The Dam Busters (video game)
|The Dam Busters|
Apollo Technica (NEC)
|Designer(s)||J. Stewart Eastbrook|
|Genre(s)||Combat flight simulator|
The Dam Busters is a combat flight simulator set in World War II, published by U.S. Gold in 1984. It is loosely based on the real life Operation Chastise and the 1955 film. The game was released in 1984 for the ColecoVision and Commodore 64; in 1985 for Apple II, MS-DOS, MSX and ZX Spectrum; then in 1986 for the Amstrad CPC and NEC PC-9801.
You choose from three different night missions, each of which is increasingly difficult. In all three, your goal is to successfully bomb a dam. On the practice run, you can approach and bomb the dam without any other obstacles. The two other missions feature various enemies to overcome, and you start from either the French coast or a British airfield.
During your flight, you control every aspect of the bomber from each of the seven crew positions: Pilot, Front Gunner, Tail Gunner, Bomb Aimer, Navigator, Engineer, and Squadron Leader. Leaving any of these positions unattended during an event could spell the death of the person in that position, rendering it useless during further encounters. You must evade enemies, plan your approach, and set all of the variables (speed, height, timing, etc.) to execute a successful bombing. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to deal with emergencies, such as engine fires.
While en route to the target you can expect to encounter attacks by enemy aircraft, barrage balloons, flak and enemy searchlights. Events like this will flash along the border of the screen, while indictating the key to press to take you to the station in need of assistance. For example, when flying though enemy search lights, you'll need to man the gunner's station and shoot out the lights on the ground. If left unattended, you can expect flak and enemy aircraft to start damaging your bomber.
Once you begin the final run to your target, you are presented with the custom bombing sights, as made famous by the story. When you toggle the bomb, you are shown an animation of the bomb bouncing along the lake and hitting (or not hitting) the target dam.
Computer Gaming World gave The Dam Busters two out of five points in an overview of World War II simulations, stating "this product's graphics and 'feel' make it too much of a game and not enough of a simulation".
- Brooks, M. Evan (April 1987). "Kilobyte Was Here!". Computer Gaming World. p. 6.
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