Mobile platforms such as iOS are still too limited to support complex submarine sims such as Silent Hunter 5
or Cold Waters but some offerings for the iPad, Android, & Kindle Fire have some games which are
entertaining and almost realistic. Codeknitters has attempted a realistic tour of duty in the Pacific during World War II in a Gato/Balao class sub
with Silent Depth. If you remember Silent Service II and the original Silent Hunter, you will be interested in Silent Depth.
Rig for dive and get your game on.
Cold Waters brings a new wave with an old flavor to a genre that has
been dormant for too long and this is a moment all subsim enthusiasts can celebrate. Cold Waters arrives with real time action
all the way and that makes a real difference in the gameplay. Killerfish have spent nearly two years of time and money creating
their latest game, billing it as the spiritual successor to Red Storm Rising,
a game that many subsim vets remember fondly. And yes, the design stays true to its roots but delivers a lot more visual appeal
that its 1988 predecessor.
The standout feature of this sim is: it is intended as a co-op game where four players
will work as a crew to fight the sub against the German Navy. Here in the
Swedish navy, you have your role, and you do it hands-on.
You move about the boat is an SH5 fashion. You will
manipulate the levers, switches, and knobs right in the sub.
Unlike everything before, this time you have to rely on
other players to succeed.
- Dev Team Interview
Here comes a subsim unlike
anything before it--UBOOT. Blending novel crew management
features with eye-pleasing graphics and stimulating gameplay,
UBOOT will present the player with new opportunities to
fight the Battle of the Atlantic. UBOOT is the creation of
Polish dev team Deep Water Studio, and is backed by PlayWay.
With a Kickstarter page that quickly reached its goal of
$15,500+ though the pledges of over 800 backers, it looks
like the game is on track for success. We pulled into port
and invited the team aboard for a few questions.
Navy Field 2, a combined World
War I and World War II naval combat simulation from the
Korean company SDEnterNet, has been released through the
digital game store, Steam. Playable through both Steam and a
browser window, this is one the first MMO’s (massive
multiplayer online) in the naval simulation genre that
appears to have a great balance between commercial success
and entertainment. Players can choose from the US and
British navies on the Allied side, and the Imperial Japanese
Navy and Kriegsmarine on the Axis side.
Iroclads II, by Totem Games, is
a naval warfare simulation set in the American Civil War.
The game simulates a campaign for dominance of the Gulf of
Mexico and is playable from either the Union or Confederate
side. The strategic layer is used to set up battles in the
tactical layer, and resembles a board game. The tactical
layer is where you take command of your warships in battle.
The game uses warships classes representative of what was in
use at the time, including small coastal gunboats,
ocean-going steamers, and of course, early ironclads.
Atlantic Fleet is the newest
mobile title by KillerFish Games and features a dynamic
campaign spanning from 1939 to the end of the war. The
Battle of Atlantic mode may be the most appealing feature
for many users. It puts you in command of Kriegsmarine or
Royal Navy tasked with protection or destruction of convoys
vital to United Kingdom’s war effort and survival. Convoy
routes and weather change in time and are depicted on
Atlantic Ocean’s map. This and several other improvements
over its predecessor - Pacific Fleet - contributed to
relaxing yet complex entertainment.
Made for PC, Android, Mac iOS, and
Amazon Kindle Fire, Crash Dive is a U-boat sim that features
gameplay like Aces of the Deep, with much better graphics.
In fact, Crash Dive so consistently brought back memories of
Aces of the Deep, that I could not help but compare and
refer to the older classic throughout this review. This is
an excellent game that offers engaging U-boat gameplay built
on a visually appealing base with solid AI and first-rate
controls and satisfies the yearning for a good subsim and
reestablishes the allure of North Atlantic convoy combat in
a way that does Aces of the Deep, Silent Service, and Grey
Battle Fleet 2
Since Silent Hunter 5, iPads and
iPhone, Kindles, and Android phones have become the platform
de jour for naval games and subsims. Surely this can't be
the demise of PC based subsims, can it? Well, maybe, but
there is at least one new title that you can still play
using a mouse and keyboard as God intended: Battle Fleet 2.
