rbandrews: (steam)
Using the Steam icon for this is kind of cheating, since it wasn't part of my Steam backlog, I bought it this week.

Ace Patrol is a computer (and iOS) game in a very narrow genre: dogfight strategy games. You control a handful of world war I fighter planes, but it's not a flight simulator. Instead it's a turn-based strategy game.

There are a few other games like this. I happen to love them. Wings of War and Dawn Patrol on the board game side. Steambirds is a somewhat simplistic one on the computer side, as well as a 1996 PC game called Over the Reich that flopped immensely.

The way it works is, every turn you decide which maneuver each of your planes will do. Maneuvers affect the bank, altitude, and G forces of the plane, as well as its location. This means that each maneuver also affects which maneuvers are available on your next turn. Which sounds complicated but it really isn't: you get a 3d view of a handful of planes in a dogfight, and then click on one of several arrows to decide what your plane should do next. It's very fast-paced.

It's a little short: I beat the entire campaign in two evenings, while playing other stuff (the other stuff included Kerbals). It's a little easy, but there's a difficulty slider. A worse problem is that it's so close to the rules of Dawn Patrol I'm surprised no one's gotten sued. Not that that's an especially bad thing, because it turns out that having an AI that will play Damn Patrol with you is well worth $5. There's also a sequel set in the Pacific theater of WW2, which I'm installing right now.

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rbandrews

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