Developed by Vektor Grafix and published by MicroProse, this game first graced our screens in 1992, making its debut on PC MS-DOS. Subsequently, it was released for the Amiga and Atari ST platforms in 1993.
The game’s premise is simple but captivating – it allows players to experience the training, combat missions, and sorties undertaken by the Eighth Air Force of the United States Army Air Forces.
This all takes place within the European Theater of Operations, aboard the iconic Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber.
In B-17 Flying Fortress, players are granted control over various aspects of the game, immersing them in the challenging life of a World War II bomber crew.
This includes everything from inflight crew management to manning an onboard .50 caliber M2 Browning machine gun to fend off enemy fighters.
Players also have the responsibility of releasing the B-17’s ordnance on their target, and can even take the reins as the pilot or copilot.
What sets this game apart is the ability to manage all ten aircrew positions manually or leave it to AI control. The main character, the captain, serves as the primary pilot.
The fate of the captain, be it success, failure, capture, injury, or death, can significantly impact the campaign’s direction and conclusion.
Your Aircraft, Your Choices
Before embarking on a mission, players have the liberty to select their preferred bomber, complete with unique nose art. They are provided with target briefing information and briefing films within the simulation.
To aid navigation, a map displaying the flight path and waypoints is also at your disposal. While missions are assigned to the crew before each sortie, players can opt to break formation and explore Europe freely, seeking and attacking targets of opportunity.
This choice, however, relies on the crew’s skill, especially the navigator’s ability to navigate Europe independently and the crew’s capability to withstand formidable Luftwaffe fighter and ground defense Flak attacks when operating alone.
Notably, the most challenging yet prestigious targets are the Nazi strongholds in and around Berlin.
Challenges and Choices
If the player’s B-17 sustains severe damage during a mission, they face the tough decision of either continuing the mission solo or attempting to return to England. In the latter case, landing on any Allied runway is an option, which allows players to be taken back to the home base at Alconbury.
It’s essential to note that players cannot damage their own plane using the onboard guns, but dropping bombs at a low altitude can lead to self-destruction. Furthermore, players must exercise caution as they can inadvertently shoot down allied Flying Fortresses, resulting in friendly fire incidents.
A poorly timed shot at a Luftwaffe fighter might cause it to lose control and collide with the player’s B-17 or other aircraft in the formation.
B-17 Flying Fortress: World War II Bombers in Action offers a unique and immersive experience of World War II bomber missions. The blend of strategy, decision-making, and in-flight action keeps players engaged as they navigate the challenging skies of Europe.
Your choices as a player impact the outcome of the game, making it a dynamic and thrilling adventure.
Play B-17 Flying Fortress Online
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