1. Their Finest Hour
A combat flight sim set during World War II, Their Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain was published and developed by LucasFilm Games back in 1989. It remains to be one of the top Amiga games in the genre as it was packed with innovative features that set the standard for future releases. It had a combat recorder, a mission builder and it allowed the player to man various crew positions in heavier planes (pilot, gunner, bombardier). There is also a special campaign which allowed players to alter the outcome of the Battle of Britain depending on their success or failure during missions.
Their Finest Hour allowed players to fly either for the British Royal Air Force or be a part of the German Luftwaffe. It offers eight aircraft types for play. Two planes for the British side (the Hawker Hurricane and Spitfire) abd six for the German Air Force (the fighter-bomber Messerschmitt Bf 110, Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, Junkers Ju 88 A-1, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 E, Heinkel He 111 H-3 and Dornier 17 z-2.
Each plane has a corresponding training mission in order to allow the player to get familiarized with its operation. Missions vary depending on which side is chosen. There are more defense assignments in the Royal Air Force compared to the Luftwaffe. For the former, players will mostly take part in intercepting and destroying enemy bombers while the latter will have them on the offensive as they man bombers or act as escorts during an attack. The RAF wins either by successfully fending off enemy forces for a certain amount of time or wiping out enough German planes. The Luftwaffe wins by destroying a majority of RAF forces, be it on the ground or in the skies.
2. Silent Service II
Published by MicroProse Software in 1991 for the Amiga, Silent Service II is a realistic naval battle simulation. The game is set during the events of World War II, with the US suffering a devastating attack at Pearl Harbor and losing most of their battleships. Carriers waving the American flag are currently embroiled in a seemingly futile war against the Japanese but, with the player's help, they may yet win the war.
The player gets to view the action from within a submarine of their choice. There are a total of 9 available in the game, 14 Japanese surface vessels (5 transport ships and 9 war ships) and 10 torpedo types to fire. Battles are held in the vast Pacific Ocean with 7 missions recreating actual battles in which the US navy participated in. Players may choose between single scenarios (training, war patrol, historical battle) or a full campaign.
Players who go for the game's career mode will undertake a number of patrols using their submarine. They must then contend with random encounters until they run out of fuel. These include detection of convoys or merchant ships. It is up to the player whether or not an attack is necessary and how to carry one out. It is also possible to be detected by enemy war ships which may force the player to be on the defensive or to flee. A typical career takes several hours to complete.
3. Battlehawks: 1942
Battlehawks: 1942 is the first in a trilogy of World War II-themed flight sims by Lucasfilm Games. This title lets players step into the shoes of pilot allied with the Americans or the Japanese. It features 12 types of aircraft, 20 ship types and 4 operations. Missions remain true to actual events in the war. There aircraft choices are as authentic as it gets, with Wildcats, Avengers and the Dauntless on the American side and Kates, Vals and Zeros under the Japanese. There are even settings which toggle invincibility, unlimited fuel and ammo, the skill level of enemy pilots and starting altitude. This way, players can opt to keep things authentic or go wild on crazy missions.
A briefing gives pilots a general outline of each mission. Unlike other flight sims which requires players to perform take off and landing maneuvers, Battlehawks: 1942 thrusts players right into the thick of battle. There is an option to switch the cockpit-view camera in order to look around the whole aircraft. Virtual pilots can rely on several displays during missions: altimeter, airspeed, fuel, rate of climb, bank and pitch, compass, RPM and damage indicators. Cockpits have levers which control the plane's landing gear, flaps and speed brakes.
There are a diverse set of missions for this title. It includes escorting allied bombers, torpedo-bombing missions and intercepting a whole squad of enemy planes. The aircraft are modelled after their real world counterparts so nimble planes have an edge over heavy fighter types.
4. Silent Service
Silent Service was published and developed by MicroProse Software, Inc. and released back in 1985. Events in the game take place during World War II with its missions held in the Pacific Ocean. Allied with the Americans, the player assumes control of a submarine and goes on patrol to intercept Japanese forces.
The game offers practice runs against hulks, try their hand at single missions or play a full campaign. With a fleet boat, players can opt for an extended patrol from Australia, New Zealand or Hawaii. There are options which toggle the duration and realism of each mission with events happening in real time outside combat. When on patrols, it is up to the player to choose when and how to attack. There are various tactics available to simulate realism although the submarine does have a limitation -- no more than four projectiles can be on the water at once, making it tricky to contend with multiple destroyers.
