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Game #1841
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Dawn Patrol    View all Top Dogs in this genre
Simulation   Flight - Military

Rating: 8.81 (80 votes)

Dawn Patrol box cover

Dawn Patrol screenshot
Having mastered the World War 2 flight sims genre with games like Overlord, which was one of the finest flight sims ever made for the Amiga, Rowan Software turned their attention to WW1 air combat with Dawn Patrol. But how do they compare against the phenomenal Red Baron from Dynamix or MicroProse's Knights of The Skies? Very damn well, in fact.

The presentation and game structure of Dawn Patrol is quite unique. Instead of following the career of a single pilot, the game revolves around a sort of interactive "storybook", which describes famous air combats during WW1 and then gives player a chance to relive them through the flight sim part. Some missions even allow the player to choose the side, which provides two alternate ways to fly the same mission.

The graphics are very good, especially in SVGA mode. Aircrafts are nicely rendered, although the landscape is a bit sparse. This is not a huge downside, though, considering that most of the action take place in the blue yonder (e.g. dogfights). Sound is adequate, although some effects such as gun strafing could be better sampled, and the moody music might get tiresome. The fight model of the plane is probably the game's weakest spot, as there seems to be no big differences between various aircraft, and the planes are a bit too fiddly (although that may be due to problems with my joystick). Even with these faults, though, Dawn Patrol is an outstanding flight sim that is more "light-weight" than Rowan's other sims, giving some slack in realism. The game's "storybook approach" is a welcome departure from the more typical career-based structure of most other sims. Hardened flight sim fans might want something more serious, but for casual armchair pilots or beginners, Dawn Patrol provides an educational and enjoyable experience. Recommended!

Note: For a head-to-head modem version, check out Dawn Patrol: Head to Head also on this site.

Reviewed by: Underdogs

Designer: Rod Hyde & Mark Shaw
Developer: Rowan
Publisher: Empire Interactive
Year: 1994
Software Copyright: Rowan
Theme: World Wars
None that we know of
System Requirements: DOS
Where to get it:
Related Links:  
If you like this game, try: Dawn Patrol: Head to Head, Reach for The Skies, Blue Max

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