There are already a good few combat flight simulations around, so what makes Vektor Grafix, the people behind Fighter Bomber, think they've got more to offer?
Well, for a start the game is apparently based on the annual Strategic Air Command Bombing Competition that's held in the heart of the American West. Several nations take part in this contest, including the Russians and British, which comprises a series of missions designed to show off the aircraft.
The nation which performs best is awarded the Curtis LeMay Bombing Trophy: America have won it most in the last 20 years using F-111s, but the Brits have pinched it twice using Tornados.
The first thing to do, then, is decide who you'd like to fly for, the list comprising the USA, Russia, Germany, Sweden and Britain. The Americans have several planes to choose from including: F-15, F-4 and the F-111. The Brits and Germans are offering the Tornado, the Swedes the Saab AJ37 and the Russians the MiG 27. Then you can select the sort of enemy plane you'll be likely to encounter including the brand-new MiG 31, the old F-14 and the sim writers' favourite of the moment, the F-16.
As with all flight sims, the next thing to do is get to grips with the controls and learn to fly the thing. Once you've got that out of the way, you can start the game proper and start hitting targets. As you level of competence rises so does the complexity of the mission until you end up trying to hit multiple targets: check them out on the mission briefing map before setting off or you could end up arming your plane with completely the wrong armaments!
And once you get rar enough into the game you'll have to attempt refueling in mid air, by locking on with a jet tanker, and the continuing onto other targets (including non-military targets like bridges).
Once you've completed the set missions there is also the facility to design, test and fly your own missions - but remember, all your progress is saved to disk!
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
It's not the fastest or the most detailed flight sim to have appeared, but it moves fast enough and is detailed enough to be enjoyable. What it does have in its favour are the excellent out-of-cockpit views. There's even a weapon view which allows you to watch a missile go winging its way towards its target. These views and the great sound effects certainly make up for the slight loss of speed.
With 176 pre-designed missions and the ability to make up your own (and save them to disk, so you could swap them with a friend) there's bags of lasting interest built in.
The ability to fly several planes and fly your own missions adds greatly to the game, making it well worth looking at if you fancy a new slight sim. It's not as good as some of the competition, but it's still a great game and fans of the genre will be well pleased.