Over the Reich

6Over the Reich is a low-tech, turn-based tactical wargame that places you at the command of fighter and bomber squadrons during World War 2. Mission types are nicely varied, ranging from fighter sweeps, bomber escort or interception, and an assortment of ground strikes. A good variety of aircraft are included from British, German, and U.S. arsenals. Sound effects are effective and appropriate. The player is provided with a variety of “ranks,” which introduce increasing levels of complexity to the flight model, such as stalls, spins, altitude, airframe stress, etc.

While single missions are available, the true heart and soul of Over the Reich is the “Tour of Duty” campaign mode. This allows the player to assume the role of a squadron leader, attempting to lead your squad through a variety of missions and hopefully favorably affect the war’s outcome. You are presented with a roster of pilots, each with his individual name, photograph and skills description.

3Once in the combat screen, both sides maneuver (in dogfight situations) in an attempt to gain the advantage and shoot the enemy down, or (in ground strike missions) hit your targets while avoiding AAA. This is where the loving detail and subtleties included in the program become apparent. Fighting effectively in Over the Reich requires understanding the relative strengths and weaknesses of the planes, the skill level of the pilots, and using sound air combat tactics. The slow gameplay might not suit every strategy fan out there, but there’s clearly some complexity and clever design at work here.

System Requirements: 80486DX2, 8 MB RAM, Win 3.1

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