Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type††††††††† : Arcade Simulation
Author†††††††††††† : Unknown
Standalone Release(s)†† : 1983: SEA WOLF, Optima, £6.95
Compilation Release(s)†† : None
Stated compatibility††† : Electron
Actual compatibility††† : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier††††††††††† : OPTIMA, 36 St Petersgate, STOCKPORT SK1 1HL
Disc compatibility†††† : CDFS E00, DFS E00
You are advised to read these instructions carefully while the program is loading and refer to them during play.
On starting you will be presented with a message asking you to choose the skill level. These are: RATING, ENSIGN, GUNNER, CAPTAIN and COMMANDER. Until you get used to the game a skill level of RATING is suggested as it is almost impossible to be destroyed at this level. (Almost!)
This is the default (normal) setting, but it can be changed by using the cursor UP/DOWN keys to select an alternative setting and pressing RETURN. The game will then begin.
The initial display is divided into three parts: COMPUTER DISPLAY, LONG RANGE SCAN and SHORT RANGE SCAN.
They will all be described in detail, but briefly:
The COMPUTER DISPLAY gives various messages such as battle status, the type of shipping in view and so on.
The LONG RANGE SCAN gives a display of shipping positions relative to your own.
The SHORT RANGE SCAN gives a radar display of nearby shipping on the targetting computer. This can be looked on as an electronic periscope.
The TYPE display shows the type of enemy ship encountered - for example, DESTROYER.
The LASER display shows the current status of the lasers.
The TORPS display shows the current status of the torpedo tubes.
The OXYGEN display shows the current oxygen pressure in psi.
The CONDITION display shows the current battle status.
The ENEMY TO... display shows whether the enemy vessel is to the left or right of the centre of your sights. This normally defaults to the right.
The DAMAGE display shows the current percentage of damage. If this reaches 100 per cent, your submarine, Sea Wolf, will be destroyed. However, it is possible for Sea Wolf to be repaired (see DOCKING) and carry on with the mission.
The STATUS display shows the current morale of the crew and the overall well-being of the vessel.
The KILLS display shows the current number of kills, 15 being necessary to complete a mission.
The ENERGY display shows energy remaining. If this falls below zero, Sea Wolf will be destroyed. DOCKING restores energy levels to their full value.
The WARP display shows the current amount of energy that will be used to travel between two sectors shown on the long range scan (see LONG RANGE SCAN.) This will normally be zero.
The PAUSE display shows the current pause status (ON/OFF). While ON, the game is effectively frozen.
Long Range Scan
The LONG RANGE SCAN is at the top left of the main display. It serves as a display of shipping positions and movements and is updated automatically from time to time and after a successful attack. The scan also shows the position of enemy bases and Sea Wolf's home base. These will be in the same positions each game, the home base being in the bottom right of the grid.
The position of Sea Wolf is shown as a flickering, submarine-shaped cursor. This can be moved around by using the cursor control keys. Once the Sea Wolf cursor is in the desired position pressing the WARP key will move Sea Wolf to that position. Immediately after a WARP or under normal conditions the cursor will show the TRUE position of the Sea Wolf.
When you enter a sector WARP will remain at zero until you move the cursor when WARP will show the energy required to move. This energy will be removed from your total energy when you WARP. The WARP facility is incorporated to speed up progress between sectors - a process which could lead to much wasted time if it were in "real time", as the rest of the program.
Short Range Scan
The SHORT RANGE SCAN gives a radar display of the enemy position in relation to your sights.
In order to score a hit, it is important to tilt Sea Wolf to the correct angle, using keys A and Z. The < and > keys affect horizontal movement. Remember that any of these actions will be affected by your speed. (See KEY TABLE.)
Sea Wolf is equipped with two weapons systems, either of which is available for your use at any time. You cannot, however, use them simultaneously.
The LASER is a high power CO2 type, power rated at +1,000 watts. It is important to note that since the laser is external to the ship it will almost certainly be damaged by only a few hjits. it is also a great drain on the ship's power source.
The TORPEDOES are always fired in pairs from two torpedo tubes under the front of the ship. They are less powerful than the laser but are not as likely to be damaged quickly during battle.
You have an unlimited supply of torpedoes, but be careful how you use them. Fleet Command will not be happy if they're wasted.
This is achieved automatically whenever you return to base. All damage will be repaired, including oxygen leaks. In this case cabin pressure will be recharged. Weapons on standby will be repaired by the crew in due course.
Too much docking will be regarded as cowardice, and your rank will be affected.
Each type of enemy vessel will always follow the same route, which is dependent upon many factors.
Civilian vessels are NOT strategic targets and should not be attacked at any time. Other shipping consists of tankers, destroyers, battle ships, etc. All of these are targets and should be destroyed without hesitation.
Attack range is about 1,000 yards, but remember that the enemy may not come into view immediately, and Sea Wolf may have to be turned left or right to face them.
Crashing into enemy ships results in your instant and complete destruction. To avoid this, steer left or right of the enemy at ranges of 100 yards or less, as collision will occur at ranges of under about 20 yards (unless the enemy is almost off the short range radar when you will just miss him).
It is most important to remember that the whole game is played in real time, so if you go and make a cup of tea you may return to find yourself dead! To avoid this, the pause feature included should be used.
Good tactics will be rewarded with a well deserved promotion, whereas poor tactics may well result in demotion.
0††† -††† 9†††† ...................†††† Alter speed
Short Range Scan
A†††† ............................†††† Raise Sights
Z†††† ............................†††† Lower Sights
<†††† .............................†††† Sights Left
>†††† ............................†††† Sights Right
SPACE BAR†††† ....................†††† Fires Weapon
f0†††† ..........................†††† Arm torpedoes
f2†††† ..............................†† ††Arm laser
f4†††† ............................†††† Select Warp
f6†††† ...............................†††† Pause On
f8†††† ..............................†††† Pause Off
Long Range Scan movement follows cursor keys.
Instructions' Source†† : SEA WOLF (Optima) Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User)
SEA WOLF from Optima Software is a new kind of war game, combining logic with action. You set about destroying the enemy fleets in the submarine Seawolf, trying your best not to get wiped out in the process.
You can start off as a rating, where the enemy (bless his sporting heart) gives you a run for your money, and end up as a captain, where the enemy (the swine) will try and squelch you as soon as you poke your nose outside the base.
The second phase is where you line up the target in your sights and let fly with either torpedoes or lasers. An average Seawolf target can absorb about twelve hits from torpedoes and half as many from the lasers before becoming a kill. All the time you're attacking, if the target is a warship, you are sustaining damage from his counterattack. The kills accumulate, and fifteen is a completed mission. Unfortunately, the damage accumulates as well and 100 per cent means curtains.
You can, however, return to base between attacks if you so wish and "zeroise" any excitement. Choosing 'soft' civilian targets is an easy way of ending up with fifteen kills. I did this quite often. (I suppose you could say I'm just a sheep in Seawolf clothing!)
Anyway, Seawolf is slightly different, but I thought only just above average. Available graphics are under-utilised, and I would have liked to see more colour used. Also more imagination could have gone into representing the target
ship - whether it be a tanker or a battleship, the image is exactly the same.
Having said that, if you want a war game that is out of the ordinary and isn't just zapping aliens then Seawolf will fit the bill.
Derek Schofield, ELECTRON USER 1. 9