Publisher: Graphic Simulations
Platform: Classic MacOS
Release Date: 1992
Media: Floppy Disk
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I’m a fan of old games, and I’m a fan of flight simulators. While I’ve played a large share of the flight sims out there, Hellcats Over The Pacific has always held a special place in my heart. It may look primitive by today’s standards, but during its time it was pretty high tech. Hellcats sports a sophisticated physics engine that still holds strong today. It’s fast, smooth, and surprisingly realistic.
I still play Hellcats fairly often. I like it because its simple and fun. There are no complex controls, setup, mission briefings, wing men yelling at you for shooting them for fun. Just 30 seconds and you’re up in the sky. There are 8 missions to choose from with varied dog fights and bombing runs. Your ultimate goal is to shoot down as many planes and bomb as many targets as possible.
The controls are as easy as it gets; [space] for breaks, [F] for flaps, [G] for landing gear, you get the point. There are four possible views; cockpit, chase, rear, and tower. Although, the tower view is pretty useless unless you’re looking for a different angle to watch your takeoffs.
You have two weapons at your disposal, guns and bombs. Both come in a limited supply so try not to miss. Here’s a little tip when bombing: Approach your target high up, then dive at it as steeply as possible. When you’re as close to the ground as you can get, line up with the target, drop the bomb, and pull up.
To my knowledge Hellcats does not run in OSX, nor was there ever a DOS/Win version. It’s a shame since I really think there’s a market for a fun simple flight sim. Hellcats Over The Pacific is a great time killer for those of you who can still run classic mac apps. Think of it as solitaire, only with fighter planes and bombs. Its simple, yet complete, design has allowed it to endure all these years. As long as my old power mac keeps running I will continue to play Hellcats.