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B-17 Flying Fortress

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Released: 1992

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Microprose

Developer: Vektor Grafix

Submitted by: Martin Green

B-17 Flying Fortress or B-17 Flying Fortress World War II Bombers in Action is a flight simulation/role-playing video game released in 1992. The game simulates training, combat missions and sorties in a tour of duty in the Eighth Air Force of the United States Army Air Forces in the European Theater of Operations aboard a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber during World War II.
Some aspects that the player has control over are inflight crew management (a crewman might become injured during combat and temporary medical aid inflight given to him whilst another aircrewmen tends another crew position), manning an onboard .50 caliber M2 Browning machine gun against enemy fighters, and releasing the B-17 Flying Fortress's ordnance on the target as well as piloting or copiloting the B-17 bomber. All 10 aircrew positions could be controlled either manually or under AI control, however the main character and captain is the primary pilot. His successes, failures, capture, injury or death affects the direction and conclusion of the campaign.

The simulation player could pick out his chosen bomber with its particular nose art and was shown target briefing information and briefing films in the simulation before entering on any mission with his crew. A map of the flight path and waypoints were also shown in the simulation. Although a mission is assigned to the crew before every sortie, the player may break formation and roam freely around Europe if desired, looking for and attacking targets of opportunity. The success of this decision relies on the skill of the crew, particularly if the navigator is skilled enough to navigate Europe on his own and the crew is able to withstand stronger Luftwaffe and Flak attacks due to being alone. The most difficult but prestigious targets were the Nazi strongholds in and around Berlin.

If the player's Fortress is severely damaged, the player may drop out of the formation and continue the mission on one's own or attempt to return to England, in which one can land on any Allied runway and be taken back to the home base at Alconbury. In terms of the artillery, the player is unable to damage his or her own plane using the guns, however, dropping bombs at a low altitude would destroy the plane. The player is also able to shoot down ally Flying Fortresses as a result of friendly fire. An ill-timed shooting of a Luftwaffe fighter may cause the enemy to lose control and collide with one's Fortress or others in the formation.