Model airplanes, eh? The rattle of plastic kits and the pungent aroma of specialist paints. Sticking the whole lot together, only to discover that the bloody cat has swallowed a vital part of the landing gear of your pint-sized Spitfire. And then you either re-enact the Battle of Britain in your back garden with the acne infested kid from next door, or your plane just sits on a shelf in your bedroom and gathers dust.
Not any longer...
War In Pieces
The idea behind Airfix Dogfighter is that your little plastic planes have a life of their own, flying around the house when you're away and carrying out daring missions, deep behind enemy lines in the kitchen. The game begins with you choosing between the Allied and Axis forces, with each side having its own campaign. As the German Luftwaffe you will find yourself starting in the living room, whilst the British and Americans start out in a kid's bedroom. Whichever side you pick, you will face a series of ten missions as you battle your way around the house and unlock new areas, eventually finding yourself out in the garden. Along the way you will race around the house, launch bombing raids against enemy troops and installations, and dogfighting with their aircraft. You will sink submarines in the bath tub, blow up tanks on the landing, and shoot up your owners' crockery and ornaments for bonus points. The whole thing looks very impressive, with everyday furniture and fittings towering high above you as you fly your little planes around the house. Tanks nestle on table tops, and the fireplace hurls huge tounges of flame high into the sky. It's all very Toy Story, and gives you a whole new perspective on your home.
The game gives you the chance to fly a total of 17 different model planes, including classic World War II fighters such as the P51 Mustang and Spitfire. But this is certainly no hardcore flight sim - the controls are very easy to get to grips with and your planes can take a battering before falling to pieces. It's obvious that the game has been designed very much with children and casual gamers in mind, but having said that it's all surprisingly good fun, with the focus on arcade style aerial action. As the game progresses you will discover new model kits, giving you access to more planes, as well as a range of power-ups and bolt on weapons. You can even design your own logos and paint them on to your planes to strike fear into the hearts of your enemies. Not content with single player, Airfix Dogfighter also comes with an eight player deathmatch option, which should add a whole new dimension to the game as you roam the house blasting away at each other and raising miniature mayhem. Particularly vicious players may find it amusing to slam doors in the face of an oncoming enemy fighter, or to turn off the lights as they enter a room, leaving them struggling to avoid colliding with furniture in the dark.
Airfix Dogfighter is certainly one of the more instantly accessible and downright fun games we've played recently, offering an amusing new slant on the arcade-style flight sim. It might not be the most serious of flight combat games, but with straightforward controls and excellent 3D graphics it could be well worth a look when it is released later in the year.