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Battlehawks 1942 logo

Lucasfilm
Price: 19.99

Battlehawks 1942 I never did History at school. Mind you, I never did much at all at school, except English, and that is why my reviews are as good as what they are (Slick, Tone, Slick Ed). But, getting back to the original track of the review, even I know that in 1942 there was a bit of a ruck going on.
Battlehawks is a World War II flight/combat simulator, if you had not already guessed. Now here is the catch. It does not support the use of a joystick. Crazy or what? You can only use mouse or keyboard. What a joke! As I write, I can hear thousands of Amiga owners turning the page muttering "I wonder if Falcon is any good...?".

So, missing joystick option aside, what do you get when you purchase Battlehawks? Well, you get a simplified flight simulator that uses fairly convincing 3D sprite techniques and has dozens of cute little touches. It contains over thirty different missions, including training, as well as the option to play the bad guys, Japan.

Once you have gone through all the rudimentaries like creating a pilot, choosing a mission/plane/difficulty level etc., you start your mission, not on a runway or a carrier as you would expect, but 5000 feet up about 45 seconds from your target. I thin that it is a little cruel to send a rookie pilot into the fray so quickly, especially when you are flying by mouse, but that is the way the programmers has done it. At least you do not have to take off.

Now those cute little touches I mentioned. Lots of graphical frills have been thrown in, and they do heighten the game. When you hit an enemy plane a few times, it catches fire, and after a moment or two starts spinning toward the sea. At this point the pilot bails out, and what a large, well defined sprite he is. Sadly, you cannot then proceed to blow him away, but then again we did not do that sort of thing. Not sporting.

The sound is, well, sound. It serves its purpose and is full of little sampled war-like sounds. Bullets ping off metal (though not Teflon, as so many games seem to do these days), engines roar, the crowd rises, the paint greases, oh how I love the circus (Whaa? Ed).
The graphics are not terrible. The sizing of the sprites is convincing enough, though they do go a bit blocky at times. The refresh rate is none too fast either, which makes the Amiga version run only slightly faster than the PC version running off a Sinclair PC 200.

It is quite fun to play, but as the frills wear thin the level of enjoyment falls rapidly. Not a worthwhile investment, but worth getting your rich mate to buy so that you can play it round his gaff.
Tony Dillon

CU Amiga, May 1989, p.p.54-55

GRAPHICS
SOUND
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
70%
76%
65%
72%
71%


Battlehawks 1942 logo  Zzap! Sizzler
  • Stunning World War 2 action from those cuddly people at Lucasfilm

US Gold/Lucasfilm, Amiga 24.99
Battlehawks 1942 Life was tough in the Second World War, according to my grandfather:
'Eee, I can remember when we had to queue for three weeks just for a loaf of bread and a couple of toilet rolls' etc etc.
Mind you, I bet the pensioners in the good old US of A have some slightly more gung-ho tales to tell, if this latest release from the US Gold/Lucasfilm team-up is anything to go by.
Battlehawks 1942 is a departure from the usual flight-sim in so much as you are thrown almost immediately into the thick of the action. No mucking around trying to take off, no waiting for goodness knows how long to get to where you want to be just plonk, right into the middle of pitched battle.

The briefing room is the first port of call, where you can choose from a number of different options. As well as the four set battles (Midway, Coral Sea, the Eastern Solomons or Santa Cruz Islands), you can also select one of several training missions, including practice at dogfighting and bombing. Alongside these choices, it's also possible to inspect the aircraft available to you, as well as pilot service records.

Once a mission or practice session has been selected, you're into real action. Flying high above sea level, your mission basically consists of knocking out the enemy fighter planes, while attempting to score a hit on one of the enemy boats.
With only one bomb or torpedo, success depends purely on your skill the first time round there are no second chances in this war.
Mind you, that's not strictly true because, should you come to grief one way or another, you can always quit the game and start again from the beginning. Bet your grandfather wished he could have done that forty-odd years ago, eh?

Zzap! Issue 50, June 1989, p.34

Randy A ll right, so it's not run of the mill simulation, but who cares when what is there is as good as this? The whole makeup of Battlehawks 1942 positively oozes class, from the packaging inwards. There's a lot of historical background to the missions contained in the manual, which will help you make the right decisions when it comes to re-enacting them (as well as making rather good reading in its own right!). As for the program itself, it's extremely polished, with marvellously defined and animated graphics as well a laid-out cockpit. Sound is of a high quality also, with a plethora of clearly sampled effects (although one of them does sound as if it was poached from Gunfight at the OK Corral!). It's easy to play, without becoming tedious, and above all, it's wonderfully addictive. So go out and get it. Now.

Gordo B attlehawks 1942 is just my type of flight sim enough control to give you the impression of actually flying a plane which would be even better if there was a joystick option offered. Mouse control, although not bad, isn't what I'd call the ideal device for flying. Apart from that though, I like this a lot. The computer controlled pilots are intelligent enough to go and attack enemies in some spectacular formations, as well as coming to hassle you at rather inopportune moments. Get it or regret it.

PRESENTATION 85%
151 page manual, bursting at the seams with historic and technical information. Keyboard use is kept to a minimum but unfortunately, only mouse control is offered to steer the plane.
GRAPHICS 91%
Detailed cockpit displays, realistic aircraft graphics and animation. Screen updates slightly slower when a lot is happening.
SOUND 77%
Whilst the game is devoid of tunes, a host of clear and realistic samples add atmosphere to the proceedings.
HOOKABILITY 90%
The manual is a touch heavy-going, but the game itself is a gem of simplicity.
LASTABILITY 85%
Thirty-odd missions spread over four scenarios should keep the attention span there for a while.
OVERALL
90%
A well implemented, technically impressive and, above all, fun piece of software which will keep both sim freaks and blast fans quiet for some time.