5. Wings of Fury
Wings of Fury is scrolling shooter is set during the events of World War II. Players fight against the Japanese as a fighter pilot using an F6F Hellcat. Missions range from destroying enemy barracks, bunkers and heavy artillery nests to sinking battleships and engaging in dogfights across the skies. Aside from machine guns, planes are equipped with a limited supply of bombs and rockets, each with its own use during a bombing run.
Players begin each mission by taking off from the USS Wasp. This aircraft carrier will need to be protected against enemy fire and returned to whenever the plane is in need of fuel or ammo. Returning to the carrier also allows players to repair the damage from their aircraft. A plane which sustains too much damage will get destroyed, be it from engaging enemy forces or by crashing it.
6. Storm Across Europe
Released in 1989 by Strategic Simulations, Inc., Storm Across Europe simulates actual World War II events in Europe. In this top-down strategy title, players manage precious resources while dominating enemy forces over land, air and sea. They are given the freedom to choose among three major powers: Germany, the Soviet Union and the Allies.
The game features six historical scenarios. These are segregated according to the period they begin on. Each game turn lasts three months with the map covering 224 areas as well as 37 countries. These vary in terms of terrain, raw materials, manpower and industry. Those who wish to alter the preexisting conditions may use the built-in scenario builder, This can alter factors such as the terrain type, available raw materials and population.
Campaign by Empire Software covers a number of noteworthy battles during World War II such as D-Day, Battle of the Bulge and Sahara. Players can choose from several classes to play, be it as a driver, as someone manning the guns, directing groups of allied forces or being in charge of overall strategy. The game features over 150 vehicles with a separate battle mode opening up whenever opposing forces end up beside each other. A map editor is included so players can create their own scenarios.
8. B-17 Flying Forteress
Published and developed by MicroProse Software, Inc., B-17 Flying Fortress was released in 1992 for the Amiga. As its name suggests, this title is a sim game which focuses on the legendary four-engine heavy bomber used during the second World War. Players are free to customize it, choosing their own nose art and giving it a custom name before diving straight into the action.
Aside from being the primary pilot, the player can also opt to man the plane's onboard weapons. As this is a resource management title aside from being a flight sim, the player is given the task of assigning his crew to specific posts. There are 10 inflight crew members, each with their own ratings for each aircraft position. They may be reassigned when needed and it is possible for them to sustain injuries on the job. A total of 25 missions must be completed to accomplish a full tour of duty.
9. Reach for the Skies
Developed by Rowan Software Ltd., Reach for the Skies is a historical-themed battle simulation title released back in 1993. This combat flight simulation is centered on the events of World War II's Battle of Britain. It splits the famous battle into four separate segments, giving players the option to join the fight as a part of the German Luftwaffe or the British Royal Air Force. Aside from taking the role of a pilot, players can focus on deploying allied forces by taking on Controller duties. It is possible to accelerate time when not currently engaging enemy forces.
Each plane moves differently and they come with their own unique set of cockpit displays. There are 8 types of aircraft in total ranging from Spitfires to Ju88 bombers. For new players, the practice mode comes complete with indestructible aircraft. Additionally, there are various of settings which can adjust the game's realism during missions.
10. Sherman M4
The hit 3D tank sim Sherman M4 was released back in 1989 by Loriciels. It is set during the second World War and features a trio of campaigns: Normandy, Desert and Ardennes. In each mission, players take control of up to 4 M4 Shermans, a couple of jeeps and some artillery units.
The game features a number of mission types. These range from intercepting enemy convoys, limiting their movement by destroying bridges, rescuing allies on the map as well as seizing towns. While driving a tank, players can issue movement orders through the map. Just as it is in real life, allied units will engage enemies on their own when any are encountered. The player can also call for artillery strikes using the map.
Tanks may be resupplied, refuelled and repaired by capturing hangars. In addition to adjusting features that have to do with a mission's difficulty level, there are also a handful of options that can alter its level of realism.
Real war is not fun, but virtual warfare is – from pulling off maneuvers to learning about obscure crafts that fought in the various theaters of war (then blowing them up) is a nice little treat for every Amiga gamer out there. Sure these games won't live up to todays standards of those such as Call of Duty And regardless of which side you are playing, there is something interesting about being able to play world war games to live through the events from various perspectives.