Air Conflicts: Air Battles of World War II

If you’re the type who lavishes on the level of detail found in such World War II flight simulators as Il-2 Sturmovik, then you will definitely hate Air Conflicts. It’s an arcade flight game with the most rudimentary flight controls you’ll ever see, and gameplay aimed squarely at people who just want to jump into the cockpit of a WWII-era fighter plane without worrying about such pesky details as aerodynamics or complex dogfighting maneuvers.

3You can join either the English, German or Soviet sides. Each country has its own set of missions and medal graphics, but in the greater scheme of things the missions are identical – patrol, air-to-air combat, air-to-ground bombings, or a combination of the latter two. As you progress through each campaign, you will unlock different planes. The trade-off is as rudimentary as the flight physics – lightweight fighters are better at killing other planes, while bombers and fighter-bombers are slower, but can carry a larger payload for bombing stationary ground targets.

The game lets you control the action with a joystick, but you really don’t have to since you can pull off many of the basic moves with the humble mouse. The camera doesn’t have a cockpit view, not that you will need to worry about any of the instruments. The only factor to consider is airspeed, which increases if you perform a sudden dive (red levels endanger the airframe) or slow down at sudden climbs (you stall). There’s no way to manually control airspeed beyond climbing or diving.

The end result is a flying game which, while looking fairly good, is more of a beginner’s journey into World War II flying than any attempt at a simulation. That’s not necessarily a terrible thing, but one pertinent problem is that, even as an arcade offering, the game doesn’t have very much to offer beyond the basics. If you’re looking for an arcade WWII flight game with a soul, try playing Crimson Skies instead.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win3.1

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