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Dogfight 2: The Great War

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Rating: 4.6/5 (198 votes)
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PsychotronicDogfight 2Dogfight 2 is the newest entry into Rock Solid Arcade's quality series of arcade-style airplane fliers, which includes the first Dogfight and the previously-reviewed Stunt Pilot. Once again, they have based some nail-bitingly tough levels around the tricky but satisfying flight controls from classic DOS game Sopwith. The [right] arrow key always rotates you clockwise, and the [left] arrow key always counter-clockwise, no matter which direction your little biplane is facing. That—plus your plane's momentum—will keep you busy just trying to avoid the cold hard embrace of the ground, never mind that you're being shot at by giant dirigibles. Fire back with your machine gun by holding the [space] bar, and drop bombs with [ctrl]. Amusingly, you can bomb the other planes (and in fact must do so on a couple of levels), but your bombs are limited, depending on the specific mission. Don't waste them on planes if you still need to take out a hangar or two.

Rock Solid Arcade still has some of the highest production values of anyone working in Flash. I feel like Dogfight 2 could use a dramatic story line to accompany its gorgeous settings, but there's already plenty of drama in the details. Bullet holes appear in blimps as you pepper them, smoke trails follow wounded planes, enemy Ace Pilots tilt their wings believably as they kill you over and over and over again.

Oh by the way, this is a difficult game; partly because it will take a while to really get the controls into your fingers (unless you were some kind of Sopwith Ninja), partly because the opposing firepower is usually overwhelming, and partly because the only advantage you get is so odd. On every level, you get to use four Ace Tactics, which are like game show Lifelines for fighter pilots. Do an uninterrupted loop, for example, and you activate the Evasive Loop Tactic; little question marks appear over the enemy planes as they stumble around randomly, cowed into confusion by your sheer daredevilry. The respite won't last long, however, so you'll have to pull off some other maneuver, such as flying behind a cloud, if you want to prolong the chaos.

Dogfight 2Rock Solid Arcade can't seem to quite hit the difficulty sweet spot. Their otherwise amazing Robokill had almost no penalty for dying, but here we're well into frustrating territory. You have a limited number of lives, and continue points are set every five levels. Since some missions require near-perfection, and you may have no idea what strategy you'll need until you're already hip-deep in enemy bombers, you'll almost certainly get bumped back a few times. I managed to persevere, on the strength of the solid controls and a nice variety of missions, but I can't blame you if you give up after the first couple of set-backs. It's straight arcade-style gaming in a venue with no quarters—it doesn't make a lot of sense, really, but it does give you a meaty challenge, if meat is your cup of tea.

The way Dogfight 2 is balanced, you can't really force your way through, no matter your skill. You have to employ the Ace Tactics. Your success will often hinge on your ability to chain your Tactics together without wasting them or inadvertently misjudging them and smacking into the dirt. Most of my deaths, in fact, resulted from an ill-timed Ground Dive, which may mean that the game isn't so hard after all, and I just shouldn't pursue a career as an aviator.

If you do have the piloting chops, there's a broad selection of high-scoring possibilities. The most important strategy is simply not dying, but everything from bombing optional targets to shooting down enemy pilots as they parachute to safety (which seems incredibly unsportsmanlike) has a score attached. You can even maximize your points for individual kills by machine-gunning the dickens out of a plane as it goes down. While screaming "Take that, Red Baron!" of course.

Play Dogfight 2: The Great War


This game just became a bit easier when I realized I could reverse the up and down arrow functionality. It's weird that the default is backwards from the convention of down-arrow = pulling back on the stick.


I really hate the life thing, spoils the game play a bit


I really like this game. Basic controls and gameplay, but perfect as a casual game.

Thanks for the tip.


"While screaming 'Take that, Red Baron!' of course."

You PLAY the Red Baron...


Fantastic! I absolutely loved the first Dogfight. Switching sides meant that I got momentarily confused in the squadron levels, because my wingmen looked just like the enemy Aces of the first version.

I don't see much to fault here. The ease of the first Dogfight game was its biggest weakness, this game seems appropriately challenging (although I second the need to reverse the controls. I admit to being a pilot by trade, and it just is too confusing the other way round). The enemy guns now have a different, rather menacing sound, and the addition of ground targets is good. I like the "one use" evasive maneuvers--they prevent you from just looping all day to shake the enemy, and seem to make sense, and integrate the features of the terrain better.

Only complaint so far is that the control/shift key to drop bombs is a tad awkward. I wish one could just assign whatever key one wished. Well, the real Great War planes were hardly ergonomic!

