Battlehawks 1942

Title		Battlehawks 1942
Game Type	Flight Sim
Company		LucasFilm Games 1989
Players		1
HD Installable	Yes
Compatibility	68000
Submission      Emmanuel Henne

The year is 1942, and the war between the US of America and the Japanese
Empire is at its climax. A quick historical overview: in 1941, Japanese
airforces struck the American base at Pearl Harbor, sinking 5 battleships.
The Japanese forces, motivated by this fast success, invaded and occupied
in rapid succession the Philipines, the Netherlands East Indies, Guam,
Singapore and Wake Islands. Even Australia was suffering from Japanese air
strikes. By the beginning of the year 1942, America and Japan engaged in a
series of four epic naval clashes which would determine the fate of the
entire Pacific:

The Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of Midway
The Battle of the Eastern Solomons
The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands

These battles had one thing in common: They were all fought and decided
by aircraft based on carriers.

"Battlehawks 1942" is the predecessor of the famous "Their Finest Hour",
and uses the same engine, minus the 3-D-terrain. In "Battlehawks", all you
will see geographically is water, water and...right, more water. The (so
called) 3-D-engine is based on bitmaps (like WingCommander 1) which are
being rotated and scaled depending on the player`s view. Like most games
of that early Amiga-period, "Battlehawks" uses only 16 colours, but hey,
it still looks acceptable. The sound is authentic; the engines are roaring
differently depending on the airspeed, the machine guns are firing like
crazy, the hits you take really make you panic.

The performance is great even on the A500, the controls are responsive
 (choose either Mouse or Joystick) and the graphics are outdated but
nonetheless fulfill their purpose (the planes are very distinguishable).
The atmosphere is really great, and the game let`s you live through the
most exciting moments of that conflict: Dive bombing missions, torpedo
missions, interception missions, escort missions, everything is there,
everything is based on real war experiences of real pilots who were
involved in the development of this game.

The gameplay itself is like the one you`d exspect from a decent fligh
simulator, minus some realism and (some say uninteresting) stuff like
take offs and landings. In the briefing room, You get Your mission
objectives (you can fly either japanese or american planes of different
kinds), then you fly away to fulfill them. Excellent pilots achieve
promotions and the obligatory medals (Purple Heart, Silver Star, CMOH
etc...), bad pilots have to restart failed missions. There is no campaign
like in WINGS or GUNSHIP 2000, You can choose and fly mission after

The manual is 150 pages long, something You rarely find today in game
boxes. It is filled with b/w pictures, maps and historical background,
mixed with first-hand-stories and loads of educational stuff.

As a conclusion, this was the very first Amiga game I ever bought, right
when it came out. It was so impressive that I played it for months, simply
because it is so much fun to play and has got bags of atmosphere. And
still, after all those years, it is an evergreen for me which really
provided me with emotional moments, and that`s what I expect from an
excellent game.

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