B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th!
Description official descriptions
B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th! is a single-player only flight sim featuring the famous WWII bomber, made by some of the team who also created B-17 Flying Fortress for MicroProse.
You can take control over every of 16 positions available in this plane: Pilot, Gunner, Bomber or communications officer. You can also fly one of the escort fighters (P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang, and P-47 Thunderbolt) or German fighters (Bf 109, FW 190, and Me 262).
The flight model is very accurate, as is the graphics and sounds used to represent plane damage.
In addition to managing the aircraft and bombing missions, one also has to manage the bomber crew, take care of the wounded, make sure they don't panic under fire, almost like in an RPG.
- B-17空中堡垒：第八飞行中队 - Chinese spelling (simplified)
- Б-17 Летающая Крепость 2 - Russian spelling
- Aircraft: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
- Aircraft: Focke-Wulf Fw 190
- Aircraft: Messerschmitt Bf 109
- Aircraft: Messerschmitt Me 262
- Aircraft: P-38 Lightning
- Aircraft: P-47 Thunderbolt
- Aircraft: P-51 Mustang
- Best of Infogrames / Atari releases
- MicroProse B-17 Flying Fortress series
- PC Gamer Presents Games
Credits (Windows version)
146 People · View all
|Front End Programming|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 77% (based on 23 ratings)
Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 9 ratings with 2 reviews)
B-17 is beautifully realistic and features terrific flight and damage modeling, great atmosphere, and highly detailed and realistic missions.
Good Lord Almighty, what a bad interface. Like its predecessor, B-17 asks that you man or direct all the positions in the plane, which is a great idea. Unfortunately, this version does so using the most impenetrable, bizarre interface system possible, which inexplicably features two different interfaces for each position. Finding your way to various functions requires that you use a heiroglyphic-style popup menu system completely separate from positional controls, which defies any sort of logical explanation. The game includes an appalling amount of unnecessary tedium, including a startup and takeoff sequence that requires you sit through several minutes of nothing happening. The piece de resistance is that you have to click on the "signature" line on your orders to be able to take off. If you forget to do that, back to the orders room you go after going through a passel of other menus. What purpose could that feature possibly serve?
The game's nice graphics and realism just don't make up for the fact that there's very little GAME here. It's unfortunate that the basic underlying principles of the original B-17 game were not used here; it's also unfortunate that the designers chose to make it so that much of the game can't be skipped through, meaning, once again, a game in which you spend hours flying in a straight line and only a few minutes actually fighting. Even hardcore sim fans will not be pleased, since the "Crew management" and Egyptian-menu-interpretation aspects of the game takes away from the time you could be spending flying the plane or manning the positions.
The Bottom Line
A very tedious, inefficiently designed game. You'll have more fun signing up for "Warbirds" and flying the bombers in that game.
Windows · by Rick Jones (96) · 2001
Basically this game should really be called B-17 II. It's nothing more than an attempt to put a full 3D engine onto the 1993 B-17 game. In that respect they succeeded, I would have to say that this game has the best graphics of any flight sim ever released - and I've pretty much played them all. All of the aircraft are stunningly rendered, atmospheric and lighting effects are gorgeous, and the majority of western Europe's terrain is included in rather shocking detail. You can watch the switch-in system working on the terrain and see the thought that went into it.
They also completely fleshed out every single detail of a mission. You start on a war map plotting your targets and various waypoints, asking for recce photography of the areas, and selecting the men and machine that will be going on the mission. Once in the air you watch the planes form up, escorts catch up to you as you approach enemy airspace, etc.
Finally the approach to the war itself seems fairly well done. Various strategic targets all across Europe are included, factories, bridges, HQ's, dockyards, railway stations, you name it. It was not clear to me how much effort was put into repair logic however - would knocking out a bridge near a factory slow it's repair?
