A&B Computing1st October 1987
Published in A&B Computing 4.10
Battle Of Britain
Another excellent simulation from Design People, following their successful Sink The Bismark and Tanks. This time the action is set, obviously, in the summer of 1940 and involves protecting Southern England from the ravages of the Luftwaffe.
Once again, war games purists will, no doubt, throw up their hands in horror but for computer games players interested in intelligent, well-designed simulations there is a lot here to keep you happy for a long time.
The screen shows the south coast, Channel and Northern France with RAF bases, radar installations and likely targets marked. Moving in five minute periods of action, the game allows you to detect the arrival of enemy forces (suitably inaccurate to reflect the reality of UK defences), scramble squadrons into the air and attempt to engage the enemy.
The computer does most of the hard work (you will only be told the result of successful aerial engagements, depending on how close your fighters are) and the skill of the game lies in a careful balancing of targets, fuel consumption and refitting time after missions. All controls are easy to use and the game is friendly enough not to require close study of the excellent instruction booklet, though this is recommended!
I can't vouch for the historical accuracy of the program but the simplicity of play (all on one screen, unlike the previous two simulations) means that it is very enjoyable game. Full marks for simulations like this - an intelligent use of the computer that is never boring and doesn't require you to be a wargaming fanatic to enjoy playing. Its scores here really reflect the likely market though I do believe that many more of you would enjoy Battle For Britain than you might suspect.
Try something different this month - a change of pace is always welcome. As for me, I'm eager to see the next in the series!