Dogfight (PD)

Title           Dogfight (PD)
Game Type       General Action
Author          Richard Ling
Players         2
HD Installable  Yes
Compatibillity  All (1 MB)
Available       Aminet game/2play/Dogfight11.lha
Submission      Joachim Froholt Profiled Reviewer

Back in the good old Commodore 64 days, I had purchased one of those
75 "great" games on one cassette type compilations. Most of the games were
mind-games of some type or another (you know, Towers of Hanoi, Nim, Chess,
Checkers, Guess the number, that sort of thing), so I got quite excited
when the computer told me that it was loading a game called Dogfight. Back
then, I didn't know much about the English language, so I was really
curious about the game. Fighting dogs.... it sounded cool. The game took
less than a minute to load, so I quickly found out what the game was
really about: Two planes trying to blast each other out of the (very badly
drawn) sky. It was very unexciting and boring.

But the idea was good. In fact, so good that there have been hundreds of
games based on the same idea. One of the best is this PD offering, also
called Dogfight

Please note that there's no connection between this game and the
commercial flight simulator (by Microprose; see separate review) of the
same name.

Dogfight is quite simple. The playing area is a scrolling 2D landscape
with two airbases (one at each side of the game world). Your biplane start
at one of these, your opponent will start at the other. The screen is
split in two, one "screen" for each player. If the planes are so close
that they can be displayed on the same screen (which is often - this is a
dogfighting game, remember?), the border between the "screens" will
disappear, and the action take up the whole screen to make maneuvering

Once in combat, you just have to aim your plane so that the front of it is
pointed at your opponent, and press fire. He will probably try to do the
same to you, so most of the game will be spent trying to dodge your
opponents shots, while trying to get an opportunity to shoot back. Your
plane can only take one hit, but fortunately, you've got an unlimited
supply of them. Each time you're hit, your opponent will receive one
point. Games will usually last until both players have hundreds of points.

Keeping the plane in the air can be difficult at times. If you try to fly
upwards without enough speed, the plane will stall and fall down (and your
opponent will score a point). Take-off can be difficult too (mainly
because of a nasty tree which has been placed just at the end of the
runway), but with practice, you'll get the hang of it. There's an auto
accellerate option in the game, and this makes flying a lot easier. I
always use it, but seasoned players might want to disable it to make the
game more challenging. Another option for seasoned players is to turn on
air collisions. With this on, a plane will crash if it comes into contact
with another flying object. You can also choose wether you want only two
or an unlimited supply of bombs. Bombs are used to blow up ground or sea

The other targets are Zeppelins and submarines.These enter the playing
area periodically. Getting the Zeppelin is easy, but the submarine
requires some skill to hit, because it can only be killed by bombs. These
targets either belong to you or your foe, and shooting one of your own
Zeppelins will boost his score. Shooting his Zeppelin is what you want to
do - but naturally, he'll try to prevent you from doing so. Of course, if
you get too concerned with other targets, you will be easy prey. The
Zeppelin and submarine will also shoot at hostile targets, and the
submarine is armed with a flak gun (which means that the bullets will
explode in the air, making them more difficult to avoid). The flak gun
isn't as accurate as the normal guns are, though.

You can also bomb each other's airbases. Bombing your opponents hanger
will obviously increase your score, but it won't affect his abillity to
launch his plane. Fortunately, he got some workers ready, who will build
the airbase again (so that you can bomb it again). He'll also have an AA
emplacement near his airbase. This is a flak gun, and just like everything
else of his, it can be blown up for points.

The graphics are good. They won't make your jaw drop, but they're much
better than average PD quality. The sprites are well drawn, and animate
smoothly. The sound effects are OK too. In addition to the bangs and
booms, you'll also hear the engine sounds of the planes. If your plane is
climbing, you'll have to listen to the tone of the engine noise to make
sure the plane doesn't loose so much speed that it will stall. There's
no music in this game, but IMO that doesn't matter.

Overall, this is a classic piece of PD. Download it now :) If you own
v.1.0, you should upgrade to this version, which will work properly on AGA
systems. It also contains some improvements.

BTW: My old Commodore Dogfight wasn't the first Dogfight game ever.
In fact, this little genre is quite old, one of the first ever "computer
games" was a dogfighting "simulation". It was called Spacewar!, and
was created way back in 1962 by a group of MIT people. Spacewar! was quite
a complex little game, complete with accurate gravity effects and a realistic
starfield backdrop. You can find more information about this and other
landmarks in the computer game history on this site:
The Dot Eaters -

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