Combat Air Patrol (1993)
Combat Air Patrol is a flight simulator video game edited by Psygnosis in 1993.
Set during the first Gulf War, the simulation takes place on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt where players flew sorties with the aim of defeating the Iraq armed forces and liberating Kuwait. Players had the choice of two aircraft; the F14 Tomcat, and the F18 Hornet with the former primarily focusing on escort missions and patrols and the latter bombing runs such as destroying patrol boats, bridges and SCUD missile bases.
Unlike more modern games the player was able to play the entire mission from take-off, cruise, the mission itself, return cruise and landing. Landing on the aircraft carrier required a great deal of precision and skill and was not for casual gamers, especially when flying at night. In-flight refuelling was also a feature of the game during longer missions. Again, this was extremely difficult not least owing to joysticks of the time not often being analogue.
Should a player not wish to fly a mission they could report to the sick bay but too many visits meant the player could be declared unfit and that turn would be over. However, when a pilot was declared unfit (also caused by ejecting too many times), missing in action or if they were killed, a new pilot could be added to the roster and the game resumed from where the player left off.
As well as flying the aircraft, users could command ground troops, plan missions routes and select the ordinance the aircraft should hold. There were also training missions and an option for instant action which would usually place the user in a dogfight.
The game was won when either Kuwait was liberated or Saddam Hussein was killed (tip offs were sometimes given and a player could opt to attempt a bombing run).
Whilst the Amiga version received generally positive reviews, the PC version which was released in 1995 was not met with such enthusiasm.