Steampunk Dogfights? In my browser?
April 2, 2010 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Friday Flash Fun: Steambirds. Turn based aerial combat. Bye productivity... [via RPS]
posted by mccarty.tim (44 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
played that a few weeks back. i can confirm it is fun. Some of the mission are a bit tough to get full stars on
posted by edgeways at 11:18 AM on April 2, 2010


Yeah, there are quite a few I need hints on getting full stars on…
posted by klangklangston at 11:19 AM on April 2, 2010


Wow, that's a great little Flash game.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:21 AM on April 2, 2010


I would love to play this, but it is for some reason not working for me. Latest Flash, Chrome and IE, I just get a blank field during the tutorial, and when it comes to the part asking me to click on the powerup, there is no powerup to click.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:34 AM on April 2, 2010


warning: may crash your browser.
posted by parmanparman at 11:38 AM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


sometimes a game that doesn't load or work for me on one site may work on a different site: with that in mind, here is the Armor games link to Steambirds
posted by edgeways at 11:43 AM on April 2, 2010


This is ill.
posted by Netzapper at 11:59 AM on April 2, 2010


There is so much cutting edge steam-avionics research left to be done.
posted by Hoenikker at 12:14 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Neat!
posted by brundlefly at 12:14 PM on April 2, 2010


Just spent a great chunk of time here. Quite fun.
posted by alexbiz at 12:15 PM on April 2, 2010


SPLIT S! IMMELMANN! damnit
posted by nathancaswell at 12:17 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The game itself is quite good, but the developer's site discussing the development process and subsequent numbers behind the licensing and release of the game is fantastic reading.
posted by lantius at 12:24 PM on April 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


I didn't realize that WWII involved the "nuking of paris." :-) Cool game, though a little bit more abstract than I'd hoped.
posted by circular at 12:34 PM on April 2, 2010


It's definitely minimalist gameplay, but that's why I like it. Flash games should find a simple gameplay mechanic and exploit it.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:47 PM on April 2, 2010


This reminds me that I miss the Red Baron game (c 1990 or so).
posted by dabug at 1:00 PM on April 2, 2010


This reminds me that I miss the Red Baron game (c 1990 or so).

Red Baron was one of the greatest games ever made. Do you remember the manual? It was enormous, and crazy informative. It started my obsession with WWI.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:04 PM on April 2, 2010


sometimes a game that doesn't load or work for me on one site may work on a different site: with that in mind, here is the Armor games link to Steambirds

With that in mind? The FPP links to armorgames.com. I found it on Kongregate, but it's displaying the same behavior. I must be missing something.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:05 PM on April 2, 2010


I hate the star system in this game. I become obsessed with getting four stars for every mission, which quickly leads to frustration, which leads to ragequit. It would be a fun game if it wasn't for this.
posted by daniel_charms at 1:15 PM on April 2, 2010


Oh, man, Red Baron. Many a day after school, at night, on the weekends...given to that game. The manual was ring-bound, right? Like 100-200 pages long, diagrams of planes, battles of the war, tactics, so much more.

Favorite mission? Blowing up the blimps/observation balloons.
posted by fijiwriter at 1:22 PM on April 2, 2010


Favorite mission? Blowing up the blimps/observation balloons.

Fish in a barrel. I'd get 200+ kills in a career and about half of them would be balloons. The converse was the zeppelin missions. All that work for 1 kill. Best part of that game were the ace challenges though... where they'd challenge you to meet them somewhere for a 1v1 dogfight. IRC, Rene Fonck and Ernst Udet was the only aces that really had a chance. One of the German aces would sell you out and bring a couple wingmen along for the fight (Goering?). And one of the German aces was renowned for doing lots of acrobatic maneuvers in combat (Werner Voss I think) and when you fought him he'd just do all these fancy loops and crap and you would just fly right at him and blow him out of the sky. Also if you shot down Lothar von Richthofen his brother would challenge you to a duel about a month later. Awesome.

Manual was ring bound.

I remember that game very well because I saved up about $60 in allowance and was torn between buying it or a pair of cheap rollerblades. I MADE THE RIGHT DECISION.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:33 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The manual was ring-bound, right? Like 100-200 pages long, diagrams of planes, battles of the war, tactics, so much more.

That appears to have been Red Baron II, 1997.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:39 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


That appears to have been Red Baron II, 1997.

Nah, it was Red Baron. I remember because I never had Red Baron II (was pumped for it to come out but I got a friend to buy it 7 yrs later and it kind of sucked). Red Baron II did have a big manual though.

