggests, give you a chance to fly most of the famous fighter models from World War 1 to the present day. Air Duel doesn’t pretend to have ultra realistic flight models or avionics borrowed from the military, but it does offer the flight simulation novice the opportunity to learn the basics of dogfighting in a fun, new way. Air Duel offers two main features that make it a worthwhile addition to your gaming library. First, the ‘What If’ scenarios that allow the player to pit aircraft from vastly different eras against each other in air combat. Imagine taking on a Fokker Triplane with an F-15? Not as easy as it sounds. Not exactly simple to get radar lock on a plane that small. You’ll also find yourself outturned quite easily and possibly in the gunsights of what appears to be an inferior plane. Air Duel will allow the pilot to choose from the Sopwith Camel, the Spitfire, the F-4 Phantom, the Harrier Jump Jet, the F-16 Eagle, the Fokker DR1, and the Mig-23. All of these aircraft can be pitted against each other to provide for some very interesting matchups. A heat-seeking Sidewinder doesn’t do much good against a prop-driven Sopwith Camel!

The other great feature of Air Duel is the head-to-head modem play mode. Here, you can take on your pilot friends in a duel with the aircraft of their choice, again from different eras.

The Air Duel manual is very well done with plenty of pages devoted to air combat maneuvering (ACM), teaching flight novices the nuances of Scissors, Split-S, and Yo-Yos. When you practice long enough, you’ll find yourself reacting instinctively to your opponent moves as you both try to get on the other’s ‘six’.

Air Duel is made of of three main modes: Duel Mode, where you match famous aircraft from the same historical period against each other; the ‘What-If’ mode, that allows you to put any aircraft from the game up against any other plane; and finally, the Mission Mode, that provides full mission planning, allocation of resources, and targeting of ground and air targets. You begin in WWI and work your way all the way up to the conflict over Syria. Here you’ll use all your flying skills as well as your landing and taking off skills.

Overall, this is more of a game than a serious simulation, but is great fun nonetheless.



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