Overall, well done, and will probably steal a few hours of my life away :)


Reminds me of Wings of Fury, although without the open-endness and impossible landing part..

Sargjaeger October 1, 2008 9:44 AM

"Reminds me of Wings of Fury, although without the open-endness and impossible landing part.."

Landing was actually extremely easy in wings of fury, once you figured out you had to land from the right-hand side. its nothing compared to the landing sequences in top gun ( nes-version ).

im having trouble with level 18 I think it is. protecting the bombers. so many enemy fighters, then why can I hit my own bombers? it makes it really difficult. cant even bomb-spam the first incoming squad, since they fly right through my bombers, while my bullets/bombs dont. darn


Yeah, that level 18 is tearing me up. It's a pity, cause I love the rest of it, but 18 just seems impossible. The closest I got was when I nailed the ground forces first.

Anybody have recommendations for how to approach it?


In the beginning the game seemed very simple but as I played it for awhile it became somewhat difficult and interesting especially when I went from level to level.


The bomber level has me stumped, too :/ You really have to watch your shots in order to avoid shooting your bombers, but the problem is the enemy planes fly right overtop them, making them essentially immune to your guns.

I got really close once by doing a quick pass (with the lowlevel Ace technique) over the guns to knock them out, then hit the first wave with bombs, then the second. But then the last few planes ended up on top of my bomber and I couldn't shoot them.

It was a really fun game up until that level, though.


Well, I beat the game, and the ending left a lot to be desired. In the sense that there /wasn't/ an ending. It just says that you beat the game, and it starts over. Now to see if I can beat it with the controls reversed. :P This game is /hard/!


That bomber level is driving me crazy too.

If there isn't that much of an ending, it'd be nice if the checkpoint was every level instead of every five. After awhile it feels like a waste of time redoing three levels just to get beaten on the same one again.

Really addictive though. Pew pew!


This game is just too hard to bring any long-lasting fun. If it gave you unlimited men, or at least a continue option, then I might be more forgiving.


I can't get past the blimp on 10.

Most of the levels are pretty easy once you get the hang of it.


I love this game, and I can describe my love for it in one quote:
"Do a barrel roll!"


Nice but not too hard at first. Can't take offline when wireless internet (apartment company supplied) is lost. Sorry but really bad opinion of game.


This might not be relevant depending on how your internet is set up, but I have a crappy apartment wireless connection too, and I rather liked that after it had loaded, the game performed just as well when the internet blinked out (as long as I didn't close the window).


Awesome game. Some of the levels were almost impossibly hard, but I managed to get through them all in about an hour. And had quite a fun time while doing it.

I wish it had a better save system, and was a bit longer. But this is one of my favourite games so far!


If it wasn't for getting thrown back 5 levels, I would've given this a 3, maybe a 4. It got smacked with a 2 for difficulty. =(


Ugh, I change my mind. This is disgustingly, pathetically difficult.

Jayunderscorezero October 2, 2008 4:06 AM

This would be a lot more fun if level 19 weren't practically impossible. I'm sick to my stomach of redoing levels 16-18.

Desperate?not! October 2, 2008 6:32 AM

funny, if it weren't for the degree of skill this game demands from the player --> training =|= casual, I'm afraid.


I wish the bombs had inertia, like in Triplane Turmoil. It's really hard for me to hit anything with them, when I keep expecting the bombs go forward.

Incidentally, you can use the Z key to drop bombs too.



The giant blimp has some weak points:

attack the gondolas hanging underneath it to destroy it and then high-tail it outta there.

Hope this helps. Still can't beat level 18 myself.


I went back and played the first Dogfight. They give you unlimited lives to finish that game. Why the change here?

Anonymous October 2, 2008 5:12 PM

I found that for level 19, and another level above that (22?) where you have to wait for more wingmen, the key is to actually fly away from the fighting.

For example, on level 19, I flew low and bombed the front jeep and then simply kept flying to the end of the stage (where the screen will slow down). I then circled back and saw that my bombers were ok and again flew to the end of the stage. I kept doing this until maybe a few fighters remained and then I engaged them.

I know, it defeats the "fun" aspect of the game and may be due to some glitch in the code, but after doing stages 16-18 a million times it's nice to finally get by 19.


That was a fun game! It's quite hard at first, but once you get the hang of the controls and how to use the special abilities, you're pretty much invincible. I still lose some life on the 2nd gun jamming level, but it's quite a relaxing game to play.


