Reviewer: Jim Douglas
Yes I know I know. Flying Shark. I know. Well shut up because it's not exactly the same. It has to be said, though, you'd be mad to buy them both.
You'll never guess what year it is. Yup. That's right. And you're in charge of a US bomber on your mission to destroy the Japanese cruiser Yamoto, shooting down all of its support vessels and planes along the way.
As you can see, it's a top-bottom scroller without a great deal of colour. The scrolling is by no means the fastest I've ever seen but at least the enemy planes move at a reasonable pace.
The most interesting aspect of 1943 (and the only difference between it and the previous game - 1942) is the 2 player option which means that you can team up with an ally in the fight against Tojo and fly side by side against the enemy.
This feature works better in 1943 than in many other games. Since it is possible to find yourself flying around with your engines on fire and completely out of ammo, it's damned handy to be able to rely on a mate to help you out of a tricky enemy-approaching scenario.
The bad guys come at you in ridiculously tight formations - completely unrealistic bearing in mind the capabilities of the planes - and bomb and shoot for all they're worth. So you break out your ultra-astonishing 30 mm cannon and wipe those suckers out! You can disperse whole waves with a frantic burst on the fire button. Your main worries come while trying to take out the battleships which lurk in the water (Really - GT). They're armed to the teeth with guns and cannon and will make a very nasty mess out of your plane if you stray into their line of fire. As a result, you end up darting in and out, slinging shells in their direction. It gets pretty blummin' exciting actually.
Should you be fortunate enough to clear a whole wave of fighters, an icon will appear. By collecting it you can add some useful artillery. Spray bullets are the best; as they simply fire in a whole bunch of directions which depletes the necessity for dodging left and right all the time.
1943 is definitely nothing revolutionary. Indeed, it must be one of the few games around this month using only two colours (still) but it's quite fast and pretty difficult and the two player option is fun. If you've got access to two joysticks you can have a great blast flying both planes at the same time, swooping over each other and winning the war all over again.
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