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B-17 Flying Fortress

aka: B-17 Flying Fortress: World War II Bombers in Action
Moby ID: 1756
DOS Specs
Buy on Windows
$8.99 new on Steam

Description official descriptions

B-17 Flying Fortress is a simulation of the legendary heavy bomber of World War II.

After customizing one's bomber with nose art and a name, one of several randomly assigned bombing missions into Germany must be flown. The game not only features actual flight simulation, but also crew management. Each of the 10 crew members has ratings for categories like piloting, bombing and gunnery. During a mission, crew members can be reassigned to other posts if needed because of injuries. Each position including the pilot seat, the guns and the bombing sight can of course also be controlled by the player.

A historically accurate number of 25 missions must be flown and survived to complete a tour of duty.

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Credits (DOS version)

22 People



Average score: 72% (based on 17 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 3 reviews)

One of a kind

The Good
- It's originality

  • Incredible depth and attention to detail

  • Realism

    The Bad
    - Definitely not for beginners or the impatient

  • Due to the nature of the game and its age, graphics and sound are quite spartan.

    The Bottom Line
    "B-17 Flying Fortress" was one of my first buys as a PC owner, back in the early 90s. To understand that, let me tell you that I knew of flight simulators through my previous experiences with lesser machines and the detailed reviews one could find in the computer magazines of the era. In a few words, I was fascinated with the genre and couldn't wait to put my hands on a proper flight sim and the machine capable of running it.

"Flying Fortress" became both a discovery and a (minor) letdown. Rather than starting my flight career with an action-packed, undemanding and exciting game, I had stumbled into a very different animal.

Because, see, "Flying Fortress" is not about free flight, or flight at all. It's more about management. The B-17 has ten crew members, and during each mission you need to supervise each of them.

Challenging? Naturally. But don't worry. Each position can be accessed at any time, and while you're worried in another matters, you can rely on the crew member to automatically do its job. Except when it comes to key situations, such as bombing, landing and so on, which you'll need to carry out manually.

So, in each mission you can rely on the pilots to take off and join the formation, unless you want to step in, of course. Then you can safely skip time until the real challenges appear: enemy flak, enemy fighters, mounting damages to the plane, injured crew members, bombing your objective and land your airplane in one piece.

By then "Flying Fortress" will be finally firing in all cylinders, and, as hours of gameplay pass by, you'll start to wonder how you could live without experiencing it. Guaranteed.

DOS · by Neville (3554) · 2015

Go Army Air Corp!

The Good
Personally, I've always had a sense of awe towards the men flew those B-17's. Only the bravest (craziest?) would go on daylight bombing raids that deep into enemy territory. That said, this game gave me a taste of what it must have been like for those men. The game is fairly realistic for its age. Take-offs, landings, gunnery, its all there. It gets a little hectic as you try to be ten soldiers at once.

The actual bombing run is what I enjoy the most (if I ever make it that far...), and it actually makes me sweat sometimes. Trying to land a severly damaged bomber is also a diffifcult task. But I love a challenge.

The Bad
And challenge it is. This game has a rather steep learning curve. You can keep running the training mission until you have every task down, but that gets a little tedious after a while. If you leave the "autopilot" on and just watch each task, that helps too.

One of the things that is really difficult is shooting down the Luftwaffe. In eight (failed) missions, I've only shot down two of those buggers.

The Bottom Line
Overall, despite the difficulty, I really enjoy this game. It really shows me why so few B-17's actually survived their 25 missions. If you are a WWII aviation fan, this is a game you should give a try. Be ready to spend some time watching from the sidelines however.

DOS · by Narf! (132) · 2000

Highly detailed simulation, albeit often tedious and overly time-consuming

The Good
This very ambitious and highly detailed simulation took you on a B-17 mission from beginning to end. I especially liked how you not only took off from a British airfield but then had to both (slowly) gain altitude and locate and rendezvous with the other aircraft in your formation. Very cool! Thankfully you could engage the autopilot and time accelerator if you wished to skip ahead to the bombing mission itself. The B-17 3D models were wonderfully animated and articulated.

The Bad
This simulation was designed by the same team that created Shuttle: The Space Flight Simulator and suffered from the same glaring omission: sound. As I recall B-17 had an engine sound, however this sound was simply an unvarying buzz regardless of what the engines or propellers were doing at any particular time. You could throttle up the engines, feather the props, or shut one or more engines down and the sound was always the same, boring buzz.

There was no mid-game save, so you were obliged to fly a mission from beginning to end before you could do anything else with your PC. As I recall, the fastest mission I ever completed took over three hours. That's a long time to dedicate your computer to a single purpose, especially a game.

The missions I flew were constantly hit with attacks from enemy fighters. I don't recall exactly how many encounters there were during a mission, 5 to 10 maybe, but they were way too many and it seemed unrealistic. Air attacks were especially frustrating because time acceleration was disabled so long as any enemy aircraft was nearby. Too many times I would be heading home after a successful drop only to have to fly real time because enemy aircraft were reported as being nearby. Many times I was obliged to spend 10 minutes or longer scanning the sky for the alleged enemy aircraft that never showed before I could re-engage time acceleration. When enemy aircraft did make an appearance, they were exceedingly difficult to shot down, and the crew AI were worse at it than I was. Very unsatisfying.

On top of fighting off waves of enemy aircraft you were obliged to constantly manage the crew (patch their wounds, etc.) and debug whatever was suddenly ailing the engines. More work than fun.

The Bottom Line
A bold, ambitious, but deeply flawed attempt at filling a real niche in air combat simulation.

DOS · by Dasharatha (8) · 2009


Freeware release

In 2000, Microprose has allowed the developer of B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th!, the game's 'sequel', to release the original B-17 Flying Fortress games as freeware in a promotional attempt. See the links section for the address.


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Related Sites +

  • Bomb-Away.net's freeware download of B-17 Flying Fortress
    In an attempt to promote this upcoming game, Hasbro/Microprose has released the original B-17 Flying Fortress game as freeware to be downloaded at the developer's site. For those who have purchased the game (worth it for the manual), this site also has crew editors and other neat little utilities all in one place.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 1756
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Verk.

Amiga added by Rebound Boy. Atari ST added by Martin Smith. Windows added by BOIADEIRO ERRANTE.

Additional contributors: Terok Nor, Ray Soderlund, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger.

Game added June 23, 2000. Last modified January 28, 2024.