I had a blast with this game! A turn-based top-down dog-fighting strategy game was a brilliant idea on it's own, and this game delivered! Weighing in on a lofty 2.2 MB, it's a pretty breezy load even on my friend's laptop.
Before even playing the game, I have to compliment the musical arrangement. It fits the game like a glove setting the perfect World War 2 era epic mood. On top of that, it cycles out several tracks to provide the player with diversity! Not once did the music get annoying...it's actually pretty intense! Wonderfully arranged.
The premise of an alternate reality WWII is a familiar and flexible one for the gaming community. To hell with the technology that seems to take the challenge and skill out of war; this was the romantic era, with skilled pilots leading pilots against pilots. The way how the stage was set up to look like a map was a good touch, as geographic markers representing mountains provided a nice texture to the game, but didn't seem to represent anything more than a cosmetic feature.
Moreover, in the 1939 stage (I'm going to mentioning it a lot) there's no distinguished border, or indication that you're about to leave the map. Once the selection arrow for your plane extends beyond the map's border, you've lost that fighter. There needs to be some kind of heads-up or method of prevention to keep your fighters in the area of operations.
The game IS challenging...but that's what kept me coming back! Some of those missions are seemed impossible to go through without taking hits, but with experience it IS possible. The only one I can't, for the life of me, get anything above two stars is that blasted 1939; equipped with two shield birds, one U-turn and one boost, against two Darts. The bastards can outrun and maneuver you, and although it is possible to beat the stage, I can't find a way to do it unscathed. I'm close to just accepting it can't be done. The other two I'm working on are the only others I haven't achieved four stars in; the 1946 and '47 missions...I've come close to four stars each time I've tried, but some plane of mine somehow grazes some gas or something. I'll get those two soon, and everything else has four stars (I'm apparently the Marshal of the RAF.) but that DAMNED 1939 MISSION! One day....one day.......
Though I'm frustrated, it's a sporty gamer frustration; programming is solid on my end with little or no bugs! Every once and a while trying to click or drag a selection arrow for one of my guys doesn't want to budge at first, but with persistence gives in, and every once and a while I'll accidentally hit the wrong one because I have my guys fly in tight formations, but all-in-all it's nothing to really complain about. The game is good solid fun.
It would be nice to have the ability to equip your birds with specific abilities, but again, no biggie; having to use what you got is a part of the challenge. I also wish there were more levels available here on Newgrounds. But if what you say is true in expanding game modes, introducing new items, and a MULTIPLAYER (holy shit) I'm eager to try it out for myself!
Still, there's ALWAYS room for improvement why not include:
-Altitude adjustments indicated by shadows and unit lighting, or alternatively letters? (L-Low, M-Mid, H-High) and gas could gradually sink after two turns
-Ground fixtures (AA guns, Flak cannons, targets for bombing runs either to attack or defend)
-Bodies of water to mix it up from the OD green
-...which could introduce Aircraft Carriers and Battleships, frigates...a Navy?
-When highlighting a unit, have a highlighted cone or circle that indicates their firing radius? On numerous occasions through my playtime that would've been most useful
I can't stress this enough; everyone involved really constructed a solid, fun gameplay experience. I've told my friends about it and they loved it, we have a blast with this thing. When I eventually do conquer all of the missions here, I'm going to hit up the bonus missions without a doubt. Looking forward to expansions/sequels! Fived and Fav'd! Good job!