A More Civilized War – Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies

By Alec Meer on November 6th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

I haven’t played the first of the Civlord’s Ace Patrol games, released just three months ago but immediately gaining the prestigious Tim Stone Handlebar Moustache Of Approval. “This superb £6 tactical wargame is friendly, fleet, and fresher than a dawn patrol in December,” he said, only he didn’t because I’ve crudely mashed two of his sentences together for the sake of quote-worthiness. Now the turn-based dogfighting game has an expanded and refined sequel, Pacific Skies, which is out now, but only on the Steams. Can I get a ‘chocs away’ in here? No, you’re quite right, that does read an awful lot like 1994 games journalism.

RATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATAT and goodness me that’s a satisfying thing to type RATATATATATATATATAT. Sort of meta-onomatopoeic too: typing what a machinegun sounds like also makes the keys make the noise of a machinegun RATATATATATAT.

Sorry.

As the title suggests, the setting’s hopped continents over to the Pacific Ocean, as well as hopping World Wars from 1 to 2. In this new theatre, some 180 missions of plane-bothering and plane-upgrading await you. Sadly I’ve yet to play the original so I am ill-qualified to be stating what I wouldn’t want this follow-up to be, but I really should check it out – just to restate that lovely concept, it’s turn-based dogfighting with customisable planes. And the option for lady pirates, which immediately makes it better than the real World War 2.

It’s rare that I bounce off a Firaxis game, and seeing the legendary Mister Meier attempting something a little more pop really appeals (especially as I really loved the divisive Civ Revolution). It looks cute, too:

‘ook at de iddle planes d’awww.

That’s out on Steam as of yesterday, for a seemingly very reasonable £3.99. It’s due on iThings in a couple of days too, if that’s your particular poison.

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22 Comments »

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  1. AshEnke says:

    I loved the first one, but stopped it after being a bit bored with the game mechanics and not having enough things to do (thingie to unlock, achievements to chase) to keep me going.

    Is this going to rekindle the flame ? Or is it just two new mission types and one new manoeuver on sea maps ?

  2. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    You can only have a ‘chocs away’ if you stop your plane from moving about by jamming a Twix under the wheel.

    • Conehead The Barbarian says:

      But chicken run taught me that you have to put a Toblerone under the wheel.

  3. nopol10 says:

    It’s Meierly another Sid game.

  4. Viroso says:

    This is so weird, WWII stuff and every pilot is smiling.

    • waypoint says:

      yeah, world war 1 was a much nicer war

      • A_Rude_gesture says:

        Yeah, there’s a reason it was called the GREAT war.

    • demicanadian says:

      Other than that, game seems to be historically accurate. Russians have female pilots and all asians look the same to me.

  5. A_Rude_gesture says:

    I would be thrilled to play this game but, like so many other people who bought the original, I couldn’t get it to work eventhough I surpassed all the game requirements.Since I wasted money on the previous title I daren’t do it again. I guess I’ll have to go up-diddley-up-up some other way

  6. wodin says:

    The first game was a very pleasant surprise..would have liked some more realism options..but still a great buy.

    Really the game is a port of the superb minis game Wings of War..though WoW had abit more realism in mind.

  7. Cytrom says:

    While this looks like some amateur crap / yet another indie game / android game meant to be played on phones, the idea could evolve into something interesting.

    I’m thinking along the lines of Total War: deep-ish grand strategy + spectacular real time air battles (including first person dogfights)… now that would be amazing.

    Although I’d definitely play this on my phone right now if there was an android port.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Amateur as opposed to what? Hardcore? Pov?

      • Cytrom says:

        As opposed to a high budget videogame made by professionals, with high production values…

        • GamesInquirer says:

          How are Firaxis not professionals in the field? And why would you need real time battles for it to be professional? Is every turn based game amateur? I don’t even…

          Yes, it’s a low budget game that costs little (which means low complexity and variety of assets more than anything about the gameplay which is simple as a design goal and not as a budget compromise, much like chess if you will), that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile or that it should be turned to Total War: World War II to be worthwhile. Nor should every game appeal to your particular desires of the moment to be worthwhile.

          I suppose it’s difficult to get good criticism from someone who didn’t play the given series but you could try harder.

        • Premium User Badge

          X_kot says:

          Based on the gameplay videos I’ve seen of Rome II’s launch, I’m not sure you can call that “professional,” either.

  8. GamesInquirer says:

    I can’t play it on my desktop (i7 3770K, 16GB DDR3, Gigabyte 7970 OC), there’s just a white screen. The game works in the background, I can hear music and if I click the area where I guessed “Quit’ would be it closes. I can change resolution, AA and what not in the config file I found but that doesn’t help either, the game seems to only run windowed anyway.

    • Premium User Badge

      X_kot says:

      If you haven’t already, try disabling the Steam overlay. That corrected a problem I was having with the first game freezing after the opening cinematic.

  9. Moraven says:

    Still waiting for the Android version…