Realistic air combat is waiting for you, in some of the most intense dogfights of the Cold War era!
User reviews: Mixed (23 reviews)
Release Date: May 24, 2006
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About This Game

Wings Over Europe: Cold War Gone Hot lets you pilot any of the 12 most legendary Cold War fighters! Realistic air combat is waiting for you, in some of the most intense dogfights of the Cold War era. Flyable aircraft include the: F-100 Super Sabre, F-105 Thunderchief, F-4 Phantom II, F-15 Eagle, A-10 Thunderbolt II, British Hunter, and the exciting vertical take-off and landing of the Harrier "jump jet." Next generation environmental effects including volumetric clouds and state-of-the-art dynamic lighting Highly-accurate planes, weapons, flight models, and challenging enemy AI Win decorations, awards, and promotions with each successful mission.


- Engage in blood-draining, G-pulling, action-packed dogfights against 13 different types of Cold War Soviet aircraft.
- Fly era-specific aircraft through Central Europe in three epic campaigns.
- From the developers of the highly successful European Air War, Strike Fighters: Project 1, and Wings Over Vietnam.
- Random mission generator provides maximum flexibility and replayability. Campaign missions also have a different outcome each time.
- Open architecture for mod support. Download thousands of user-created skins, aircraft, terrain, missions, campaigns, and editors already available on the Internet.
- Next generation environmental effects including volumetric clouds and state-of-the-art dynamic lighting.
- Highly-accurate planes, weapons, flight models, and challenging enemy AI.
- Win decorations, awards, and promotions with each successful mission.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/2000
    • Processor: 650Mhz Pentium III/Athlon Processor
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 32MB DirectX 9 Graphics Card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
41 of 48 people (85%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
While it features a decent selection of classic jets, fun combat, and easy to pick up sim characteristics, I cannot recommend Wings over Europe for the simple fact that it's a poorly optimized mess and offers nothing over the Strike Fighters 2 series. It's not bad, it's just obselete.

To be clear: Third Wire does not see a penny of the money from this product.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
This flight sim is some of the most fun I have had in a long time. It feels a lot like the old, defunct sims Janes would put out back in the 1990s. Not exactly as hard-core 'study sim' as the more pricey DCS modules (such as A-10C), but also not nearly as arcadey as Ace Combat and HAWX. The mix of aircraft included stock is pretty good, especially if you are a fan of the F-4 Phantom II or the original Harrier designs. But, there is also a HUGE mod scene with all kinds of aircraft you can add into the game, including the A-6 Intruder, A-7 Corsair, F-14 Tomcat, MORE versions of the F-4, and the A-4.

If it wasn't obvious, this game isn't meant to be 'modern', but based on hypothetical scenarios that could have occured from the 1960s to 1980s between the Soviet Union and NATO. There is a single mission generator based on many mission types, including escort, fighter sweep, recon, strike, close air support, anti-ship, and scramble. Going into the settings menu, you can decide if you will start on the runway for a full-on mission, or about 15 miles from the target for some quick action. My one complaint, is there really isn't a mission builder as to be expected in simulations like this included. It is randomized based on the variables you customize. But, that is easily forgivable. BE SURE that you download the latest patch from Third Wire, as that will drastically improve stability on modern operating systems.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Update: If you do decide to get this after reading this review, you can download a patch that will fix many things in this still great sim. Download it here:

Something more is that there is some pretty awesome third party addon content for this simulation that is faithful to sim itself and the flight eras it offers. Check the great site: in the campaign section for a series of four addons that will improve your experience of this great sim.

As a flight sim hobbyist but not a dedicated, I've had a long history with flight sims such as Chuck Yeager's Flight Trainer and Air Combat Sim, MS Flight Simulator (from the very early days). Aces Over Europe and Red Baron (both Dynamix) and Knights Of The Sky (Microprose) who included greats like Billy Bishop (a Canadian Ace from WWI) and Ike Immelman (a tactical aviation innovator whom has a manoeuvre with his namesake). Spectrum Holobyte's Falcon 3.0 which utilized the new advancement of the FPU unit of the Intel 386 to offer real military quality flight simulation (apparently Spectrum Holobyte adapted their actual military flight simulator technology for use in the game).

One of my favourite flight sims was F117 Stealth Fighter by Microprose on the basis of its customizable mission dynamics and flight strategy with stealth technology, you were guaranteed replayability. Which is what brings me to Wings Over Europe.

Wings Over Europe has all of the elements of the classic flight simulator games offered by Microprose and one of my heroes of Microprose, "Wild" Bill Cody who was like a the Tom Clancy of flight simulation in his day. It has all of these elements without overdoing it and keeping it simple enough for the newcomer to flight simulation to accomplish and advance.

Most of the missions take place during the Cold War, so you won't be flying any stealth fighters such as the YF-22 or F-35. You will however get a fun and unmatched flight experience of the cold war era and a lesson in the advance of jet and missile technology during the era. Missions are tense though sometimes you might not have an encounter during a mission in campaign mode if you are careful enough. This is what brings the realism to it. The enemy AI is great and they communicate, so once you're spotted, that's it. They're firing AAA or SAMs and scrambling their hardware to dispatch you.