Available on nearly every platform--iPad, Mac, Android and
yes, Windows PC, Battle Fleet 2 is a more refined and
graphically superior upgrade that should satisfy newbies to
the battleship genre and Fighting Steel old-timers alike.
Pacific Fleet is mission based
strategy/sim game. It doesn't crowd Silent Hunter or
Dangerous Waters out of the simulation arena, but it really
has too much detail and logic to be dismissed as an arcade
game. You play as the US Navy or Imperial Japanese Navy in
Pacific WWII naval engagements. Shortly after Pacific Fleet
was released for Android phones, I became close friends with
the game. I've found numerous opportunities to play it
several times a day when I would have otherwise been forced
to make conversation with people.
Pacific Fleet is a game that is so easy to like.
With the nature of modern submarine warfare
being what it is, it's not uncommon for a sub to disappear at sea on patrol
for months. No word, no trace. Submarine simulation game development has a
lot in common with this characteristic. Nothing for years…then, from the
depths—news. Sonalysts are putting the
finishing touches on a new game engine. Dubbed “Simulation Engine II” (SE
II), it will provide a base for new sims with modern graphics, extensive
environmental factors, and greater elements of random placement, inclusion
BattleFleet is a pretty interesting composite of a game.
It is one of those rare birds that is developed for the Mac and iPad. It mixes a top-down
turn-based strategy game with naval vessels and with
a bit of Battlestations: Midway mixed in between. The idea and premise is a very good one,
one that came out well, but there is always room for improvement. If there is a successor
to this game there are plenty of things that could be added to the core gameplay to make
this an extremely in-depth and time consuming experience. To me, what it does manage to
do very well, is be a very nice time waster.
A truly great subsim transcends computer game
mechanics to stimulate the imagination the way books like Iron Coffins
and U977, and films like Das Boot did. Writing about Silent
Hunter 5 is a challenge. There's no way to sugarcoat it, the game has lots
of issues and shortcomings, but it does some things well and it's a lot more
fun to play it than write about it. One thing it does magnificently is give
the player a very realistic sense of being on a U-boat. Just the simple act
of opening the bridge hatch, climbing down the ladder into the conning
tower, ordering dive, and raising the scope is one of the quiet strengths of
Silent Hunter 5 that should not be overlooked.
Boats: Knights of the Sea
PT Boats features some 12 or so PT boats to
control, from the Elco, Komsomolets, Vosper and sub-like G5. Each boat is
represented well with different guns and controls, and the game physics lend
an authentic feel to the way they handle, turn, and drift. You can play as
either side, so in a particular mission
you may be the Germans attacking a Russian supply convoy; change sides to be
the Russians protecting the supply convoy. You can play as British, German,
or Russians, and some missions feature all three sides.
Battlestations franchise, the gameplay is a hybrid of
real-time strategy and something approaching simulation. Players can use the
game's tactical map to command squadrons and flotillas, or even individual
planes and ships, or they can jump directly into pretty much any unit in the
game and come to terms with the enemy personally. Sounds cool, right? It is,
but there is something very important to remember before purchasing a game from the Battlestations line; It is not a simulation and it is not
historically accurate, though it is mad fun.
The campaign aspect of Jutland has been done quite well
and is without a doubt the core of the game. U-boats and Zeppelins are at
your disposal to assist in scouting out the enemy if you
prefer to command the German task forces or divisions. There
is a lot more to this game than simply managing battleships.
Plan your task forces and make them ready to put to sea.
Have the ships lay mines or sortie to the enemy's port.
Beware, there are coastal batteries and are quite accurate
when they get a bead on your ships. The player must be aware
of fuel capacity and distance needing to be covered.
In gaming terms WWI is a bit of a black hole. It
has very limited street cred, being overshadowed by its bigger more
mainstream brother, World War 2. Shells
of Fury (SOF) has to be one of the strangest subsims released in quite a
while. It takes on a neglected era (WWI), looks very retro, and appears to
have been almost dumped on the market with no real pretensions. Having said
all of that I believe it’s a little gem that’ll pay back its rather modest
price with a lot of replay value and in a very fresh setting.