The game itself basically consists of a series of missions in which you play the part of everyone on the plane - jumping from persona to persona to accomplish various tasks. Planes come in and you jump into a gunner position to take them out, starting onto the bomb run you become the bombardier and fire up the Norden bombsight, etc. You can even exit the plane and take the part of fighter pilots on either side, German or US. As you accomplish the various tasks, the computer version of that same person will get better at their task, which in theory means you can leave it on auto more and more as time goes on. In this way your crew gains experience as you "help" them along, which is an interesting way of doing it. You can also order crew to move from place to place in the plane, and then watch them walking about, very cool.
Sadly the game is almost unplayable. The detailing put into the various aspect of the game turn out to quickly become tedious, to the point where you spend most of the game cursing as you have to navigate through a long series of stupid "menus" that consist of various icons to click on.
Consider getting the mission up and running - you basically have to do all of the mission planning which is fine, but then you have to "read a book" and "sign" it by clicking on it. When that's done you go through another couple of menus and into the bomber, where you have to navigate to the radio operators position to radio out to tell the other planes to start the mission. Then you sit and watch the engines turn over one by one... uggg, enough!
One thing you don't do is fly. You spend the vast majority of the game as the navigator looking at the mission map, and then jumping outside of the plane to make sure that you're in the place that you think you are. If you aren't you have to figure out where you are and then adjust the icon on the map. Do this enough and apparently the navigator will eventually be able to do it on his own. A small amount of time is spent in the gunner positions, and finally once a mission you take over the bombardier and tweak the sights.
Of course that brings up another issue, the experience system effectively reverses the learning curve. For playability you’d really want the game to do more of the work when you start, giving you time to figure out the game and handle more tasks in less time. Instead B-17 hits you with the hard stuff first, and I suppose eventually you end up just sitting at watching.
So like others have said, it's not really a flight sim. It's sort of a crew management sim. That's perhaps not a bad thing, because the flight engine absolutely stinks. The flight dynamics are very limited and the amazing damage model is visually interesting, but basically the plane seems to have two modes, flying and crashing.
Worse the weapons and such are truly horrid. The true enemy of the B-17 was the day fighters, notably the Fw 190, yet in this game they are puny mosquitoes that you brush aside in huge numbers. They offer basically no threat whatsoever, and are best though of as interesting distractions from the navigation map. The flak makes up for this however, at least in some ways. The altitude accuracy of the flak is such that the lowest explosions are taking place right at the altitude of your lowest bomber, and the highest at the highest - so basically way too perfect. At the same time the density is ridiculous, and as a result 100% of my losses have been to flak. But of course when it does shoot you down, the radio complains about stopping the enemy fighters, even if one never attacked you. Urg, considering all the detail in other places, this seems rather out of place.
And finally as a crew management game, they managed to make that difficult as well via a silly UI that is largely undecipherable. Depending on where you are you may have to use one of three completely different UI's to select a person - one uses images and names of the men which is baffling (quick, is my pilot Bob or John?), another that shows a side view of the plane that allows you to click on it, and finally another that shows a "rose" of icons around a particular person with icons representing the other jobs. Shesh.
The Bottom Line
As a hard-core flight sim junkie I certainly appreciate the effort that went into this game. Even just on the graphics and terrain alone it's a tour-de-force, let alone if you factor in all of the little details they included. But geez is it boring! After a few missions I put this one down, and it's not even on my HD any more.
But this is what you get. They didn't say "let's make a great flight sim", they said "lets make a 3D version of B-17". Inside-the-box thinking at its worst.
Windows · by Maury Markowitz (266) · 2001
One of the data files of the original version of the game contained links to hardcore porn websites.
According to the developer, this was caused by, during development, merging several different data files into one larger file. Every time a file was added to the large file, space was allocated. However, when too much memory was allocated, the extra space was filled with what was on the disk there before.
Related Sites +
German fan site
German fan site
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Alexander Schaefer.
Game added April 23rd, 2001. Last modified August 27th, 2023.