‘Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol’ Miniature Dogfight Strategy Game is Here, It’s Free, and It’s Fantastic [Daily Freebie]

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If you didn’t catch our post the other day about the newest game from living legend Sid Meier, the creator of Civilization and a heap of other ground-breaking games, here’s the nitty-gritty.

Meier’s newest masterpiece is called Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol; it’s a sort of turn-based tabletop miniatures game of whirling World War I dogfights, digitized for an iPad’s (or iPhone’s screen). It’s also partially free, looks amazing and is bound to be an instant classic.

If you’ve ever played any of Sid Meier’s games — the original Civilization, Sid Meier’s Pirates! or even his really early PC games like World War II submarine sim Silent Service — you’ll be familiar with, and love, Meier’s attention to detail, slick production values and magical ability to construct an engrossing, gratifying experience; even though I’ve spent only a short time messing around in Ace Patrol, it’s clear the game is obviously a Meier.

Just as slick as the game itself is the game’s marketing strategy. Ace Patrol is a try-before-you-buy proposition: You get to download the game for free and play around with the first six missions, and if you like it, you can buy bits of the game for $1 (the rest of the British campaign) $2 (campaigns for the three other nationalities) or buy the whole thing for $4.

After that it gets a bit more complex, with in-app purchases for aces and instant get-up-and-go for any pilots shot down. But the game doesn’t seem to really hinge on these, and the multitude of multiplayer should keep things interesting once the campaigns are in your pocket.