Hunter 4: Wolves of the Pacific
The game itself has been touted by Ubisoft as
the subsim with "Hollywood blockbuster experience" in an attempt to appeal
to action game buyers and non-simulation players. While this is a smart goal
(ensures greater sales, brings new subsim skippers into the fold), it is
only laudable by Subsim if it does not come at the expense of
historical and simulation accuracy. You can breathe a sigh of relief, Silent
Hunter 4 is as hardcore simulation as they come. In fact, many elements are
taken a step further than SH3. Silent
Hunter 4 is a must-have for intrepid subsim skippers everywhere.
A key feature of
Battlestations: Midway is the ability to play as a first person shooter,
where you are onboard a battleship or plane, directly controlling the unit; and the
ability to direct the entire fleet from a map. At any time during the game
the player may hit the TAB key from the map and assume first person control of the
unit he has selected. The most notable thing is the other units will carry
on their orders with competent AI. It is a standout feature
that works very smoothly and adds a great deal to the
appeal of the game.
are two types of campaign modes, one that starts pre-1941
and the other starts at the beginning of the war. In the
pre-war mode, you have until late 1941 to have your country
ready for war. One vital aspect to the game is to maintain
your supply lines. As in the real world, your ships only
have a limited sailing distance, so you need to build
refueling points (and defend them). Building a base is more
than just capturing a point on the map--you need to build
barracks, warehouses, fuel storage facilities, base
defenses, and an airfield.
Legend of Jack Sparrow
quest begins as Sparrow and Turner search for a rare
artifact. Their adventures cross some of the storylines from the
original movie with new locales in villages, forts, caves, mines, and jungles. Each episode involves a lot of
swordfighting with a steady flood of AI ghouls, enemy pirates, incontinent
Spaniards, and redcoats.
But other than some cutscenes and a few swordfights on the
deck, no there are sailing ships in this game, savvy?
Games' 1988 Classic Revisited!
Tokyo Express is a dedicated
solitary player experience that additionally offers rules
for two-player-games. And Tokyo Express presents the lonely
player a challenging artificial opponent that keeps
surprising him in an elegant way that is far from the
unwieldy text paragraph books and dozens of
paragraph-selection-slider-cards that were to be found for
example in many solitary games.
call Silent War a game is akin to calling the priesthood a
hobby. Prepare to undergo some serious indoctrination--this
game really tries to replicate every aspect of the entire
are provisions for aircraft attacks, surface gun attacks,
repairs, circular running torpedoes, special missions, Ultra
intercepts, wolfpacks... just about any situation you can
imagine that is historically based.
mission and objective
completion is key to upgrading your ships, adding more ships, and bolstering
your crew. There's no denying that the game developers put a lot of thought
into the numerous systems and upgrades. The missions get harder as you go
along so you definitely want to get the best gear to stay in synch. Ok, so
when the lighting bolt generators and laser cannons come along, it does get
a bit weird. At least it's entertaining, ripping through whole fleets of enemy
vessels with unimaginable firepower.
‘fireworks’ really start flying with a lot of planes and
ships around, and as the sprites are rendered fairly
smoothly, the big engagements can really look good – with
massive splashes of battleship guns ranging in, light and
heavy flak shooting in all directions, fans of torpedo
trails launched by cruisers in the water and burning planes
falling through the sky. I’m sure most players will be at
least a little impressed when they first see a big battle!
Sailing, gunnery and boarding depends on a very innovative
aspect of Salvo!: crew management. Right-clicking on a ship
and selecting the crew icon opens a display showing the six
positions crews are assigned to: idlers, both batteries,
sailing, damage control and boarding party. The display also
shows the level that each position is manned. Players must decide how
many crew to allocate to what positions during which phase.
As soon as the game starts
every old Ace of the Deep vet will notice one huge enhancement right
away: Silent Hunter III has a 3D control room you can move
about in, a bridge you can man, and a fully interactive 3D crew. No
more "ghost subs", no more 2D pictures of a control room that
require imagination to create the experience you are aboard a sub.
