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Two of the best-loved "cult classics" of all time, Sopwith and its much-improved successor, Sopwith 2 are classic CGA games that gave birth to the genre of flying-planes-to-destroy-stuff. Among the now-legendary gameplay, the original Sopwith even had multiplayer network options that took advantage of BMB Compuscience's "Imaginet" network product (As a matter of fact, the game was designed precisely to demonstrate Imaginet, according to the author).
So what is special about Sopwith and its sequel? The best answer is that both games are just incredibly addictive and fun. Sopwith is a side-scrolling biplane action game involving two sides: cyan and magenta planes. Your goal in single-player is to destroy all of the enemy buildings and vehicles, either by shooting, bombing, or colliding with them. To stop you, the enemy has deployed planes to shoot you down and buildings that shoot anti-aircraft fire at you. Each level ends when all the enemy buildings and vehicles are destroyed, and is followed by a faster and more difficult level with the same map. Despite being an arcade game, all the elements of a good flight simulation are included, including limited ammo, ground-based artillery, limited fuel, and a limited number of bombs.
What makes Sopwith legendary is the ability to handle up to 8 players in multiplayer mode (4 human and 4 computer).
The original Sopwith did not have much of a physics model, and the AI was quite weak. Sopwith 2 improves upon the original in various ways, including more intelligent enemy planes, more enemies (inlcuding pesky birds), larger explosions, deformable terrain, and a cool real-time radar and mapping feature. Best of all, Sopwith 2 was coded with an internal timer that allows the game to play at the same speed on modern Pentiums as on IBM XT computers (similar to Alley Cat).
With exceptional playability, simple controls, and many surprises, Sopwith and Sopwith 2 are simply must-haves for every arcade fan. Also be sure to check out Sopwith: The Author's Edition-- the definitive and best version of the game, released as freeware by designer David Clark in 2000.
Cool, its Sopwith 2. I actually had a copy of this game before I had a copy of the first Sopwith game. The first game only had one level, this one has 255! Like the original Sopwith, this game involved flying a plane around the screen. You flew up and down and went from left to right as usual. You could just fly around on your own, or you could play versus the computer. There could be up to 4 computer-controlled planes. There was also the ability to have 4 human players, but I never figured out how to do that. When you see the other planes, you shoot the hell out of them with your cool flying white dot bullets!
As you got the hang of flying you could do big loops and pretend you were some kind of cool display pilot. But barns are dangerous and you can crash into them. One thing I significantly remember from this game is the cows! WOOHOO! You could fly into them for fun. Call me a sick bugger, but I used to just play over and over again just flying into the cows. Those cows rule man!
This game had the same wicked CGA pretty-in-pink graphics and the annoying PC speaker. The sounds were ok though, even if they did make you go crazy after a while. Why couldn't the cows make cool noises though dangit? :(
If you play this and you like it, then have a play with the original Sopwith. Its very similar and also a lot of fun.
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Sopwith 2 screenshots
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Sopwith, Wing Commander: Privateer, Red Baron, PT Boat Simulator