|a game by||Paradox Entertainment AB|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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There was a time when models enhanced by plastic surgery were little more than hastily constructed World War II aircraft, fashioned from mass-produced plastic kits, smudged together with glue and drowned in paint. Some of you may have had them dangling from the ceiling, others would have taken far greater pleasure from stuffing them with fireworks and throwing them from open windows. Either way, very few of us can claim to have any such aircraft still in service nowadays. Most such models would have long since perished.
Today, with PCs and PlayStations simulating the wargames once played in bedrooms and backyards, modelmaking as a hobby has gone the way of the dodo - those still practising the art are now labelled as trainspotters. However, those hankering back to such days can rejoice - Airfix Dogfighter is on the way.
Taking its influence from the lamentable Army Men series, Airfix Dogfighter allows you to take to the skies, restricted as they are by walls and ceilings, through the comfort of your own virtual home. Fifteen authentically remodelled aircraft from World War 2 will be at your disposal and the aim is to bomb, strafe and dogfight your way through all the rooms of a typical suburban house.
Developed by UDS, the Swedish team behind the long-forgotten gem of a racer Ignition, Airfix Dogfighter makes no pretence at being a realistic flight simulation, rather the game is a simple arcade fix, offering fast-paced airborne toy combat set in miniature.
Labelling the game as Army Men in planes is perhaps a little harsh. Where Army Men and its unending sequels failed to inject an ounce of originality, the backdrops seemingly offering only a cosmetic switch in gameplay, at least Airfix Dogfighter gives us the opportunity to swoop underneath tables and chairs and bomb carpets - and everything else, including the kitchen sink. If you wish you can also 'paint' your planes, choosing from a ready-mixed palette of colours, and you can even adorn your fuselage with sticky fingerprints cast in glue. For the multiplayers among you, tail and fuselage art can be incorporated and you can even design your own homes to fly about in, placing breakable objects like vases in strategic places - something we were never allowed to do in our childhoods. In multiplayer games too, as in the single player, light switches and doors can be shot to trap your pursuer in darkness or send them crashing into said doors. The planes range from fighters such as the Japanese Zero and British Spitfire to jets like the Me262. Gun emplacements will be open for attack, and in the bathroom, battleships and submarines will be fighting for control of the plughole.
As well as traditional weapons like machine guns, bombs and rockets, household objects can be picked up - fireworks, for example - and used as paramines and A-bombs. If we could have wreaked this much havoc in our pre-teen years, our fathers would surely have brought the slipper to our behinds, but the fact that we'll be able to burn carpets and smash bookshelves without reprisal, through every room in the house as well as the garden (yes, you can at last rid the world of garden gnomes), should ensure that our childhood dreams will be realised. At least that's the plan.