Pe-2 Dive Bomber - A modern Wings of Fury

I noticed an odd Russian game named Pe-2 Dive Bomber on sale at Impulse today for $11. I looked at a few screen shots, and they reminded me a lot of Wings of Fury. I downloaded the demo from here:

And I was very pleased with it… it is indeed a modern take on Wings of Fury, but with a bit more sim-like elements thrown in and a more complex campaign.

If you don’t know or remember Wings of Fury, here’s a short description:

It was an old Apple ][ game by the guy who made Choplifter (with an upgraded graphics version released on PC and Amiga later).

You flew a bomber/fighter in the same side-scrolling perspective as in Choplifter. However, the game was much more involved. You chose what type of armament to outfit (bombs, rockets, torpedoes) and flew sorties over islands in the Pacific. These islands had AA guns, troop barracks, fuel tanks, bunkers, and other strategic elements.

The hook of the game was plotting out how to defeat each island. You could do a few high level bombing passes over the island, hoping to take out some of the AA guns. Or, you could take a riskier route and directly dive bomb them, taking damage, and hobbling back to your carrier to rearm.

I -loved- that game. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to really dig Pe-2 as it seems the designers definitely took their cue from it.

Here’s some Wings of Fury screenshots for nostalgia’s sake:

Ohhhh, thanks for the recommendation! I’ll have to give the demo a shot then. Played Wings of Fury a lot way back…

Dude, I remember Wings of Fury VERY well, spent a LOT of time playing it on the Apple ][, it was incredibly addictive.

And it looked WAY better than that. Seriously. Because, you know, I remember it looking almost photorealistic. All of those old games from those days are incredible. In my mind.

Choplifter and Wings of Fury were from Dan (later Dani) Gorlin, and in all seriousness he was a great designer/developer. He knew how to infuse a game, even within the limits of a 1 MHz 6502 processor and 48K of RAM, with a life and character that separated them from the competition. For example, when you risked your life and limb to land and rescue the little stick men/women in Choplifter, and then get them back to the home building, as they would run out of your chopper to the safety of the building, once in a while one would pause, turn around, and wave a thank you to you.

It sounds so simple, but it added a personal level that made you that much more determined to save the rest of the hostages.

I think this was connected to another Russian game I once played which had a similar 2-D layout and allowed you to pick one of a number of aircraft and then duke it out in the skies with AI craft in an effort to bomb the enemy’s base. It was fun, even if I barely understood a quarter of the words being used (thanks to my gawd awful Russian skills). This one caught my eye a while back but I held off because the full price seemed a little steep for a pretty thin looking game. $11.97, on the other hand, seems closer to the mark but still a little too much without word of mouth.

Arg, no, Dan Gorlin did Airheart* after Choplifter. He also did not do gender reassignment, that was Dan Bunten.

Wings of Fury was by Steve Waldo.

edit *he sunk some of that Choplifter money into buying Sun workstations to do cross assembly on Airheart, no 1Mhz CPU build times for him!

First of all, you’re thinking of Dan Bunten, who became Dani Bunten. Totally different person. Dan Gorlin is still a man, and still alive.

Secondly, I was wrong. Wings of Fury was not made by Dan Gorlin, it was made by Steve Waldo. I always assumed it was Gorlin, given that it was Broderbund and had many similar graphical stylings (the little white running men).

Thanks for the heads up. Loved Wings of Fury, will probably be snagging this when I get home.

I feel SOOOO bad now! LOL! Of course you’re right, Bunten did a couple of games for SSI and then did the classic M.U.L.E. Also one of my favorites, the underrated Global Conquest for Microprose.

But I DID assume that Gorlin did WOF, probably for the same reasons in terms of the games overall design.

FUCKING AWESOME. I always wanted to play Wings of Fury, but I think it required a 128K machine? Or something? Anyway my old Apple ][+ could not hack it, despite its very awesome Z80 SoftCard which I got to run Microsoft MuLISP. (My parents were pretty awesome at supporting my nascent hackery.)

Anyway, this would be too amazing, to finally get to play this game in gussied-up form after 26 frickin’ years. Definitely gonna try it out!

So … hows the game? Anyone? Bueller?

What the…? So you’re telling me this isn’t a game about running around in a sexy gown while the creepy guy from American Beauty tries to kill you?


seen and bought! looks like a fun ditty :)

Any early thoughts?

fun, bit rough at the edges. worth the tenner. an honest effort if nothing else.