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Supplier: Microprose Price: £24.95

Achtung, achtung. Das Englanders vost dropping das depthun chargun, mein Kapitan! And 30 seconds later it was all over for poor Fritz as U-141 collected a one way ticket to the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately I happened to be the German captain that was going down. In the Mirrorsoft tale of aquatic service during World War II.

As captain of a U-boat, you not only have to worry about what the Allies are doing over your head, and whether you can fulfill your mission objectives - there are loads including a design your own scenario kit - but also where you left the other submarines in your wolfpack.

If you leave them to the vagaries of computer intelligence they can end up anywhere, and usually it's on the sea bead, so you need to take control of each while arranging elaborate traps and manoeuvres to fool the Allied escort ships.

One main screen is utilised in Wolfpack, which explains why the game has a fiddly nature - compounded by the sight unresponsiveness of the mouse clicks - but if you can be bothered learning them, there are keyboard equivalents for all the controls.

Graphics are pretty good until you get close up to something, then the image simply becomes a jumble of bit mapped blocks. For all its faults this is still a fab game and will keep you happy until Silent Service II surfaces on the Amiga.

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MIRRORSOFT * £24.99 Mouse or keyboard

When the Kriegsmarine U-boats prowled the seas during World War II, they hunted like a wolfpack. Attacking in waves, they would first wound and then sink their prey. By interrupting the flow of materials vital to the war effort, U-boats sought to siege Britain into submission.

For Submarine captains this was the 'Happy Time' when convoys provided easy pickings and the 'Wolves' ruled the waves. After D-Day the introduction of sonar and radar systems forced a change of tactics and the packs started hitting military targets, often at the cost of their own lives.

Submarine warfare is a game of cat-an-mouse played with 1000-ton ships. In Wolfpack you can take command of either the ships or the U-boats. The submarines must second guess the surface shipping's every move and set up ambushes. The surface ships must anticipate the sub-mariners and either flee or fight.

As commander of the sub, you must use your vessel's limited capabilities - which vary as the war continues - to maximum effect. Surface ships' captains use new technology, improving weaponry and their knowledge of sub formations to keep the Wolves away from the civilian ships.

Each battle is fought as an individual scenario. Victories for the Allies are scored when the convoy reaches its destination or the time limit expires. The U-boats win by sinking at least 50% of the ships. The odds may seem stacked against the submariners, but they always strike first.

A strategy element is added to the simulation with each commander having control over a number of vessels, rather than being stuck with just the one. The ships in your charge run on preselected orders, which they follow until you take the bridge. Submarines with a human at the helm can sneak in for a torpedo shot or surface for a pop with the deck cannon. Drone submarines can only anchor, patrol and shadow the convoy. Some commands, though, may be disobeyed by the occasional computer captain if a ship makes itself a target. Surface shipping has a similar limited list of 'group commands', the brevity of which actually helps make the larger convoys manageable. The only orders that seem to be disobeyed is sinking without permission!

Over a series of preset missions commander can explore the possibilities of underwater warfare, with the chance to play both the hunter and the hunted. After these have been beaten it's time to delve into the construction set and build some serious scenarios. Using the parameters explored in the pre-set modules you can build stupid one-sided battles what would test the mettle of the best. It even allows for duels between two captains, with one hunting the other on the open seas.


Clear and easily-accessed controls are vital if a sim is to succeed. In Wolfpack all the commands are clicked onto the various dials and gauges. Once you're used to their positioning, orders can be sent far faster than it's possible for the ships to respond. The window on the world, which represents a periscope view, is small but clear for linging up shots. Stirring music introduces Wolfpack, the kind of tune that accompanies all those xenophobic war movies, setting the scene perfectly for some 'Jerry' or 'Tommy' bashing.


The limited number of preset missions shouldn't be used as a measure of Wolfpack's depth. Most of the gameplay parameters are touched upon in these ready-built missions, but are far from fully explored. As trainers, the 'ready to run' modules are complex enough to teach the basics of naval war, yet playable enough to be fun. Even when the tactics become obvious, there's always the tricky task of implementing them.


Submarine sims will always be curious beasts as they lack the gut-wrenching sensations associated with flying or driving. The hunting is tough enough to stop players destroying the cream of the Allied navies first time out, but with practice it is distinctly possible. Luckily Wolfpack is free from the technophile tendencies that sinks so many simulators, where gameplay is sacrificed to absolute accuracy. Wolfpack, quite correctly, uses the multiple ship strategy elements to supplement its gameplay quotient and is not an in-depth investigation of WW II diesel engines. The sub simulator itself is strong enough to justify the game and the strategy is an excellent second strong to its bow.

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Die PC-Besitzer haben sie schon letztes Jahr angefallen, jetzt sind wir Amigianer an der Reihe: Novalogics "Wolfsrudel" sind zwar etwas langsam, aber dafür sehr ausdauernd!

