Thursday, February 27, 2020

Game 24: B-17 Bomber

Name:B-17 Bomber
Genre:Flight Sim
Time:1 hour

There's not much to say about this one. If you've ever heard about this before you know of the voice of the guy saying the title in a robotic Kentucky accent. B-17 Bomber was one of the games released for the Intellivision's Intellivoice Voice Synthesis Module. Which, you guessed it, would add voice to Intellivision games. This was accomplished by using pre-recorded clips, some of which came with the module, some of which came on the cartridge. B-17 appears to have been the big success of the Intellivoice, having released 300,000 copies to the total number of Intellivoices at 375,000. As to why it needed this? Well, I'll get to that.
You'll certainly need the manual, at the very least the plastic overlays that came with. As I explained in Night Stalker, the Intellivision used little plastic overlays over the controller's phone-like buttons. Without it, you'll be staring very long at a screen typical of the abstract nature of early 3D imitations. In order to go somewhere, you have to open up the map, select a destination, then increase speed. Upon arriving you blow up your target, return somewhere over the land of England, and repeat. Like so many things, it isn't about the destination, its about the journey.
As you get there the Germans by means of AA guns and other planes. This is where the Intellivoice comes in. Enemies come in at 12 'o clock, 6 'o clock, 3 and 9. The voice tells you at which clock the enemy is coming in from. You gun them down by shooting them via an simple scroll cursor. You've got to lead them a little, but that's about it. Sometimes they come in at an awkward angle or you've wasted too much ammo, but those situations are rare at first. When you get close enough to your destination, you can switch to a top-down view that is the bombing bay. This functions basically the same. There are also ships, but I didn't have much luck in taking those down.
Unfortunately, one problem I noticed was that playing this with keyboard controls is nigh unplayable. If I didn't still have my copy of Intellivision Lives! for the Gamecube, this would have been really unfun.

Extremely simple machine guns and bombs. 1/10

The enemy planes are extremely crude and only provide any challenge through the draining of ammo supplies and the odd strange placement. 1/10

None 0/10

While the map provides a whole list of targets, these just feel like more difficulty variations of things I've already done after a time. 0/10

Player Agency:
We have the ability to turn around and such, but outside of height and speed there doesn't seem to be any affect to movement. It seems to go on rails. The rest of it is just clever ways to bypass tech limitations. 3/10

There's nothing outside of destroying things. 0/10

While I do kind of feel like a member of a B-17 crew, its very crudely so. 2/10

I feel like I'm going to get a migraine from look at this too long. 1/10

None, basically. 0/10

Its amazing how little synthetic speech has changed in the past 40 years. The rest is generic blops and blips from the Intellivision. 2/10

That is a 10. That gives it a pretty high rating for something 99.9% of people will never touch.

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