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There's a Boat in This Box!
You can't turn around these days without being torpedoed by a submarine simulation. They may not have replaced aircraft simulators as the favorite pastime of chair-happy warriors, but these undersea adventures have bred more than one new Captain Nemo.
Older programs like Silent Service and Gato have been supplanted by more realistic games such as Red Storm Rising and Up Periscope!. The newest-688 Attack Sub, from Electronic Arts-slated for a first-quarter 1989 release, promises even more realism within the confines of your IBM PC or compatible.
Using digitized photos of crew members, authentic submarine operation, targets taken from the Soviet navy's lineup, and actual representations of the ocean floor's contours, 688 Attack Sub puts you in command of a Los Angelesclass nuclear-attack submarine. No boomer business here-this shark hunts enemy subs and ships instead of creeping quietly along, waiting to launch city-busting missiles.
An intuitive interface helps manage an almost overwhelming amount of technology. You can run everything yourself if you want or let the computerized crew handle some of it. Detailed radio messages are received and real-life sonar contacts are reported by the appropriate crewman at the click of the mouse button.
688 Attack Sub is a dead-on simulation. And with Maxell's newest promotional effort, you can try it out before you buy. The disk manufacturer has put a demonstration version of 688 in 500,000 boxes of its 5¼-inch blank disks. By the time you read this, the special will be in the middle of its three-month run, but you shouldn't have any trouble locating the 688 demo just look for the prominently marked MD2-HD and MD2D ten-pack boxes.
Inside these boxes you'll find a stripped-down version of 688 Attack Sub: far fewer targets, for instance, and only one conflict area. It's enough to give you a taste for the real thing (the real simulation, not the real real thing). Then, when you've worked yourself into a combat-happy state and find you've become a sub junkie, you can go out and buy the full-blown version from EA.
Sonar contact bearing 323! Ready number 1 torpedo tube! Fire!
Heady stuff for a landlubber.
- Gregg Keizer