The 194X series began in 1984 with the release of the 1942 arcade machine. Similar to 1942, 1942: Joint Strike also features a World War II theme. However, Joint Strike is not intended to be historically accurate, instead the game takes place in an alternate world. There are a total of five levels, four difficulty settings, and three selectable aircraft that vary in such attributes as speed, firepower, and health. Each one of the aircraft is armed with a machine gun that can be upgraded to fire more bullets, a wider spread of bullets, or have the ammunition switched to lasers. The aircraft are also equipped with homing missiles and bombs that wipe out every onscreen enemy. More powerful “Joint Strike” attacks are available when two players work together in local or online co-op mode.