For level 18,

Go to the top of the screen. Fly over the first cloud. Fly through the second cloud (ace move). Fly forward until you start getting hit again. Fly directly towards the ground (ace move). Keep flying forward at the bottom of the screen. When you start getting shot at, move even lower for a 3rd ace move. That's it!


I found 18 easy. I'm now on 21.


Still can't get 19.

Nasty glitch, especially for that one: sometimes if you die in a mission where you'be been bombing other planes, on your next life you start out damaged.

Luckily, levels 16-18 are really really easy, and fun.

brandon_ha October 4, 2008 11:47 AM

If the name is to be believed then this takes place during WW1 (the great war) meaning that if you play as the red Baron as surmised by the red triplane, then you are a military member of the triple alliance (Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary) and attempt to shoot down members of the triple entente (France, Britain and Russia). Allies and Axis are terms from the second world war.


Finally beat 19.

What worked for me was to hit every "ace" enemy with at least one bomb at the start.


The game is difficult when you first start playing, but it gets easier with time. After beating the game, I went back and was able to make it almost to the end without losing a life... some of the later levels are actually easier than earlier levels once you know what to do.

Make good use of your bombs - works great to thin out a crowded field of planes. Try flying straight up and have them follow you and drop bombs on them.

For the boards where you have to attack bombers, shoot at them first... especially the one where you lose your guns. The small planes will come and chase you and are easier to pick off.


Mission 18: fly past the bombers and lead the way. You'll have a couple of enemy planes to kill there, but the other planes will stop shooting and the bombers will do the job. Not very heroic, but it works. I finished the following levels the first time I went past level 18, rather disappointing indeed.

Christopher October 27, 2008 12:06 AM

For what it's worth, here's my advice for the "protect the bombers" level:

Your bullets do NOT hurt your bombers - they go right through. Thus, do not hesitate to dogfight among the bombers. Be careful of your bombs, however, as they definitely hurt your allies.

I find it well worth while bombing the second of the trucks early on. You'll have to play catch up with the planes, but the trucks will shoot your bombers out of the sky if they are left alone. Once the forward truck is destroyed, the truck behind will not be able to advance and keep firing on the bombers.

Other than that, the usual advice applies - aim for the aces, but take out anyone that is smoking. Drop several bombs into a heap of enemies, but only if you're sure that your bombers are out of the way.

Good luck!


Is there any skill or move that I should work on to win level 16? I am usually able to skill drop many of the planes by flying straight up, but over time, I run out of bombs or end up taking enough damage from here-and-there shots to to get shot down.

silverwolfalpha November 14, 2008 12:19 PM

Level 16-start off firing your gun, dont move your plane, it should take down one plane. the reverse left and up imeediately, the enemy will group under you and try to chase you, at that time drop 4 bombs, it will take out 4/3 planes, leaving you with 16 bombs to deal with 4/5 planes, easy. the way to do that it fly up, wait till enemy is under u, then drop a bomb. or fly up and towards the sky(not straight up), the enemy will follow u, drop a bomb, he will fly into it.

Level 17-fly reverse and start firing your guns, ignore small planes, go straight for bombers. When u see them, fly above them, 2 bombs for each bomber will finish them. Do that for both waves and you should have some bombs to spam the enemy.

Level 18-fly past the first cloud, dont go into it. Fly into the second cloud and straight. By the time they come to chase you, you will be out of flak area. Spam the aces and ppl following you, fly straight for escape area. You are free.

Level 19-Stuck


finally beat level 19! just fly out ahead and let the bombers take care of them.thanks for the advice...22 is tricky though!


Finally beat 19 and then the game shortly there after! wheeew. feels good. thanks for all the advice. 19 is a doozy. on to the original dog fight now!

darth vader January 6, 2009 4:15 PM

heres a few tips:
unofficial ace tactic: it's good in the levels where your guns are jammed. get enemies on your tail and head straight up. if they follow, drop a couple bombs while above camera. this will almost always kill fighters.

2 evasive actions that usually fool AI: low level(it will fool AI by outsmarting them, not confusing them. use in the Escape level!!) and loop de loop, which usually outsmarts AI
kill trucks, use official ace tactix, your guns wont hurt your own bombers. KILL WEAK PLANES BEFORE ACES! END TRANSMISSION


How many levels is there actually? I'm butting my head on level 22, but I think I'll manage it soon? And yeah, how do you spot aces?


