The Dam Busters (US Gold) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

The Dam Busters
By U. S. Gold
BBC Model B

Published in The Micro User 4.07

Bombs Without Bounce

One of the most famous films of the Second World War documented the flight of 617 Squadron when it bombed the German dams. With the release of Dam Busters you, too, can accompany the heroes on this historic mission.

You can either fly a practice bomb run over one of the dams, or fly the mission from a starting point over the English Channel. The original Commodore version allowed you to take off from RAF Scampton, thereby tackling the full mission. As I continued to play the game I discovered that this was not the only omission.

During play you can switch between eight different screens. The first one gives you a pilot's eye view of the surroundings. The display is crude. There are only two instruments, and neither the altimeter nor air speed indicator have any markings. This is no help whatsoever when the instructions insist that the bomb is dropped at exactly 232 mph.

The Dam Busters

Selecting either the front or rear gunner options is about as close as you are going to get to any real action in this game. Once again an exceptionally poor display appears consisting of a few stars and a red cross. Pressing the fire button sends a trail of bullets in the direction of this cross while enemy aircraft float around the screen.

Destruction of a plane is even worse. There is no explosion, it just disappears.

Selecting the navigator option causes a map to be displayed, the engineer option draws a series of speed controls, and the second engineer and status options produce two blank screens.

It came as no surprise that once the bomb was finally dropped a picture was drawn and I was told that I'd missed. I suppose a little animation was too much to ask for.

The more astute of you may have guessed that I am less than impressed by the BBC Micro version of Dam Busters. Don't be seduced by the impressive packaging, the software inside is not of the same standard.

James Riddell

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