I'm running Windows 7 (32-bit) and though I've found that it runs great, it tends to drop out of the game after missions but still retains your progress. I've run the same game on Windows Vista (several years ago) and played it through time and again without problem so I suspect that what I'm experiencing is a UAC problem (maybe running under admin will work).

You don't need a flight stick to fly the flight sim as the keyboard controls are good, but a flight stick would definately be a big advantage.

One of the greatest features is that the entire battlefield feels like it a living and breathing conflict and the enemy and allies are on standby all of the time. There are ground units whose eyes and ears can result in you being spotted resulting in a nearby airfield dispatching its own air CAP to deal with you.

Likewise you might fly missions where you are quickly scrambled while enemy squadrons attack your airfield.

All in all a very enjoyable experience despite the fact that it is an older title. The graphic and gameplay hold up for certain. Just try all of the different camera views and you'll see what I mean...

Highly recommended for any avid flight sim fan especially those of Microprose flight sims, and those who are new to flight simulation who want something that is scalable as they learn more about the controls and aircraft. Don't get me wrong, this has some advanced features like targeting different targeting (supporting A2A, A2G, A2R and Guns) and radar modes and ECM and a Radar Jammer (Electronic Counter Measures) as well.

This is the flight sim for fans of classic sims and those looking to get into sims.

If you want to get pumped about this and games like this, watch the movie The Right Stuff.

Brian Joseph Johns
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 18
Total crap and the most annoying thing is that when you fail a mission it get you out of game and back to steam luckily i got it for 800 gems and did not spend any money on it is not worth even the sale right now
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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
Overall, it is a good sim, not as hardcore as IL2 1946, but good enough to be fun and not too arcade like. I recommend it as it is the only jet combat sim avaliable on steam, and can be quite good with the right mods installed.
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31 of 37 people (84%) found this review helpful
34.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 31
Flying is pretty fun. It is more arcadish than sim. So if you like planes and just want to mess around you will enjoy this game.

You have to maually patch this game to not have any crashes for windows 7 and probably 8 too.
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
For the asking price during a sale, this is an exellent purchase. The game has dept and an amazing modding community that provides aircraft, campaigns and the like.

However, the sequels is far superior. You can buy them off the Developers website here:
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38 of 62 people (61%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
A great modern flight simulator that reminds me a lot of the 90's sims before they got rediculously complex.

I thoroughly recommend it, but DON'T BUY IT FROM STEAM!
Buy it from Third Wire directly!

Third Wire are the developers, and they DON'T RECEIVE A SINGLE CENT from the sales of this on Steam, so you're only supported immoral publishers and their contracts.
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5 of 11 people (45%) found this review helpful
24.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 7
Even after attempting to patch the game manually, it won't run on windows 8. when you start a mission, the game crashes and the window automatically closes.
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9 of 20 people (45%) found this review helpful
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
Even though this is a classic and fun game, I can't recommend it because it CTD every time you try to end the mission.
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0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
Don't bother with this.

I have Windows 8.1 and have added the 08 patch and it still CTDs when trying to exit a mission. I have been a Thirdwire Sim user since Strike Fighters Project 1 and had WOE working perfectly on Vista. I have alot of work involved installing Mods that also worked perfectly on Vista. I won't buy the new version from the Thirdwire Website because its nothing but a money grab. All the old versions needed was a compatability patch, but instead Thirdwire released versions for newer OS at $30 a piece with very little done to change the old games. A few minor tweaks is the only difference, its still basicly the same game. Also Aircraft that were included in the old versions are now sold seperately, just a way to milk a few more dollars from their fanbase.

Thirdwire also says they make no money from the steam version since Steam purchased it from another rights holder. What they won't tell you is they already got paid when they sold the rights in the first place. I was in the community and i know this game inside and out as far as editing and modding. I had alot of fun with these games in the beginning, but now with the cash grab and the fact that you must buy the new version if you want to use a new OS i am just left disgusted and will not give Thirdwire another dime.

Whos to say they won't pull the same crap again when a new OS comes out? All these games need is a patch to the exe for compatability which only the developer can do, its beyond what modders have done so far, but instead of a patch you have to buy a whole new game and to be honest $30+ the DLCs to bring it back to the original game is overpriced and just not worth it.

EDIT: Ok, I can't claim this will work for everyone, i am not even sure it will continue working for me but i have completed two missions without a CTD by setting the Exe to Windows XP (Service Pack 2) in the compatability tab when you right click on it and select Properties. Like i said, i have alot of work involved in customizing this sim so its hard for me to just give up on it. Hopefully this will help someone, but it would still be better if Thirdwire would just patch it so we don't have to edit the FLIGHTENGINE.INI and mess with compatability modes.
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0.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 16
wont load ♥♥♥♥ing sucks
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17.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 12
I realy have a blast on this game every time I play it.
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0.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 15
This game is great. Period.
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