Aces of World War I

Aces of World War 1 is an arcade oriented and completely uninteresting flight game set during the First World War. Aces allows you to fly a good deal of both German and Allied fighters and bombers (such as the Fokker DR1, Sopwifth Camel or Nieuport 28). The flight model has a great deal of issues. You can perform basic turning and ruddering, but each and every plane is far too maneuverable. You can basically make 90 degree turns if you wanted, or do sharp vertical turns with almost zero affect on speed. Occasionally you’ll have your engine stop and be put in a pre-programmed stall, but simply pointing the nose down will quickly get you out of it. You can change the throttle as well, but the change in speed is negligible.

3_1As an arcade flying game, the interface is a complete mess. There’s simply not enough useful info, such as airspeed, altitude or throttle setting. With no cockpit view either, you often have to rely on your senses to get your heading. A compass and map handily point out your location and any nearby enemy or friendly aircraft, but there are no markers in the main HUD, so you can never tell if the aircraft you’re aiming down is either friend or foe. And even when you’re trying to score hits, you only get a white target reticle to aim your shots – probably not an ideal solution considering the white backdrops you often fight against.

You get default keyboard and mouse controls, but the game is essentially unplayable without a joystick. It’s odd, considering other arcade flyers (Crimson Skies, Freespace) can be quite fun with only the keyboard and mouse. Optional network play and a few solo ‘practice’ scenarios do little to liven things up, however. No matter how you take it, it’s a craptastic, and rightfully obscure, vintage flying game.

System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Win98

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