Exhibit - 1942 The Pacific Air War
Release Date - 1994
Platform - PC
Developer - Microprose
Publisher - Microprose
In collection - No
Comments - " 1942 The Pacific Air War was a World War II air and sea combat simulation from MicroProse -- you could regard it as the spiritual predecessor to the wonderful European Air War. "
Missions were historically based -- you might be flying a CAP over Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, or defending the USS Enterprise, or dive bombing the IJN carriers at the Battle of Midway. Careers started in the planes appropriate to the year of the war (e.g. F4F in 1942) -- if you survived, you could move up to the Hellcat when it became available.
Aircraft carrier operations were modeled quite well -- you might have to wait behind a lot of other planes to take off, and landings could be tough, especially in the heavier aircraft.
Graphics were very good for 1994, but limited to 320 x 200 pixels. The planes were shaded and could look really good in external views. A virtual cockpit and a simple padlock view were implemented.
Missions were recorded and could be played back and edited, and you could jump back and fly from any point in the recording.
The final "Gold" version added multimedia elements -- film clips, diagrams, tactics, etc. The game also included a map-based "strategic" component -- a game within a game in which you controlled the carriers, sending out scouts and launching attacks when you found the enemy. This was not a full naval warfare simulation, but it was pretty good (I believe you could jump in and fly from this module too, something like the AWACS module in Total Air War).
PAW included "remote play" by modem, with cooperative or head-to-head options. PAW was DOS-based and ran OK on a 486/66, and quite well on a P90. It did a great job in evoking the mood and tension of the war in 1942, when the USN started on the defensive and fought its way to air dominance.
MiGMan thanks Chino
MiGMan thanks Chino for the info
The cockpits pushed the state of VGA art.