Title Battlehawks 1942 Game Type Flight Sim Company LucasFilm Games 1989 Players 1 HD Installable Yes Compatibility 68000 Submission Emmanuel Henne Review The year is 1942, and the war between the US of America and the Japanese Empire is at its climax. A quick historical overview: in 1941, Japanese airforces struck the American base at Pearl Harbor, sinking 5 battleships. The Japanese forces, motivated by this fast success, invaded and occupied in rapid succession the Philipines, the Netherlands East Indies, Guam, Singapore and Wake Islands. Even Australia was suffering from Japanese air strikes. By the beginning of the year 1942, America and Japan engaged in a series of four epic naval clashes which would determine the fate of the entire Pacific: The Battle of the Coral Sea The Battle of Midway The Battle of the Eastern Solomons The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands These battles had one thing in common: They were all fought and decided by aircraft based on carriers. "Battlehawks 1942" is the predecessor of the famous "Their Finest Hour", and uses the same engine, minus the 3-D-terrain. In "Battlehawks", all you will see geographically is water, water and...right, more water. The (so called) 3-D-engine is based on bitmaps (like WingCommander 1) which are being rotated and scaled depending on the player`s view. Like most games of that early Amiga-period, "Battlehawks" uses only 16 colours, but hey, it still looks acceptable. The sound is authentic; the engines are roaring differently depending on the airspeed, the machine guns are firing like crazy, the hits you take really make you panic. The performance is great even on the A500, the controls are responsive (choose either Mouse or Joystick) and the graphics are outdated but nonetheless fulfill their purpose (the planes are very distinguishable). The atmosphere is really great, and the game let`s you live through the most exciting moments of that conflict: Dive bombing missions, torpedo missions, interception missions, escort missions, everything is there, everything is based on real war experiences of real pilots who were involved in the development of this game. The gameplay itself is like the one you`d exspect from a decent fligh simulator, minus some realism and (some say uninteresting) stuff like take offs and landings. In the briefing room, You get Your mission objectives (you can fly either japanese or american planes of different kinds), then you fly away to fulfill them. Excellent pilots achieve promotions and the obligatory medals (Purple Heart, Silver Star, CMOH etc...), bad pilots have to restart failed missions. There is no campaign like in WINGS or GUNSHIP 2000, You can choose and fly mission after mission. The manual is 150 pages long, something You rarely find today in game boxes. It is filled with b/w pictures, maps and historical background, mixed with first-hand-stories and loads of educational stuff. As a conclusion, this was the very first Amiga game I ever bought, right when it came out. It was so impressive that I played it for months, simply because it is so much fun to play and has got bags of atmosphere. And still, after all those years, it is an evergreen for me which really provided me with emotional moments, and that`s what I expect from an excellent game.