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Tiny Combat Arena, a simulation-lite, yet fun polygon-shaded flight simulator

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Tiny Combat Arena
A sim-lite flying game with customizable loadouts by Why485

Tiny Combat Arena (TCA) is a flight sim game with lots of potential and nice funky and crisp retro graphics. The visuals run silky smooth on my old 2014 Dell Latitude 3440 laptop. The polygon-shaded graphics of the game remind me of Graphsim's F/A-18, Parsoft's A-10 Attack! and A-10 Cuba! and Eagle Dynamics' 1995 Flanker 1.0/1.5. Such classics! Maybe also a bit of Skyfighters 1945. Imagine if Digital Integration had actually developed Tornado 2.0 with the graphics of TCA.

This flight sim can only get better with time. I am looking forward to it!"

The sense of speed of Tiny Combat Areana is great, and there is more than enough depth-cueing thanks to a more than liberal dose of shadows, and polygon trees and bushes at ground level. The animations of missiles streaking towards their targets, mid-air explosions and flare releasing are impressive. This is work in progress. Demo Day 30 Release v0.4.0 was released on Monday 6th January 2020 and has since been updated to version 0.4.1. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the size of the download. A mere 27Mb! I have three words to say about Why485's project - WATCH THIS SPACE! (Frankie Kam)

In Why485's words, TCA "is a mechanics heavy playground for fixed wing aircraft from a different time. There are many weapons to find and experiment with, and planes to discover. The weapons and flight modeling are at a sim-lite level, inspired by real life, but not meant to be a 1:1 recreation of it.

"It is realistic enough that the real mechanics and tactics are in play, such as the concept of running a missile out of energy, but streamlined such that it's a more accessible and fun experience than a hardcore flight simulator."

"This is still in a very early stage. Many mechanics, such as the flight model, weapons, menus, and methods for unlocking remain to be done. It's currently in a state where the foundation is being built out. I intend to keep this page updated as major updates are made available."

Rapid fire Q&A
"Campaign: No campaign in the sense there won't be a story with connected missions
Scenarios: I have thoughts, but I don't feel comfortable commenting beyond that
First person: HUD only first person view will happen, no cockpits
Release date: \_(ツ)_/
G effects: Definitely"

Main Website and Game Demo Download (Demo Day 30 Build - v0.4.1- only 27Mb!)
Discord Channel

Youtube Playlist

Images and text by Why486 from

Change Log
For more details see

0.4.1 - Demo Day 30 Hotfix 1

- AI should be less likely to stall themselves and fall out of the sky when out of combat
- Jaguar spawns should be more likely (MiGs were spawning in place of them)
- AI protecting areas (e.g. airfield defense fighters) return to the airfield if led away
- Persistent aircraft no longer fly around in 3D when the player is not on a sortie

0.4.0 - Demo Day 30 Release

New Features
- Camera can be zoomed in with a toggle button on Z or D-Pad up on the gamepad
- Airfields and aircraft groups appear on the map
- Visual on map for which airbase is selected as home base
- Group system for dynamically spawning aircraft formations and drawing them on map
    - Groups can spawn based on parent airfield
    - Groups can be manually placed and persistently destroyed
    - Area spawners for groups will dynamically create groups every sortie
    - Aircraft outside of "player bubble" are aggregated and abstracted
    - Aircraft will loiter around anchor point (e.g. airfield they are protecting)
- New CAPTURABLE airfield on the island
- Destroying the priority targets around the airfield changes airfield to yours
- Cannot sortie from or re-arm on hostile airfields
- Capturing Hori Airfield will provide several defensive fighters
- Updated Rewired to 1.1.29.U2019
- Updated Unity to 2019.2.15f
- Added AGM-65 Maverick (single rail) to F-20
- Several buildings added
- Fuel tank building is destructable

- Total rework of map rendering visuals
- Moved sun so that it would move east/west if it moved instead of north/south
- Beefed up defense for Ibis to be 2 planes + Reimu
- AS30 missile can be carried on Jaguar centerline hardpoint for 3 total A-G missiles
- Message ticker easier to read while in flight
- F-20 hardpoints slightly spaced out to prevent clipping of weapons
- Renamed "MiG-21F-13" to "MiG-21"
- Longer wing trails

Bug Fixes
- Missile lock warning should not play after death
- Removed obsolete Label message when K is pressed

