1941 is your basic mindless shoot-’em-up. As the pilot of a World War II biplane, it’s your job to shoot down Axis planes and sink Axis ships. All of this is done with two buttons and a joystick. There are no messy flight simulator controls to deal with, so the gamer’s mind is completely focused on blowing stuff up.
1941 is merely one clone in a sea of air combat games where the gamer has only to aim and shoot to achieve success. There is little plot to speak of and little challenge, assuming that the gamer has a very fast trigger finger. Finger fatigue may be the only reason people actually stop playing this game. It’s pretty hard to lose, especially if you play enough to recognize enemy flight patterns.
For the time in which 1941 was developed, the graphics and sound could have been a bit sharper. Prior games like After Burner were better to look at and more fun to play.
Overall, 1941 is an average game with little to propel it into the ranks of great video games. In the time between Pong and 1941, developers should have realized that gamers crave a good story and not merely senseless violence. You could argue that hand-to-hand combat games are mindless, but at least they involve some skill when pulling off joystick and button combos. 1941 does not even rise to that level. It’s completely devoid of strategy and has a very mundane premise: Shoot things and do not get shot.
Mediocre at best.
Could have been better.
Not bad, but not great.
Slightly higher mark here if you plan on learning enemy flight patterns.