There are 25 levels. i completed the game.
with 375,098 POINTS!!
ill give you advice for levels 16 through 25
note:* im very good with bombs so... yea

Lvl 16: NO TIME FOR REPAIRS-ok so i advise you to save your bullets and once they come bomb them all at once because they are in a group( use bombs wisely) then for emergency use bullets!

Lvl 17: DEATH FROM ABOVE- for this one as soon as you start go upside down and start shooting... you will want to take out the bombers first, 2 bombs a piece, at the last bomber lure the small planes to come behind you and go under the bomber... the bomber will release bombs at least 5 and your enemys get caught then kill the last bomber...

lvl 18: BREAK THE LINE- for this one just keep going straight no one will catch you, then when you have lots of planes on your back dive down and activate GROUND DIVE when that is over stay close to the ground to activate LOW LEVEL, then your home free.

lvl 19: ACE ESCORT- as soon as you start get under the first bomber and bomb the truck. then go ahead to where the 3 planes are coming when you see them coming on the screen drop a couple of bombs on em' then fight your way thru and when you are in a tough situation do a ACE TACTIC and take the lead... shortly after more planes are going to come drop some bombs on them too then fight your way through and try to protect only one plane... (P.S aim for the aces first)this one is hard, good luck my max i managed to protect 2 bombers perfectly and my life was max

lvl 20: SHORT SUPPLY- go down and exactly drop one bomb per hanger and if you have any more bombs at the end of the hangers go straight up and drop em'. if not aim for the ace first and use alot of ACE TACTICS.

lvl 21: GUN JAM- almost the same as lvl 16, here i suggest you save your bullets but shoot one so the aces can come for you then you have 2 options,(1. you can go under a bomber; the bomber will trow bombs and aces will die, OR 2.go straight up and bomb the aces) however you choose it the aces are easy in this situation.then what you do is, you go up over the bomber and bomb em' 2 per piece eaqch ONLY BOMB THE TOP BOMBERS because when the top ones fall they bring down the bottems ones with them

lvl 22: AIR ADVANCE- now this is a real dogfight, it gets messy.here your main goal is to stay alive so get on the sides of the map, a person or a ace will follow you take them out then lure more people and kill them then your friends will come do the same and use your bombs please...

lvl 23: ACE OF ACES- aim for the escorts first here,kill about 3 or 4 of them then take the ace up and bomb his *** when the pilot drops swoop down and get him AIM!!! then defeat the other escorts

lvl 24: RETURN OF THE R-29- this is easy, as soon as you start swoop down and take out the turrets on the r-29 and the ground turrets, just drop bombs dont forget the hangers,
then take a long turn and kill the guy on the top, dont crash into the blimp... easy

lvl 25: FINAL HOUR: this is like lvl 17 go upsid down and start shooting then bomb most of the bombers and lure some others to comeunder the bombers and die be cautious life runs really fast!

when you finish the game it starts from mission 1:DAWN PATROL


Hopefully someone at Rock Solid Arcade will read this. Your games are awesome! Best quaility, most addicting, great formats, everything! I am an actual pilot and I love the aviation games you guys have. The idea of losing all your lives but having a check point at certain levels keeps people from getting pissed off and starting over again from the beggining. I love that. The only thing is YOU NEED TO MAKE DOG FIGHT 2 A TWO PLAYER GAME!!! I go to an aviation school and were working on simulators all day, and I introduced some of the guys to your website. Everyone loves the site but mostly every plays Dog Fight 1 in multiplayer mode. We have tournaments and everything. Your games are amazing. I crave more of them, especially aviation games. Hope someone actually reads this. Send me back an email if you guys are going to create some new games cause I'd love to know.


P.S. Stunt Pilot = Fantastic as Well


Level 16 walkthrough:
Immediately climb to the top of the screen, and as the planes pass beneath you drop about 8 bombs; this will take out most of the planes, leaving 2 or 3 for you to take out with your remaining bombs.


More tips than spoilers but:

Level 16:

Immediately fire all your bullets straight ahead it--it sometimes takes a fighter out.

Level 17:

Once there are only fighters left take the fight back over the base and your ack-ack will help you out.

Level 20:

You actually have more than enough (14) bombs, and the barrage balloons will also take out buildings underneath if shot down.

Level 21:

Don't use up all your bullets as they can be useful to pick off damaged bombers later on.

Level 22:(this really is a spoiler)

By going left you will come to an area of the screen where no-one can use their guns except you. Eventually the fight will find you.


Put a


Put a 2p coin to "jam" the space bar and your gun fires all the time, leaving left hand free to "bomb" and the right hand to fly the plane. Cnheers.


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