Battle Of Britain (PSS) Review | Sinclair User - Everygamegoing

Sinclair User

Battle Of Britain
Spectrum 48K

Published in Sinclair User #60

Battle Of Britain

The Battle of Britain was the heroic serial defence of Britain by the Few - the RAF - against the massed bombers and fighters of the German Luftwaffe in 1940.

Now here's PSS's version of history, wrapped up as a full blown wargame. You kick off with a map of Southern England, with just a corner of France showing. Marked on the map are nine airfields, London, various other cities end industrial centres, and your radar stations.

When the game begins everything is pretty quiet. It doesn't take long though for ominous black and white crosses to start appearing over the English Channel and the North Sea. These represent formations of German fighters and bombers.

You have to scramble your aircraft, then move your squadrons to wherever you think you will be able to intercept the Germans. Once there, you have a battle. Then you do the whole thing in reverse because your planes will be out of ammunition and very possibly out of fuel is well.

If it sounds simple, then it can be - so long as you're playing the introductory, training game.

But before you dismiss the challenge the game offers, just try having a go at the Blitzkrieg game. The Germans come at you with everything they've got, and your squadrons start going down like ninepins. Your airfields get bombed to oblivion, your radar might as well be microwave ovens for all the good they do you, and Churchill is not pleased.

What do you need to know? The map looks very much like a map - the land is green, the see is blue. When you scramble a squadron, it takes a turn (five minutes on the clock) before it appears by the airbase it launched from. You then move the on-screen cursor over it, hit the fire button, move the cursor to the destination you want the planes to go to, then hit the Fire button again. Simplicity itself.

You can't have more then one squadron in the same square, so the objective is to guess where the Germans are going to be and then surround them.

In this message space, you get bulletins charting your progress - or lack of it: such and such radar station bombed, Biggin Hill runway cratered, Coltishall airfield closed by fog.

When you move the cursor over one of your units, you can get updated information on how strong it is, how much fuel it has, how much ammo it has, and so on.

And at the and of each day you get a score screen. This tells you how well you did, and gives you a percentage rating. At this point, if you're playing the campaign game, you get a re-supply screen where you allocate new planes and pilots to your airfields.

Battle of Britain la a very workmanlike simulation. All very neat but somehow it lacks a certain sparkle.

Worth getting, nevertheless. Don't bother with the arcade sequences though - they're not much fun.

Overall Summary

It works, but it plods a bit. Worth it if you enjoy the long drawn out challenge, but Century's Finest Hour is better.

Gary Rook

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