This little gem is actually quite intereresting. Made for smart phones and Tablets originally but ported to the PC and beamed into our collective HD using the magic that is STEAM Ace Patrol is about two things. Biplane Hex Combat and more importantly fun.
Gameplay is basically this. You pick a nation (UK, France, Imperial Germany or America!) and each nation has a selecton of randomly generated pilots with aeroplanes of the era and you dogfight the enemy using a turn based hex combat system. Your squadron can have up to four Pilots who fly a series of randomly generated missions over four different offensives against NPC pilots who like your own can be captured or forced temporary out of the war to repair their damaged crates. Both friendly and enemy squadron Pilots unlock RPG-esqe skills, upgrades for their planes and learn special manauvers that give them the upper hand in combat. Oh and as the offensive progresses so does air technology for both sides. You might be flying easy one moment and then the enemy has a fancier crate with another set of wings and a bigger gun to keep you on your toes!
Combat itself is pretty simple, get a good shot under or behind the enemy plane whilst not exposing yourself to the dangers of their wingmans guns or AA gun fire. You are graded with a score system that is tied to the general STEAM achivements and online leaderboard for said game. To increase the score obviously you'll have to ratchet up the difficulty level (or be lucky enough to get a Pilot with the DOUBLE SCORE ability).
The other feature to keep you playing again is once you complete a Offensive with a certain nation the first time you unlock famous WW1 Ace Pilots with their own biplane livery schemes.
Bugs wise I've only encountered one and that sometimes you have some trouble clicking on a hex, this gets really fiddly when your Pilot has a million manuvers and you really don't want to select the FORCE LANDING one. I expect this is to do with it being more of a Tablet game really. Also, some of the art assets are slightly bland (Don't get excited about seeing the Offensive Victory screen more than once) despite the fact they did their best locked more or less in a single location.
Is it worth buying though? sure, why not if you want a addictive but slighty short turn based aeroplane game . But for the best value get it in a Sale and make sure you pick up the rather decent WW2 Pacific Campaign sequal at the same time.
Posted: November 27th, 2013