Navy Strike

While Rowan’s Navy Strike exhibits many of the same flaws that nearly grounded their older sim, Dawn Patrol, it might just find a second lease on life through those same casual gamers who exhibit some extra patience. Navy Strike is sometimes a fun – if underwhelming – sim that has a certain awkward charm. And since it doesn’t bother with the technical worries you might encounter in Falcon or Su-27, Navy Strike is easily accessible to new sim players.

11Once you’re in the cockpit, you’ll find three distinctive and attractive planes to choose from: the F-22N, the F-18E, and the hypothetical AX, which bears a strong resemblance to the F-117 stealth fighter. All of these nifty planes handle responsively, and are perfect for the mix of air-superiority and ground attack missions you’ll encounter throughout the game. The AX is especially fun, since it’s just a big, agile death-dealer over land, sea or in the air. The only problem? The flight models is generally too forgiving.

A word of warning, though. As in Dawn Patrol, you’ll still have to contend with a keyboard reference chart that’s one of the most confusing I’ve seen since, well, Dawn Patrol. Once you get the commands figured out, however, you can watch your missions unfold or check for bandits from a wide variety of vantage points.

7One extra feature help further boots Navy Strike – the Commander Module. With the Commander Module, you actually command the air assets for a naval task force in either the China Sea, the Persian Gulf, or Libya. You are ordered to perform broad tasks (such as neutralize airstrips, or enforce a no-fly zone) and given a certain number of assets with which to do this. It’s this extra layer of campaign-planning complexity that sets Navy Strike apart from the arcade crowd.

System Requirements: 386SX 25 MHz, 8 MB RAM, DOS

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