Amiga cover art
|Developer(s)||Digital Image Design|
|Genre(s)||Combat flight simulator|
|Mode(s)||Single player, two players|
F29 Retaliator is a combat flight simulator video game developed by Digital Image Design and published by Ocean Software in 1989 for the PC, for the Amiga and Atari ST in 1990, and the FM Towns and NEC PC-9801 in 1992-1993. Its working title was just Retaliator.
The game was developed during the final phase of the Cold War, based mostly on speculations on then-future machines of war that were expected to be in use in the year 2002, in particular the revolutionary aircraft design of the Lockheed F-22 (its design, however, is just the game developers' guess and is looking nothing like the real-world Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor) and the Grumman "F-29" (based on the experimental Grumman X-29A).
The graphics were detailed by the standards of the period, featuring cities, bridges, roads, islands, mountains and moving vehicles. The plane's cockpit had three multi-function displays available to set up in a number of configurations. The fantastic "future" weapons to choose from include a fighter-carried Tomahawk cruise missile, rearward-firing AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and a gigantic cluster bomb.
The PC version allowed head-to head dogfighting using a null modem cable. This game is regarded as being severely bugged (for example, since the game allows the airplane to be controlled even after the pilot ejects, it is possible for players to hit themselves with their own plane).
The game includes four war scenarios (Arizona desert test and training sites, Pacific conflict, Middle East conflict and the World War III in Europe) each with several missions, with the total number of those adding up to 99. The last mission of the game can be any of three, and completion of each one leads to different game endings:
|Retaliator / Hand Shake||Eliminate 12 elite MiG-29 pilots||Enemy surrender|
|Hour Glass||Destroy the Soviet HQ||Nuclear winter|
|Saviour / Abyss||Intercept a nuclear cruise missile||Outcome unknown|
The game received 4 out of 5 stars in Dragon. Computer Gaming World described F29 as a less-expensive alternative which "still offers a solid game-playing experience, with limitations". While noting limitations such as a small game environment, the magazine concluded that "despite its limitations, F-29 is an enjoyable diversion" for those new to flight simulators. A 1992 survey in the magazine of wargames with modern settings gave the game three stars out of five. It was ranked the 36th best game of all time by Amiga Power in 1991.
Retaliator 2, announced in 1990 to be released in the first quarter of 1991, was never released as the team concentrated on finishing EPIC (released in 1992 and using an improved engine of F29), but DID would later create three further, much more realistic F-22 simulators: TFX (1993), F-22: Air Dominance Fighter (1997) and F-22 Total Air War (1998).
- PC Feature: F29 Retaliator - ComputerAndVideoGames.com
- Zero 12 (October 1990)
- Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia & Lesser, Kirk (October 1991). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (174): 57–64.
- Case, Loyd Jr. (October 1991). "F-29 Retaliator / Or the ATF on a Budget". Computer Gaming World. p. 64. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- Brooks, M. Evan (June 1992). "The Modern Games: 1950 - 2000". Computer Gaming World. p. 120. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- Amiga Power magazine issue 0, Future Publishing, May 1991
- Advanced Computer Entertainment 37 (October 1990), p.22-23