Bomber (video game)
The player is in command of a B-17 crew during World War II, assigned various bombing missions over Europe. The player must avoid German fighter attacks, flak, and the rigors of oxygen or heat depletion at high altitudes, and successful missions garner advancements in rank and rating. The player starts the game by responding to the Base Commander's Headquarters, and is assigned a bombing run, and flies home after the mission. Personnel can be killed during a mission, and hazards include engine, heater, oxygen, and landing-gear hits; gun jams; cockpit fires; and a runaway prop. Upon successfully bombing 25 targets, the bomber returns home to the USA and receives a medal.
The player controls the pilot, co-pilot, bombardier, navigator, and gunners for the plane. As the bombardier, the player uses the included Photo Recon booklet (which is also the game's copy protection) to aim the bombsight over the landscape to find the target identified in the photo, pressing the salvo button. When attacked by fighters, the player operates as a gunner, tracking enemy fighters through one of the B-17's six gun positions, and uses twin 50-caliber machine guns that carry 2,000 rounds each.
Bomber was developed by Inline Design using HyperCard as a software environment. Darryl Peck had started Inline Design with an old friend, intending the company to be a furniture and yacht design firm. When he found out that a friend of his partner was finishing Bomber and intended to post it as sharewere, Peck says "I convinced him to let me publish it by saying that if we sold 5,000 copies we would have about $100,000 in return. He bought the proposal and off we went. Rather than start a new company, I used the Inline Design name we had already registered." In a short time, Inline Design had sold over 10,000 copies of Bomber.
The Macintosh IIx (B&W) version of the game was reviewed in 1990 in Dragon #158 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 4 out of 5 stars. They stated that "Inline Design proves that HyperCard ... can be used as a software environment for commercially viable entertainment." They commented that Bomber combines digitized sound with realistic graphics, and "has the look and feel of real bomber missions. The Lessers concluded by stating: "Bomber is extremely enjoyable and is recommended for all Macintosh gamers."
Markus Dahlberg reviewed Bomber for Swedish magazine Datormagazin in 1994. Dahlberg felt that the game did not fulfill any sort of demand a player could expect from a modern game at that time, stating that he had never seen such a lousy game before. He commented that the graphics looked like they were made on a lunch break, and the cockpit looked like a miserable jumble where it would be hard to find which buttons to push. He noted that the game included headphones which hinted at the importance of sound in the game, but that the game's sound was completely inaudible. He ultimately lamented that no one should ever have to play such a miserable game, and felt bad for everyone who happened to own it.