This is better on a bicycle-to-space shuttle improvement scale.
The most significant innovations
BF2 brings to the series are the Team Commander mode and
Squads. Forming a squad increase objective awareness and
cooperation. The Squad leader serves as a mobile spawn
point, greatly increasing the ability for the squad to pour
it on by quick and close respawning. At the outset of a
battle, a player can apply for the Commander role for his
side. The Commander has real-time map info that can be
zoomed down to see individual players. It's like being God,
or a CIA operative somewhere covert.
Battleship Chess, like chess, even though the rules are
fairly straight-forward, has a great deal of depth. How the
player deploys his fleet, as in real-life, is often crucial
to the outcome of the battle. For example, the would-be
admiral should always seek to keep his ships together
throughout the battle. Why? When friendly warships are
adjacent to each other, all neighboring vessels may fire
their guns along with the ship that had just moved.
This game boasts seven playable
platforms that include air, surface, and subsurface units! The
familiar units from Sub Command return: the SSN-21 Seawolf class, the 688i Los
Angeles class, and the Russian Akula class. The new platforms include
the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate, the P-3 maritime air patrol
craft, and the MH-60 multi-mission helicopter. The graphics of each
have really improved since Sub Command. The sub models have
been upgraded and the hull curves are dramatically smoother.
When Pirates! debuted on the Commodore
64 in 1987, it became one of the most critically acclaimed games
of all time and was the benchmark for swashbuckling adventure. It was
so good that 17 years later people were still hanging on to their old
C64’s or using various software emulators just to play the original
game. For years fans have asked--even begged--for a new update to this
true gaming classic. Well, it’s the year 2004 and Sid Meier’s
Pirates! (the remake) has finally set sail.
Aces is a
total conversion from WWII U-boats in the Atlantic to US Silent
Service in the Pacific. Each sub class has its own diving
and sailing characteristics and weapons loadouts. To top it
off, the PA conversion includes the rain and water mod and
the Pacific Aces Campaign Generator--the closest thing to a
dynamic campaign since Aces of the Deep!
up. Way up. Strap-it-on-a-Tomahawk, plot-five-waypoints, and
send it waaay up! 688(I) Hunter/Killer is a triumph, a
powerful blend of realism and gameplay with enough visual
concessions to keep it stimulating. If you want to immerse
yourself in a billion-dollar, state-of-the-art nuclear
attack submarine, and experience the tension, drama, and
exhilaration of relentless world-in-the-balance naval
warfare; this subsim is your ticket.
Hunter lets you walk in the shoes of such famous American
sub skippers as Dudley "Mushmouth" Morton, Richard O'Kane,
Sam Dealey, Bud Gruner, Freddie Warder, and George Grider,
to name only a scant few. You wear the skipper’s cap and
command an American submarine in search of ships of the
Japanese Empire. Like the successful Aces of the Deep
series, Silent Hunter takes the familiar elements of
submarine warfare and brings you even closer to the
Aces of the Deep
Aces of the Deep was the first really good submarine
simulation I ever came across. You have the whole Atlantic,
North Sea, and Gulf of Mexico to hunt. It forced a paradigm
shift of my ratings of all previous subsims. Command Aces
was leagues ahead of the competition at the time of its
release, holds its ground years later, and is a shining
example of a subsim done right.
involves a "world crisis" scenario where you are ordered to
hunt and kill Russian boomers, Alfas, Oscars, frigates,
landing craft, and whatever else they put in your way. You
command a Seawolf class nuclear submarine, capable of
astonishing underwater speeds. You utilize a waterfall
display to isolate and classify the surrounding vessels. It
always seems like the ocean is well-stocked with porpoises
and whales. But somewhere, you can bet, there’s an Akula sub
looking for you as well.
graphics in Silent Service II are pre-Pentium, but the ship
renderings aren't too bad, to be honest. An aircraft carrier
looks, by God, like an aircraft carrier. Same with the
tankers and cruisers. The enemy AI is moderate, depending on
what skill level you are playing at. Going deep and running
away from the escorts is not very difficult, but they get