0.3.0 - Demo Day 29 Release

New Features
- Brand new, much larger, island map with mountainous terrain
- Added F-20, meant to represent the capabilities of the best fighters in the game
- Aircraft sensors
    - Situational Awareness: Anything within a certain range gets a marker placed on top of it
    - Basic Air Radar: Used on MiG-21 and F-20, detects aircraft at long range
    - Targeting of objects to get more information of them
    - Different sensors have different rules for detection/tracking
- Omniscient IMGUI labels replaced with markers generated by the Situational Awareness sensor
- AI fighters along with very basic (read: prototype) dogfighting ability with guns and missiles
- Heat signature and IR seeker system
    - Aircraft generate heat
    - Apparent temperature depends on distance and aspect angle
    - Missiles now use IR seekers to detect and track targets
    - Each missile has unique parameters for its seeker
- Flares (for player and AI) to spoof IR missiles by creating bright heat sources
- Ability to cage/uncage missiles to see exactly what the seeker is tracking
- Flyby sound effects
- Material system affecting how well planes can move off-road
    - E.g. Jaguar can easily roll and take off without a runway
- "Scatter" system to provide map clutter such as trees and grass
- Right mouse button can be used to pan the map by clicking and dragging
- Missile warning when a missile is fired at the player
- Pedals should automatically bind to yaw

- Banked planes will induce a yawing moment to the ground
- Sound effects for bullet impacts
- Rolling when using Mouse Flight is more precise and should not overshoot anymore
- Visibility dots easier to see and applied to more units
- Replaced AIM-9M with AIM-9L
- All AIM-9 models recolored
- Double rail AIM-9 launcher for F-20
- Landing gear touchdown effects
- Effects for when taxiing off-road
- Built in 32 bit for slightly broader compatibility
- Panning around the map screen significantly smoother
- Photo mode camera and MouseFlight camera no longer clip through terrain

Bug Fixes
- Super Gunboat turrets no longer fire after being destroyed
- MouseFlight camera initializes in the same direction as the aircraft
- Flight controls now inactive while the game is paused (e.g. fire a missile while paused)
- Mouse sensitivity for MouseFlight should no longer be sensitive to framerate
- Map cannot be scrolled while flying

0.2.0 - Demo Day 28 Release


- Brand new art style built from the ground up
    - New models, effects, and shaders
- New flyable aircraft: MiG-21 and Jaguar
- New weapons
    - Jaguar: AIM-9L, AIM-9M, AS30
    - MiG-21: R-3S, R-60, Kh-66
- New Wake Island inspired map with runway and airbase buildings
- Map screen to select where to start your sortie and what plane to sortie with
- Escape menu to pause the game, access photo mode, and end the sortie
- Enemy turrets can now fire on and kill the player
- Collision damage proportional to speed
- Player hitpoints percentage shown on HUD
- Animated airbrakes for all flyable aircraft
- Turrets become more accurate the longer they fire on the target
- Rudimentary support for gamepad and joysticks, each using a new camera system optimized for direct control of the aircraft
- All weapons are always available (disbled inventory tracking)
- Support for 4k and ultrawide resolutions

0.1.1 - Demo Day 27 Patch 1

- Hold R key to reset the plane if it gets stuck on the ground
- Ground handling should be smoother and more responsive
- When landing gear are raised, there are no more invisible wheels under the plane
- Landing gear cannot be lowered if there is no clearance

Bug Fixes
- Boats now turn and stay in their spawn area instead of sailing off into the ocean
- Corvettes near spawn no longer sail under Sabre Island
- Wake effect on some Gunboats no longer renders above the boat

0.1.0 - Demo Day 27 Release

- Initial release
- Island demo map
- Three aircraft
- Customizable loadouts
- Inventory system

I have seen this before. It is very interesting.

The developer is very passionate about it. It also has a high level of fidelity. I am looking forward to this.

Thanks for posting this Frankie  :thumbsup

One year later and the developer has done so much more stuff. It will be released on Steam...when it is released.

Blackout/Redout from G forces - 26 Mar 2021

An extremely poor quality video of a ground battle (recorded on a smartphone) - 24 Mar 2021

Vehicles in Instant Action Missions - 20 Mar 2021

Vehicle Armor System - 20 Mar 2021

Simple Formation Battle - 9 Mar 2021

Full 32 Aircraft Dogfight (Instant Action) - 7 Feb 2021

4v4 Instant Action Dogfight - 28 Jan 2021

More Instant Action UI work - 20 Jan 2021

Fishbed AI Aircraft Development - 4 Dec 2020

SAM Installation Prototyping - 16 Nov 2020

Getting shot at by Shilkas - 22 Oct 2020

All videos here

The developer drew inspiration from A-10 Cuba! and many other flight simuators of the past. Single player. No plans for multiplayer. Instant action. Badly needs a dynamic campaign. Stay tuned.


Focuses on 1970s-1990s era dog-fighting.

Myriad of planes, tanks, AAA and SAM vehicles. Nice retro, but fluid and detailed, A-10 Cuba! (1996, Parsoft Interactive & Activision)  and F/A-18 Korea (1997, Graphic Simulations)-type graphics. Hope it comes with a Dynamic Campaign. That would be the icing on the cake.

Frankie Kam

Released on Steam today! 22/2/22.


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