Fighter Bomber

Title           Fighter Bomber
Game Type       Flight sim
Publisher       Activision
Players         1
Compatibility   OCS
HD Installable  No
Submission      Dante Mendes De Patta (

Around 1989-1990, there was some flight sims disputing the Amiga games
market, some are very well known, and others... not too much.  I think
that Fighter Bomber is a bit of an unknown flight sim today, and wasn't a
big hit when it was released, 9 years ago... It was not as successful as
Falcon, F19 Steath Fighter or F/A-18 Interceptor...but here in my country
(Brazil), it was the favorite one, I really dunno why, but Fighter Bomber
was nice anyway.

Lets see: it has 8 jet fighters to choose from (F-111, Saab Viggen,
Tornado, F15 Eagle...), each with their own weapons and their own, nice
painted cockpit. After choosing your plane, you can also choose what plane
the enemy will fly,  from another range of planes (including Mig-29,
Tomcat, Sukhoi Su-27...). In the selection menu, you can choose to view
the planes in a 2D-painted artwork or rotating in the real-time 3D engine
(very impressive for that time).

Then, you proceed to the arming screen, where you can choose from a really
impressive range of weapons. All this presented with top quality graphics,
very good interface and, really, all this presentation put this game well
above the other current titles in the market at that time (perhaps only
Falcon can match it in this issue).

The first time I saw this game, the guy that was playing it was very good
and experienced, showing all the external camera views and doing a really
'cinematic' low-level flying while locking and firing Maverick missiles in
bridges and buildings! It was really, really impressive (and I was very
used to MSX and Spectrum flight sims back in that time...)

The 3D objects are the best of that batch of flight sims, specially the
external views, with glowing afterburners, landing gear going up and down
smoothly, and it was the first flight sim to show the sweep-wings of a
Tornado or F-111 working! The frame rate was rather slugguish in an A500
(so, many people will stay the smoother graphics in F29 Retaliator)

It was also the first flight sim (as far as I know) to include air-to-air
refuelling, and it was great! Again, Falcon, F/A-18, F19 and so on cannot
match it in this issue...

The scenary was a bit boring, flat green with the usual "pyramids" as
mountains, but there was also a nice and complex 3D object of  Mount
Rushmore to fly over.

The gameplay was a bit simple for a flight sim (I think that's why it was
successful here), the plane is easy to control, the weapons are easy to
use (just lock and press fire - it will hit the target anyway), and there
was some interesting missions, such as the one to destroy the nuclear
missile before they fire it - there was even a timer on the top of the
cockpit, with a countdown for the nuclear missile launch!

One of the best features was the Mission Builder: it enabled the player to
create their own missions, placing enemy units in strategic places,
marking primary and secondary targets, placing the refuel can
zoom in and out over the units in the battlefield, really excellent! And
you can also type the mission briefing text, save it to disk and send to
your friends, to see if they can beat your ultra-dangerous top-secret
mission =)  Really cool stuff, I never saw another feature of this kind in
other Amiga flight sims...a shame.

But, there was a thing I hated in that flight sim: the fact that there was
not any "accelerated time" option. In other words: in many missions, you
took ages to reach the target area...

My second complaint was the dogfights, they're very poorly represented:
The enemy plane just circles around you at around Mach 2 (!), even at very
low altitude (impossible in real life), and if you feel bored with the
enemy fighter, you can just lock a missile and press fire, it'll be game
over for him. Also, if you've wasted all your missiles in something else,
you can just break, wait for him to pass *through* your plane (yes, there
aren't mid air collisions!), and hold the guns fire, it will explode as
soon it passes through your plane... :)

Despite the complaints above, it was a good and fun flight sim, good to
impress your friends at that time, due to the great detail and
presentation, but for a good flight feeling and dogfights, I prefer F/A-18
or Falcon :)

Also, a final remark: I think this game was released in the US with the
title "Strike Aces", and the title "Fighter Bomber" was used for the
European market.

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