STORY / GAMEPLAY
Fighter Bomber is among the most thrilling combat flight simulators I've ever experienced on the 8bit and the 16bit home computers. It's a military pack of action that gives you the opportunity to fly the world's most advanced war hardware and jet aircrafts of the 80s and the 90s, with lots of missions to accomplish. The game offers a free-flight option, allowing you to get accustomed to the main controls, the scenery and each viewpoint. Its best part is -obviously- the actual 16 bombing missions. These missions are divided into four groups of four missions each, depending on the target(s) and they occur in the sky of South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Each mission has detailed debriefing text and a map of the area, which can be zoomed in to view the targets shown on the landscapes, so getting familiar with the targets is pretty easy. The impressive detail is that you can design and play your own missions too (and save it to the game's disk)! The next step is to arm your jet, mainly with air-to-ground weapons (2 to 4 air-to-air missiles + 1 cannon are pre-installed). Those air-to-ground weapons vary from the AGM-65 Maverick to the Paveway series of laser-guided bombs! Overall, there are about 15 different types of weapons! Since this is a fighter bomber simulator you can only choose the following fighter-jets: the F-15 Strike Eagle, Tornado, F-4 Phantom, AJ-37 Viggen, Mig-27 Flogger and the almighty F-111 F. Each aircraft has its own bombing capabilities (as well as self-defense systems). If you are not sure which aircraft to choose, you can easily read a few lines of info. Next, you must select the type of defensive aircrafts against the enemy pilots among the F-14 Tomcat, F-16 Falcon, F-5E Tiger II, Mig-29 Fulcrum, Mirage 2000, Mig-31 Foxhound and the great SU-27 Flanker. Apparently those jets were my favorites back then and, well these are far superior (I think) from the ones available to complete your missions when in a dogfight. Ok, the game is damn difficult and some of the missions are almost impossible to accomplish. But, this is like the real thing and it's so addictive! So test your piloting and targeting skills first and then enjoy bombing everything they order you to!
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The ST features nice visuals with good model designs and nice presentation of the cockpits, but a bit slow 3D action. Note that the Atari ST version uses 16 colors (while the Amiga 32) but the differences between the two versions are minor. Also, the game's action is slightly faster on the ST version possibly due to the fact that the ST has a higher clocked CPU at 8MHz. Sonically, the ST version features a cool intro music (a guitar solo) and some nicely done in-game sound effects (like the aircraft engines, the gun / missile fire, the explosions). Fighter Bomber is indeed a great ST game to try!