By: Staniol; When: 2007.; What: side-scrolling air action combat
I have thought long and hard about which game to cover first. I knew it was going to be a PC game but which one I had no clue. Perhaps I should start with something new-ish and still hot like Witcher 3? Or perhaps with some oldie but goldie such as Fallout? But both of these games have been reviewed, streamed and played a thousand times over so why should I cover them?
Lost in my thoughts I wandered through my files and folders looking for inspiration and after some time I stumbled upon a very nice game, a remake from 2007 – Patrol Falcon. What a perfect opportunity to make a short review of this small but great PC game in 2017, 10 years after it was released. So I played it and then some. In short, Patrol Falcon is a very, very good game.
Ok, so, first some facts. Patrol Falcon is a remake of an old C64 game Falcon patrol made by Steve Lee. This remake was made by Staniol in 2007. I have never played the original so this review will focus only on the remake.
Picture 1. Your aircraft (Patrol Falcon) sitting quietly on a landing pad
In this game you control some sort of an attack aircraft capable of V/STOL (vertical/short takeoff and landing) operations. Your mission is simple, survive, one day at a time while your desert home is being bombarded by red aircraft whose one goal is to blow up every building on the map and also you if possible. You can wait an attack out but as the buildings get destroyed you lose some of your capabilities. Radar stations provide radar coverage, less stations make your ‘mini-map’ flicker and eventually turn off if all of the stations are destroyed. Factories produce your weapons and repair your aircraft, oil pumps provide you with fuel and landing pads provide a safe place where you can land in order to rearm, refuel and get repairs. All in all, every building on the map can be destroyed except one landing pad. At the end of each day, the buildings get rebuilt. In order to survive the day you have to hunt down and shoot down as many of the red aircraft as you can. It is not easy especially since the red devils fight back and can even ram into you if you are not careful. I guess that this game has no limits, the days simply become harder and harder until you lose. I think my high score was a little above 100.000 points last time I played.
Graphics are as simple as they can be but quite good for the purpose. Everything is pixelized and looks quite nice, especially the explosions, the exhaust of the rockets and the planes. Sound is minimal and non intrusive, there is no music except on the main screen and to mark the beginning/end of a day.
Picture 2. Chasing down a damaged enemy
Anyway, the physics of the game are very good, when you press directional keys, the plane does not respond instantly, there is a kind of sluggishness to its movements when you are suddenly changing speed, altitude or direction which is very satisfying. The rockets were also made quite well, they take time to accelerate and even slightly follow intended direction if you try to ‘lob’ them at the enemy which can be very useful. Damage in the game is not static, if you get hit by a rocket, you may be destroyed or just damaged. Your fuel tank could be badly damaged which means you will start to lose fuel very fast so you must hurry to the nearest landing pad to get some repairs, if you are too slow or careless, you will crash or get shot down. There are so many possibilities it is crazy.
I do not know what more to write – this is a great game to play even if you are no gamer and have no time to play. You should try it because it is free, you can get it right HERE and you only need about 5 min to get into it.