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B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th

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B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th is the sequel to the 1992 flight simulator B-17 Flying Fortress: World War II Bombers in Action developed by Wayward Design and sold by MicroProse (owned by Hasbro) in 2000. It was released in the United States on December 13, 2000. It was designed for the Windows 9x series of operating systems, but is also compatible with Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

The game

The sequel had much improved graphics for Intel Pentium III and AMD Athlon processors and added fairly realistic but slightly simplified Norden Bombsight/navigation procedures and operation as well as Pilot and Copilot controls in the combat flight simulation. Other Allied or Axis aircraft like the P-38, P-51, P-47, Bf-109, FW-190 or Me 262 could be flown as well. The emphasis in this simulation was on successful B-17 Flying Fortress aircrew training and skill improvement, successful navigation, survival from enemy Flak batteries as well as Luftwaffe fighters, and correctly and accurately bombing the right target (aiming point) and making it back to the home base airfield through a simulated tour of duty in the Eighth Air Force.

Since this simulation is complex, only one squadron or two squadrons of B-17 bombers could be featured, rather than an entire group or even wings of bombers in aerial combat box formations. Fighters were few in number. This was in stark contrast to MicroProse's earlier European Air War, which featured large number of aircraft in flight. One of the faults with this simulation is that multi-player game play on the Internet was not added, though it was planned at one time, and the printed manual (or later a PDF file), and the simulation was developed under time and monetary constraints so some other planned features and improvements were missing from the original software release. The game shipped with a handy two-sided color reference chart detailing the layouts of the aircraft cockpits instruments and controls of different military aircraft in addition to displaying control keys for the players computer keyboard.

The software also was sold later on in a three-pack of MicroProse simulations which also included GUNSHIP! (2000) and European Air War (1998).In addition the software is still available through a couple of websites as a download. B-17 Flying Fortress The Mighty 8th had several software patches later on to fix issues with the simulation and the he game's support community at created other add ons, fixes and had tutorials and discussion groups on their Internet forum. The game is very similar in its gameplay to the original B-17 Flying Fortress simulation except that the controls are a lot more detailed, complicated and realistic in addition to the vastly improved computer graphics and multimedia sound effects(with support for Aureal A3D driver sound). The sequel even has a decent emulated Norden Bombsight which features synchronization and drift. B-17 Flying Fortress The Mighty 8th is also very difficult for a novice or average player and takes a lot of time to master.

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