Their Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain

Moby ID: 227
DOS Specs

Description official descriptions

The second of Lucasfilm Games' air combat simulations and follow-up to Battlehawks 1942, Their Finest Hour recreates the Battle of Britain during WWII in the summer of 1940.

Players can fly both for the German Luftwaffe and the British Royal Air Force.

On the British side, two planes are available: the Spitfire and the Hurricane. For the Germans, there is the fighter Bf 109, the heavy fighter/fighter bomber Bf 110, the infamous Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, and the three light/medium bombers Do 17, He 111 and Ju 88.

Next to training missions for every plane, there are several historical combat missions to be flown. In accordance with history, most RAF missions consist of defense assignments - intercepting and destroying German bombers. Most Luftwaffe missions are attack runs - either flying the bomber escort or the bombers themselves. In the heavier planes, not only can the pilot of the plane be controlled, but also the gunner(s), and, in the bombers, the bombardier.

The special Campaign Mode allows one to actually change the historical outcome of the Battle of Britain. On a strategic map, planes must be organized into groups and assigned to missions, one of which must be flown. The outcome of that mission affects those of all others and also the status of the overall campaign. The British side wins by simply surviving for a certain time or by destroying enough German aircraft. The German side wins by destroying enough RAF fighters, either in the air or on the ground.

Also included in the game is a mission builder for designing custom missions, and a film playback option for reviewing recorded flight footage.

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Credits (DOS version)

31 People (30 developers, 1 thanks) · View all

Project Leader
Lucasfilm Games Vice President and General Manager
Testing Manager
Aircraft Images & Background Art
Created & Designed By
Director of Software Development
Director Of Marketing
Marketing Communications Manager
Print Production Manager
Administrative Support
Playtest Manager
Lead Playtesters
Other Playtesters
Manual Written by
[ full credits ]



Average score: 83% (based on 26 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 24 ratings with 1 reviews)

A simple, but very fun WWII Flight sim

The Good
This was one of the first WWII flight sims to revolve around the Battle of Britain and while the machines of the day couldn't support as many planes in the air at one time like modern sims (European Air War, for example), Their Finest Hour did a decent job in making one feel like they were involved in some grand conflict. Similar to the original X-Wing game, you could create a pilot and play with that character, building his experience, then place him as one of your squadron mates to cover you. As the characters could live and die in any scenario, if you put some time into the game, you could actually start to get attached to your homemade squadron mates. This added a slight role-playing quality to this already fun flight simulator.

The ability to fly a wide range of fighters (and bombers) of the period was also fairly ground breaking for its time and provided quite a bit of replay value. You can fly the stable older Hurricanes or the newer, sleeker Spitfires on the British side, or experience quite a diversity on the German side, flying everything from the nimble Bf-109s, the powerful but awkward Bf-110 twin engine fighter, the Stuka dive bombers, or even the heavier bombers (complete with multiple gunnery stations). It was quite a collection of planes and the Stukas and bombers provided different styles of play.

The gameplay is simple enough for nearly anyone to get into the dogfight. Although perhaps too simplistic for fans of today's ultra-realistic games, there were few games of this period that were more complex, so it was also enjoyable by military aviation enthusiasts of all skill sets.

The Bad
The AI isn't anything spectacular, and you will often find enemy fighters merely trying to gently turn away from you when you plant yourself on their six. Although AI pilots will take the opportunity to catch you if you're fixated on shooting down a teammate of theirs, but they don't act as a team at all, and you can often pull off fighters, then finish them off. On the plus side, the act of extraordinary aerobatic maneuvers means there are few accidental crashes (though sometimes half your wing will buy the farm on landings).

Coupled with the slow speed of the game (at least on PCs of the time), one will probably find combat easier than it actually was for pilots. Planes don't zip around - they sometimes seem to crawl, making targeting easier. Your biggest concern is the gunnery stations on the larger planes, as you will be as much a target.

The Bottom Line
Although far from realistic in many aspects, this is still a classic, enjoyable air combat sim and one of the first few to allow one to pilot multiple types of airplanes, with assigned squadron mates, in a semi-meaningful random campaign game. Battle of Britain enthusiasts who want a more realistic, prettier simulation may want to play European Air War, but casual fans (especially with those machines incapable of playing new sims) may want to try out this old gem.

DOS · by Ray Soderlund (3501) · 2000



  • Amiga Power
    • May 1991 (issue #00) - #93 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
  • Computer Gaming World
    • September 1991 (Issue #86) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • October 1990 (Issue #74) - Action Game of the Year
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #21 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
  • Power Play
    • Issue 01/1990 - #3 Best Computer Game in 1989
    • Issue 01/1990 - Best Simulation in 1989
  • ST Format
    • January 1993 (issue #42) - #19 in '50 finest Atari ST games of all time' list

Information also contributed by PCGamer77


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  • MobyGames ID: 227
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Raphael.

Amiga added by Rebound Boy. Atari ST added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Adam Baratz, Patrick Bregger, Jo ST, ZeTomes.

Game added August 19, 1999. Last modified March 24, 2024.