Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Dawn Patrol is the first flight simulator I remember loving. Really, truly, deeply loving. I’d played games that simulated modern fighters, like the F-16 and F-19, but the long-range engagements had never held my attention for long. The Sopwiths and Fokkers of World War I brought a physicality to air combat though, and I still remember them fondly.
When Battlefield 1 was announced, I spent some time thinking about WW I in games and it took a while for Dawn Patrol to come to mind. It’s a fantastic war game though, not just a flight sim, educating about the machines and the men who piloted them thanks to a huge set of missions that explore the history of the 1914-18 air war.
Thinking back to those flight simulators of the mid-nineties, it’s often the manuals that I remember. I’d always pick away at the bulky packaging of games on the way back home and you just knew from the weight of a flight sim that you’d got your (parents’) money’s worth. Dawn Patrol is one of the few that I remember as a game rather than a tome though, and I’d love to find a modern equivalent.