Air Force Commander logo

Air Force Commander is not a flight simulator. It is a war game and the object is to establish supremacy in the air while avoiding civilian unrest., or the adverse opinion of the international media. It is almost too close to real life. The game comes on two disks; one with a variety of scenarios set in the Middle East, while the other lets you strap on your handlebar moustache and guide the allies to victory in WWII.

Each disk has several scenarios, so you can pit almost any country's air force against that of another. This huge range of options is initially confusing, with 56 different scenarios on two disks, some hypothetical and some historical. These range from The United Arab Emirates Versus Kuwait which is very basic, to The Battle of Britain which is damn difficult.

As the overall commander of your forces you have to ensure that they are in the air at the right time and are ready to meet the enemy. You must use your mobile radar units to identify enemy installations and then target them, while on the home front you have to ensure that your cities are supplied with water, food and power, to avoid civil disorder. And, above all, you must make sure that your resources do not run out.

This is a complex and intriguing simulation which, despite some gripes, is worth the considerable effort required to get the most of it.

Der Recycling-Krieg

Air Force Commander logo

In Impressions zweifelhafter Produktpalette war das mittelprächtige Luftkampf-Strategical "Fighter Command" das reinste Highlight - deshalb jubelt man es uns jetzt auch ein zweites Mal unter!

Worum ging es bei diesem Meisterwerk, das wir im Januar letztes Jahres mit rückblickend etwas arg wohlmeinenden 61 Prozent feierten? In 28 anwählbaren Szenarien durfte um die Luftherrschaft im Mittlern Osten gerungen werden.

Dabei beschränkte sich die Aufgabe des Spielers darauf, mit seinem maus- und menügesteuerten Fliegerstaffeln die feindlichen Flugbasen, Versorgungszentren und Abwehrstellungen in Echtzeit lahmzulegen - bzw. lahmlegen zu lassen, denn die eigentliche Action erledigte der Rechner.


Wer so entweder die Luftstreitkräfte des Gegners vernichtet oder dessen Bevölkerung restlos demoralisiert hatte, wurde zum Zieger ausgerufen.

Mit neuem Namen, neuer Verpackung, ein paar neuen Menügrafiken und 28 zusätzlichen Missionen aus dem Zweiten Weltkrieg ausgestattet, geht der Spaß nun von vorne los.

Besonderen Wert legten die Impressionisten scheinbar auf die unveränderte Übernahme der unausgegorenen Steuerung, der unübersichtlichen Karte, des fehlenden Zwei-Spieler-Modus sowie der Minimal-FX und eines großen Teils der kampferprobten Magergrafik.

Man sollte sich daher von den hübschen Bildchen auf der Packung nicht täuschen lassen - das häßlichste davon ist der Hauptscreen des Spiels, vor dem man die meiste Zeit verbringt!

Also ein klarer Fall von Beutelschneiderei, denn so toll, daß man es gleich zweimal braucht, war das Teil schon vor zwei Jahren nicht. Mittlerweile hat sich die Welt weitergedreht, was der Bewertung dieser Mogelpackung auch nicht gut bekommt... (mic)

Air Force Commander logo


I am getting pretty sick of reviewing strategy games that have all the graphic sophistication of a three-year-old's first attempt to paint. Here is another fine example of a great concept that has been let down by the graphic artist.

Air Force Commander puts you in control of a country's air defences and related resources. It is up to you to plan, direct and execute a strategy for their defence and, if the scenario demands it, take the air war to the enemy. To win you will need to deploy squadrons at the right base, set up defensive patrols and carry out bombing runs against the enemy's airfields and supply depots.

The key to all of this is radar. You will start each scenario with a number of static and mobile ground radar units, plus one or two AWACs planes. Protect them at all costs 'cos once they are gone you cannot replace them or carry out any air manoeuvres. Once that happens you have lost.

The gameplay is simple and the control system intuitive. And, as the whole thing is played in real time, you do feel a lot of pressure to get things done quickly. Just like the real thing I guess. However, if I was not reviewing it I would not touch this game. The sound effects are, again, almost non-existent save for the odd explosion.

As for the graphics, well a flat 2D map is not exactly all that much fun to look at is it? Where are the fly by shots and missile cameras like the real air force had in the Gulf War? What about a little dog fighting action when planes meet instead of, like now, one flying into the other and an explosion.

It is really sad to think that so much imagination has gone into the overall design and so little in its execution.