Jane’s WWII Fighters

Here’s another 10 or so year old game of high quality.  This WWII flight sim features action from both the Axis and Allied sides.  It includes 10-15 single player missions (including a few training missions) and 20-25 campaign missions for each side.  The flyable planes include the BF-109, FW-190, and ME-262 for the Axis and the Spitfire, P-38, and P-51 for the Allies.  The graphics and damage models are very nice and hold up well for a game this old.

The game centers around the Battle of the Bulge, but there are a variety of missions including air and ground.  Air missions include attacking or defending bombers and fighter patrols against random or set targets.  Ground missions include attacking air fields with planes or vehicles on the ground and strafing runs against columns of enemy vehicles.

I had some difficulty properly controlling the aircraft using a joystick, but tweaking the settings helped.  There are various settings from how the planes fly to difficulty of enemies to  fuel and ammo limits.  Make sure you install the patch as I read this adds many settings to the original game.

My only complaints, very minor, are about the boring flying parts of missions.  Usually you fly a certain distance to different waypoints before you get into the action, and sometimes have to fly to certain waypoints after the action to beat the mission.  It would have been nice to be able to skip these parts with a hotkey for those (like me) who didn’t want to wait a few minutes for the action to start.  There was a flight sim I played years ago that had something like this where you could press a button to skip to the next waypoint.  The only other complaint I have is that in some missions you are supposed to kill a certain number of planes but sometimes I wouldn’t see enough or find them.  Then I’d be flying to waypoints for several minutes until I realized I’d obviously missed something.  One nice feature is that the game would tell you if there were mission objectives remaining, and if not, you could immediately end the mission.

Overall, Jane’s WWII Fighters is a great WWII flight sim with good graphics, nice pilot chatter, nice damage models, and many options that let you fly as realistically as you like.

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