I was rather surprised by the relatively high number of negative reviews for a game I find so fun, so I thought I'd add my two cents:
This game is a rather unforgiving but fun look at the Battle of Britain. First I'll look at the pros and cons, and then I'll give some tips that I've found helpful to ease the pain in the beginning of the game, because if you screw up in the beginning it can make the game pretty much impossible going forward.
-The strategic and tactical gameplay are both challenging, but fun. On the strategic level, you can manage war production, which includes buying airfields, AA guns, factories, radar towers, airplanes, and the pilots. The money you earn is enough to buy the necessities for defense, but not enough to make the game easy. You're always having to prioritize, which I find fun and rewarding when done right. Even when done wrong, defeat never feels cheap, and you always feel as if it was more of a learning experience than a punishment.
-The tactical gameplay is mosty fun (the parts that weren't so fun will be in the cons), and, for me at least, I never get tired of downing Jerries. Call me odd, but it gives me a strange sense of satisfaction when I shoot down German bombers, as if I'm saving the lives of actual civilians.
-The stats are set up in a helpful way, helping you to keep track of your most experienced squadrons and even most experienced single pilots. This can be crucial. After all, if a huge stack of fighters and bombers is approaching, do you want to send out your veterans or untried rookies? On the other hand, you can send rookie squadrons to take out small stacks of enemies, giving them relatively easy experience points.
-Certain elements of tactical combat can be frustrating. In particular, a high amount of micromanaging is required. This is normally not so bad, since you only control 8 fighters at a time. But when your fighters are engaged in a sprawling dogfight with enemy fighters, your own fighters are often slow to react without your direct intervention. This can lead to several of your fighters being shot down in a row before you have time to react, which is incredibly frustrating. Also, when they're tangled up in a dogfight, your own fighters and the German fighters look very similar, which adds an unnecessary layer of difficulty to fights.
-When your fighters get to a certain level of health, they're given the option to parachute. But the health requirement for this is very low, so low that you'll often have less than a second to react before the airplane is destroyed and the pilot killed. Fortunately, you have the option to pause the combat at any time, but given how fast the planes can be destroyed, you have to have some good reflexes on that pause button.
-On the strategic level, if you are on the ropes and German airplanes are pouring over the countryside, you're pretty much done for, since the bombers will almost always target your airfields. This can be frustrating since the bombers can destroy your planes faster than you can get them in the air, which wastes a lot of money and is just plain not fun. Even strafing runs by fighters can take out most of your planes and pilots on the ground.
Overall, even though this game isn't perfect, it's still a tense, rewarding, and very fun rendition of the Battle of Britain. For 8 dollars, I definitely recommend it.
-Always make sure to have at least two squadrons, and have at least one of them on the ground while the others are in the air. You might feel inclined to get as many fighters as you can airborne to patrol, and in the very earliest stages you can usually get away with this. However, if all of your squadrons are in the air at one time, then this means that they'll all be refuelling at the same time as well. So if bombers suddenly come to your airfields while you're refuelling, you may not get your fighters airborne in time to prevent them from being destroyed on the ground. So always have at least one squadron on standby to respond to threats like this.
-Your fighters' guns have a longer range than the rear gunners on bombers, so feel free to attack them from behind, as long as you turn away before you get in range of the rear gunners. This can get you some easy experience points for rookies, assuming you've dealt with the enemy fighters first.
-Get enough radar stations to monitor the southern English coast, but not so many that they overlap. This will allow you to wait to launch your planes until the enemy is actually coming without costing you too much money. What else should you spend that money on, you ask? Well, I'll tell you:
-Buy plenty of AA guns. These can weaken tough units, and enemies will also try to fly around AA guns if they can, making their movements more predictable. Also, AA guns can actualy shoot down whole stacks of enemy fighters, letting the game deal with one of the most frustrating enemies so you don't have to.
I'm sure there are other things you'll learn along the way, but I think the tips above will help ease you into the game withouth too much frustration. But still, some things can't be taught and have to be experienced. Or maybe I'm just feeling too lazy to keep typing. In any case, I hope more people will give this game a chance, and if my review convinces someone on the fence to do just that, then I'll be content.
God save the King!