Wolfpack war der Spitznahme für die deutschen U-Boot-Geschwader im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Trotzdem ist das Spiel keine reine U-Boot-Simulation, denn man kann hier auch für die Gegenseite, also die alliierten Zerstörer, in den Kampf ziehen. Wie immer man sich auch entscheidet, es sind stets dieselben zwölf (abwechslungsreichen) Missionen.

Vom Aufbau her ist das Game mit "688 Attack Sub" verwandt: Es gibt einen Hauptscreen, über den sich praktisch alles machen läßt, was es während des Spiels zu tun gibt. Dementsprechend einfach ist die Handhabung, selbst unerfahrene "Simulanten" finden sich hier sehr schnell zurecht.

Die stille Jagd im tiefen Wasser macht auch durchaus Spaß, jedenfalls bis man die zwölf Missionen durch hat. Dann läßt die Motivation aber doch deutlich nach; man kann zwar zu zweit spielen (nur nacheinander und nicht per Modem) und eigene Missionen entwerfen, aber auf Dauer ist das ein bißchen wenig.

Bei Silent Service 2" darf man z.B. Eine richtige Kapitänskarriere machen, hier werden nicht einmal die erzielten Scores gespeichert. Auch die Umsetzung hätte etwas besser ausfallen können, sowohl Grafik als auch Sound sind gegenüber der PC-Version (mit VGA und Adlib) schlechter geworden anstatt besser.

Trotzdem: Wer eine leicht handhabbare U-Boot-Simulation such und nicht auch "Silent Service 2" warten will, sollte hier ruhig mal einen Blick durchs Periskop riskieren. (mm)

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Mirrorsoft/Amiga (1 meg only)/ £29.99/Out Now

Amiga reviewPaul: Submarine games are a bit of a funny old thing to convert onto computer. A submarine is not, after all, the most visual of places. You spend most of your time lurking on the bottom of the ocean with nothing to look at except the boils on the back of the captain's neck. Most submarine games look the same.

Wolfpack differs from other submarine games not in look (though the graphics are good) but in content. Instead of controlling just one submarine you control a whole (wolf)pack, jumping between subs during the engagement without once getting your feet wet.

For a bit of variety you can play hunted instead of hunter and put yourself on the bridge of a destroyer on convoy duty. If you want to add a touch of personal vendetta to the proceedings then there's even a two player "Duel" option. A sort of head to head or rather rudder to keel.

Crammed full of options, Wolfpack aims to provide a crossover between sim and shoot 'em up. In fact it rather falls between the two stools. The missions are, in general, on too small a scale and the decision-making options too limited for real sim enthusiasts. Equally the game is probably too complex or strategic for shoot 'em up enthusiasts. Still, it does have some interesting variations on the sub theme.

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Novalogic/Mirrorsoft, Amiga £29.99

Centered around a number of World War II missions, Wolfpack lets you command either one or more German submarines, or Allied surface ships. The game is played via a central control screen from which info such as the damage screen can be accessed. Other facilities include a strategic map to view the battle area, time accelerator, speed and compass indicators and a nifty zoom function which turns the view into a binocular display.

U-boats feature various depth/dive gauges, periscope, plus a deck-gun (with elevation and range controls) and torpedo control panel. Controlling the destroyer gives rather different controls such as sonar, hedgehog (forward-facing mortars), depth charges and so on.

The most important feature in Wolfpack is the ability to work as a team - essential as most of Germany's sub success came through this group tactic. A number of captains (all with different characteristics such as being relentless, cautious, etc) control each sub, although you can assume direct control of any sub at any time. A similar option is available for the destroyer captains. Alternatively you can give general orders to captains such as Anchor, Shadow and Patrol.

Graphics are good (similar to 688 Attack Sub, in fact) with reasonable sound effects. They add to the atmosphere giving the usual submarine-type sound effects of radar 'pings', explosions, etc.

There are a number of criticisms to be leveled at Wolfpack, however. The two-player mode is a bit of a botch job. Initially, it appears to be quite innovative where the sub screen appears for a set period, following which the view switches to the surface player. While adequate warning time is provided, the entire play sequence does not allow for consistent or useful offensive/defensive plans. This system is not as good as true modem-modem play.

Also beware the enemy merchant gunners. While historical merchant shipping had atrocious gunnery, the computer gunners are deadly accurate. The documentation can also be erroneous. It notes that engaging an oncoming escort 'down the throat' is an effective tactic. Generally, such a manoeuvre is risky in the extreme - the destroyer presents its smallest target and the sub cannot dive deeply enough to escape if it misses. There were other niggly design factors which I don't have the space to mention.

Overall, there are too many compromises with reality for Wolfpack to be considered as a true simulation. In fact, it's more like a modern submarine simulation than a WW2 era exercise since you can engage the targets without use of the periscope.

However, despite the lack of simulation realism Wolfpack can still be enjoyed as a 'game'. The multi-captain feature is a nice addition and it would be nice to see this take further for a sequel - bringing role-play elements more into the design. In addition, I missed a campaign option (as seen in Microprose's Red Storm Rising) which would extend gameplay.