Have You Played… Attack On Pearl Harbor?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

I, you will be confused and perhaps upset to learn, am not Tim Stone. I know as much about flight sims as I do quantum mechanics, and find both equally approachable. When it comes to flying games, my interests lie at the arcadiest of arcadiness, and find their absolute joy in Attack On Pearl Harbor.

Which, rather tragically, is something that can no longer be shared. For reasons unknown, the game hasn’t been available on Steam since before 2010, and despite an enthused but utterly futile attempt to convince its developers to bring it back or make a new one, it remains entirely gone.

It was a dogfighting game in which you played as either the US or Japan, and flipped and span in the air ratt-tatt-tatt-tatting bullets all over and trying your level best not to accidentally smash nose-first into the ground. And for me, it entirely clicked into a sweet spot. I once described it thus:

It was the aeronautic simulation equivalent of running around a garden holding a model plane in your upstretched hand while shouting, “BRRRRLLLLLMMMMMMMMMMM!”

I’m really glad that I still have it on my Steam account, and can still boot it up, despite its deletion nearly a decade ago. I do so wish it could come back for everyone else.

You can, however, play Flying Tigers: Shadow Over China, made by the same lead developer, which is… almost as good.

12 Comments

  1. Moneymancer Marklew says:

    Obligatory comment on how much I loved Crimson Skies.

    • TychoCelchuuu says:

      It’s starting to look like Crimson Skies is the sort of magic that will never be recreated. The closest thins lately for me has been Sky Rogue, which is very different in a lot of ways but which is a fun little airplane shooting game.

    • jj2112 says:

      I loved the PC version, didn’t play the console one. It reminded me of the ancient and great Air Power.

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Secret Weapons Over Normandy for me!

    • Stugle says:

      In a similar vein, Their Finest Hour for me. I still remember drilling out the hole in the bottom of my DD 3.5″ floppies so that – magically – you could reformat them as an HD floppy!

      I never did get the hang of the British, but I could win the Battle of Britain for the Axis purely by single-handedly decimating Fighter Command.

  3. Ghostwise says:

    Bah, y’all whippersnappers. Sopwith 2 was the BEST, verdade.

  4. Captain Narol says:

    “Sky Gamblers : Storm Raiders” is quite fun too if you want some arcade dogfighting, and it’s available on Steam !

  5. Rainshine says:

    I thought so, but apparently not. Must have been a different Pearl Harbor because it was in the early 2000s and a discount bin pickup.
    As an aside, I’ve always wanted to find an arcadey jet dogfight game. Something that you can jump into for ten minutes and shoot missiles at the reds or blues or whatever and pull 5gs and outbank your opponent into the waves

  6. gabrielonuris says:

    What a coincidence, I was just looking for exactly this kind of game this week!

    I was thinking about picking up Combat Wings: Battle of Britain, and while searching for that Flying Tigers, I stumbled into another one: Battlestations Pacific.

    Now I must choose which one will be the first…

  7. Cederic says:

    How do you write a Pearl Harbor game in which you fly an aircraft but the focus is dogfighting and not bombing battleships?!

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