Browser games can be a hit and miss affair. Sure there are some classics, but most of them keep us interested for a few hours before we move onto something different. Battle of Britain – 303 Squadron (BoB 303) is a browser game that will keep you coming back for more action. Not only because of its varied missions and depth, but it also has a brilliant, historically based story line.
Take to the Skies!
The thing that really impressed straight out was the excellent voice acting as well as the still pictures produced for the game. They tell the story of the legendary 303 Squadron, formed from Polish pilots who had escaped Germany’s invasion of their country. 303 Squadron was one of 16 Polish Squadrons in the Royal Airforce during World War II. Of these, 303 were the most famous and, in fact, the shot down the most Luftwaffe aircraft during the Battle of Britain.
Each mission in the single player campaign has extensive voice acting as well as beautiful still pictures that tell the story of 303 Squadron during the Battle of Britain. Their trials, tribulations and victories are all extremely well documented by the game and draw you into pure epicness of that incredible period in Britain’s history. Without these men and the many other brave pilots who flew beside them in other squadrons, Britain would have been lost to the Nazi’s.
During the game, you will play a number of different Polish pilots. Each of these is an actual fighter pilot from the era, and they are brilliantly brought to life as the game progresses. These include Witold Urbanowizc, who claimed 15 aircraft during the Battle of Britain and Jan Zumbach, who went on to command 303 Squadron in 1942.
But how does it look?
This is a superbly detailed and visually appealing game. Each aircraft is authentically modeled and although if I have one gripe, they could have been slightly bigger. The developers paid excellent attention to detail, from the tracers from your machine guns, smoke trailing from damaged aircraft to wings flying off as aircraft plummet to the ground.
There are five aircraft in the game. You will get to fly the Hurricane Mk 1, the Spitfire Mk IX and the North American Mustang (once you unlock it). The Luftwaffe have two aircraft; the Messerschmitt BF 109 and the BF 110. Both can be formidable opponents!
BoB 303 has two game modes. Single player, where you dogfight with and against AI-controlled teammates and opposition, and multiplayer where can fight with or against other players.
Single player action
Single player offers up five missions which might not seem a lot, but some do take relatively long to complete as the game throws just about the whole of the Luftwaffe air force at you.
The game is incredibly simple to play, difficult to master and just slightly addictive. It takes the form of a 2D scroller, where your aircraft can fly left or right and up or down the screen. Controls are extremely simple. You can fly your aircraft up and down, obviously the longer you hold a key in then the more your plane will turn, allowing full loops if need be. Two other keys are also required; throttle to give you a speed boost and of course, your all-important machine guns. The keys for the game are left and right arrow keys to control your aircraft’s pitch, z for throttle and x to fire your weapons.
The gameplay is simple and explained excellently in the first mission, which essentially is a training flight to get you to grips with how the game works. For the first four missions, you will fly the famous Hawker Hurricane Mk 1. Although less famous than the Spitfire, the Hurricane was just as important in the defence of Britain!
In total, you will fly with three different Polish pilots. Of course, this has no bearing on gameplay but helps in telling the story of 303 Squadron. There are also 20 achievements to unlock which add a fun component to the game, while all your kills are recorded.
Multiplayer takes the form of co-op missions or dogfights against other players. Again, the gameplay is exactly the same as single player except for dogfighting scenarios where it’s every man for himself!
Not all hunky dory!
Unfortunately, in the time that I have played the Battle of Britain 303 Squadron game, I have only managed to connect to the servers once. Whether they are up and available regularly is open to debate.
I have also come across some bugs including outright freezing to the next part of a mission not starting (as some of them happen in phases).
That being said, two minor problems in the seven-plus hours I have played is not a massive concern. BoB 303 is a great little game and the perfect way to spend a couple of minutes de-stressing at the end of the day!