A classical piece from the 1980’s, by the famous Sid Meier, is a submarine action simulator. During the World War II, submarine campaigns were an important part of the naval war, especially in Pacific. These times seem as far now as the 1980’s, so the game is history as well as the events it mirrors.
It may be easier to say in 2018 that this is no graphics at all. But it’s not true. Though limited in graphical facilities, the game offers some almost static pictures (like an operator at the scope, the sea surface through it, or a dashboard with indicators and text summary) and a map, poor in details, but showing recognizable regions. The definition of these is very small, though in 1985 it was meant to impress.
Anyway, most of the game you deal with texts. And these are quite readable, though you may concentrate on fonts to enjoy the retro PC experience.
And one more thing: in the 1980s the game was praised, among all, for “superb graphics.”
Simulating a military submarine means that you have to shoot and not to be shot. So rise when you detect enemy ships, and dive when planes are heard. When you can see the enemy ships to hit, aim and hit them with a torpedo. It seems simple, but the process is detailed, and you need to account these details, like torpedoes left, how deep you are, or what’s on your radar.
In Settings, you can even adjust the realism level. There are factors of low visibility, the necessity to return to the port for repairing, and so on. Fantastically, it offers a wide range or realistic tactics.
Like all DOS games of that decade, it’s controlled from a keyboard. You only need arrow keys, some letters, and a lot of time to wait. The keys you need will be reminded in the beginning.
The game is virtually the same as it was in 1985, as modern publishers decided to do as little as it takes to make it compatible with modern hardware.
Replay Value: 4.5
It seems the most probable that in 2018 this game is meant for replaying more than for playing. But, putting aside its nostalgic value, let’s look at it like a retro game enthusiast born just in the midway from 1985 to now.
In spite of its primitive looks, it offers a great selection of tactics, a large theater, and many factors to account. It can be played with different options sets that allow adjusting realism level. Yes, it’s still a game to dive into like a submarine.
If a game of 1985 is still demanded in 2018, that’s a high praise. As we said, it’s much of nostalgic value for today, but if suddenly the Ready Player One world gets real, Silent Service will probably not be that silent.
- Graphics 2.5
- Gameplay 4
- Controls 4
- Replay Value 4.5
The specific gameplay of the 1980s
Compatible with modern hardware