The actual gameplay part of the manual for Red Baron was pretty short (thats what I've found online in scanned pdfs just googling it right now) but it had about 100 pages of just history on the war, the beginnings of flight, the invention of synchronizing gear, pages on pages of drawings of airplanes (some of which weren't even in the game), etc.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:42 PM on April 2, 2010


Quality! Bookmarked.
posted by Flashman at 1:46 PM on April 2, 2010


With that in mind? The FPP links to armorgames.com

Sorry, I saw the [via RPS] and made a stupid assumption without checking.
posted by edgeways at 1:49 PM on April 2, 2010


they keep stopping when I want them to swoop in and kill!
posted by orville sash at 1:50 PM on April 2, 2010


Not WWI-related, but the Aces over Europe by Dynamix (same who did Red Baron) was quite good, too. More time squandered.

Didn't Red Baron also let you marginally customize the look of your plane? Oh, and it had fold-out maps, too!

Memories.....
posted by fijiwriter at 2:04 PM on April 2, 2010


Didn't Red Baron also let you marginally customize the look of your plane?

Yeah, you could paint the wings, body, tail and landing gear all different colors.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:05 PM on April 2, 2010


I want an old 486, copy of the game, some bottles of Mountain Dew, and a free weekend.
posted by fijiwriter at 2:15 PM on April 2, 2010


You guys should check out Rise of Flight. Brutal learning curve, pretty fun game...for some people's idea of fun.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:16 PM on April 2, 2010


I want an old 486, copy of the game, some bottles of Mountain Dew, and a free weekend.

Oh, I just remembered the most impressive part of Red Baron was the fact that you could save missions and edit videos of them in the game. I'm talking about mounting cameras to planes, inside the cockpit, looking back at the 6, chase cameras, setting up cameras in space, manually pan/tilt/zoom, and auto track to a given fighter. Then save them and play them later. It ruled.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:21 PM on April 2, 2010


The video tool! Forgot about it! I was never good at it, but what I could do with it was impressive.

In RB, could you command a squadron, and tell plane 3 to attack, or am I confusing that with the Aces over Europe?
posted by fijiwriter at 2:30 PM on April 2, 2010


I'm pretty sure as long as you were the leader of your squadron (or your leader got shot down and you were next in line) you could do this. I remember because on balloon missions I'd tell my squad to knock down the escorts, then make them retreat so I could kill all the balloons myself... though I also did have Aces over Europe, so I could be confusing the two.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:35 PM on April 2, 2010


There's a boardgame version of this!.
posted by mecran01 at 6:21 PM on April 2, 2010


How do you not get murdered by the balloons in 1942? (in the linked game, not in Red Baron.)
posted by Netzapper at 8:38 PM on April 2, 2010


'42?
posted by edgeways at 8:49 PM on April 2, 2010


Yeah, I spent a few hours on this a week ago...great game. Wish it were longer or you were able to control the special weapons that are equipped.
posted by schyler523 at 9:28 PM on April 2, 2010


The aforementioned developer is also metafilter's (fairly-recently-)own weasel.

I'm getting better at subduing the slightly baffled squee that wants to emerge every time mention of Steambirds shows up on a site I frequent (penny arcade was the sqeeingest).

Disclosure: I claim for myself the unofficial title of "math consultant" on this game. Pro tip: the answer's almost always arctan.
posted by bethnull at 11:14 PM on April 2, 2010


Lures you in with the easy stuff but some of the later levels are pretty tough
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:35 AM on April 3, 2010


Netzapper,

Concentrated fire has a damage multiplier. This seems to be the only way to take down the bigger targets.
posted by yeloson at 9:06 AM on April 3, 2010


Netzapper,

Concentrated fire has a damage multiplier. This seems to be the only way to take down the bigger targets.


Also I noticed that some of the bigger craft seem to have less range than you do; so if you hang back it becomes easier. Though some of the later levels seem to require more specific tactics.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:11 AM on April 3, 2010


Ok, it works on my home computer. It's awesome and really is very, very much like Wings of War, the board/card game, which I highly recommend.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:38 PM on April 3, 2010


Netzapper: kill the plane first. Then, just make semicircular passes with your planes past the balloons. If you get the CPA just right (about half a map block,) your planes will fire but the balloon will not return fire.

Takes forever.
posted by ctmf at 12:54 PM on April 4, 2010


Dang. Bonus levels were tough - but I managed to pick up 4 stars in all levels. TIME WASTING ACCOMPLISHED!
posted by caution live frogs at 11:27 AM on April 5, 2010


I got most of them, but How in the Foo did you get more than 2 stars on 1946? My best strategy involved spraying green gas with all 4 planes right from the get-go which all but wipes out all the enemies. Unfortunately that puts one of my planes on fire in the initial crossfire. Even if I take no other damage the whole time, I still only get 2 stars. Every other strategy I've tried turns out even worse.
posted by ctmf at 3:10 PM on April 5, 2010


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