Sea Wolf (Optima) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

A&B Computing

Sea Wolf
By Optima
Acorn Electron

Published in A&B Computing 1.06

The crew peered out helplessly onto the open waters. What was left for us? Our lasers and torpedoes were out of action, thanks to a cataclysmic battle with a destroyer; our present energy level was so low that not even a warp back to home base was possible; the cabin pressure was rapidly plummeting below a tolerable level due to an oxygen leak; general morale was at an all-time low... and there was a menacing battleship homing in on us... there was no hope of survival... the Sea Wolf was doomed...

This real-time war game is very much based on the Atari program Star Raiders. You are in control of the "Sea Wolf" and have ventured into troubled waters - an ambush from an array of enemy vessels is likely at any moment.

The game, which is completely in black and white, centres around the ship's display which is in three parts. Firstly, the Long Range scan which shows the positions of other vessels and the home base with respect to the Sea Wolf. The Short Range scan gives a radar display of the enemy position. Graphical simulation of battles is shown here. Finally, the computer output provides various information such as the state of your weapons, remaining energy, percentage damage to the ship and number of enemies killed (fifteen must be destroyed for the completion of a mission).

Encounters with other vessels are not fully animated - enemy missiles are not shown although there are appropriate graphical and sound effects when they are on target. Also, as you fire your weapon (either the laser which drain's your ship's energy considerably, or the torpedoes), all other motion ceases temporarily - this certainly detracts from the playability of the game.

Graphical characters are not particularly exciting - the enemy ships are shown as vague outlines whilst those appearing on the Long Range scan are rather bulbous.

When your mission is concluded or you are destroyed, the Fleet Command - alias the computer - will assign you a new rank. This ranges from "Commander Class Five" if you were truly outstanding in all spheres or more probably the highly derogatory "Corpse Class One" if you simply pottered about in a cowardly manner.

Overall, this is a fair program with a few interesting features but it really lacks the outstanding qualities that a topic such as this merits.

Dave Reeder

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