Amstrad Action1st September 1988
Published in Amstrad Action #36
You nave a choice of practice, or flying missions. Take plenty of practice at the controls of the Grumman Avenger, the plane that makes the attack on the Bismarck. Practice is split into four sections: take off, landing, flying and attacking the Bismarck.
On the pilot screen you control the plane's direction with the joystick, but when anything comes at you, you can switch to a forward gun. The engineer's screen has a large array of instruments that give information on your engines, undercarriage, fuel, wings and torpedoes.
Once you've practised your flying and attacking skills, it's time to go on a mission. The most dangerous - the sinking of the Bismarck - is also the most satisfying.
There are four screens - pilot, navigator. engineer and tail gunner - and all are necessary to complete your mission. The pilot screen shows a forward view through the cockpit and the instrument panel below it. A map is displayed on the navigator screen to plot your courses. The engineer screen gives information on the aircraft's status.
Completing the missions should keep you occupied for several months. The combination of simulation and strategy game works well, though the emphasis is very much on the simulation. Well worth a look if you're an avid simuiationist.
The Bismarck, armed with eight 38cm and six 15cm guns and six Arado Ar 196 seaplanes, was one of the most feared German battleships of World War II. The Allied search for it was a high priority and she was eventually found on May 20th 1941. The Royal Navy was dispatched to sink her, catching up on May 24th. Six British destroyers, the cruiser HMS Hood and the battleship Prince of Wales attacked, and Hood went to the bottom of the ocean as a result. The attack was effective, though: the Bismarck's port rudder was hit, making her a sitting target as the stricken ship circled slowly around.
My first impression was of a badly converted arcade effort. After playing a couple of times the simulation aspects of the game became more apparent....
Bank left! Keep her steady. Shoot the bomber - oh dear, I'm in the Atlantic again. And totally hooked.
First Day Target Score
Complete the first mission.
P. Control panels are done very well.
N. Colour could be better.
N. Simple engine and gun effects.
Grab Factor 65%
P. Practice mode gives you the chance to prepare for the missions.
P. You can just play the practice options if all you want to do is blow things up.
Staying Power 74%
P. Missions of varying difficulty.
N. After completing them all you may not want to play again.
One of the better recent simulations.