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Battle of Britain      

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Details (Acorn BBC) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Audio cassette or 5.25" Floppy diskette

Acorn BBC

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Acorn BBC
Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Sinclair ZX Spectrum

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Your Reviews

Issue 3.06 (1st Aug 1985) (The Micro User)   25th Mar 2017 12:51
Battle Of Britain (Betasoft) (BBC Model B)

The RAF had gremlins, too

Reviewed By Robert Elwell In The Micro User 3.06

It really is a pity that when Betasoft put Battle of Britain on to disc it didn't take the opportunity that discs provide for enhancing any game.

With the flexibility of disc access, you can use overlay techniques to - at least partially - overcome the BBC Micro's limited memory.

Instead, Betasoft seems to have simply transferred the cassette version.

Even with eight files of instruction and five files of spurious logbook information, the completeoffering is only 52k long.

The disc isn't even dual formatted, but it is a simple matter to transfer the files from the supplied 80T disc to 40T, for the game isn't protected.

Booting the disc presents you with a logo, quickly followed by a request for your name. This lends that personal touch when you are told you're dead!

Then, once you've stated you are either a beginner, or advanced, a menu offers a choice of practising individual parts ofa mission, or flying a full sortie.

From maximum readiness, the scramble comes. Ignition sets the mighty Merlin into action, and an irritating buzzing hum belies all that notional horsepower.

By following the vector information which flashes at the top of the screen, eventually an armada of German aircraft is seen in the far distance. Here comes the gremlin. For if you have either type of Acorn DFS the screen freezes.

However, a Watford DFS will chain in the air battle, and a bewildering array of aircraft prove remarkably difficult to hit, while enemy fighters (you can see them in the rear mirror with their gun ports flashing) seem to have no such problem.

It is possible to shoot down friendlies. which will do your score no good at all. You might now begin to wish you'd spent more time on the instructions, learning which silhouette was which.

Eventually, ammunition exhausted, steering information flashes back on the screen, and you return to base.

After some practice, and always remembering to lower the undercarriage, you have the opportunity to update your logbook on landing.

It is possible to take on the personna of a famous fighter ace, and several logbooks are available for this sort of impersonation.

However, it is doubtful if any of them would recognise the machine that they supposedly flew.

It is unforgivable to offer a flight simulator with only key board controls - there isn't a joystick option!

In the same vein, there is only the remotest connection between altitude, power, angle of climb, angle of bank, airspeed, stalling speed, and, of course, weight (as the sortie progresses). Let no one imagine any aeroplane really flies like this.

Worse, perhaps, in combat fighter pilots arc taught to point their aircraft at the enemy. Here, pressing the keys gives the impression that the enemy is being moved - it's an unexciting impression.

It's unfair, but true, that Acornsoft has set the shoot-'em-up flying standard with Aviator. This Spitfire does not compute.

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This title was first added on 19th March 2008
This title was most recently updated on 25th March 2017

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