Harpoon (video game)
Applied Computing Services
|Publisher(s)||Three-Sixty Pacific, PSS|
|Genre(s)||Real-time tactics, Wargame|
In the late 1970s a manual wargame called SEATAG was introduced by the USN for exploring tactical options. It was available in both classified and unclassified versions. SEATAG was developed into a true tactical training game called NAVTAG that ran on three networked microcomputers for the Red Side, Blue Side, and Game Control.
The player is the commander of either NATO or Soviet forces, commanding ships and aircraft, selecting from over 100 different weapon systems, and taking responsibility for judgment calls. The game mainly focuses on combat in the GIUK Gap.
Harpoon is a naval simulator that uses data reflecting real-world equipment and weaponry, based on a miniatures wargame. There are no preset battle algorithms that dictate combat outcomes, and no play balance between sides. The game includes a user's guide with an appendix on superpower politics and maritime strategies in modern warfare, a Harpoon Tactical Guide by Larry Bond, and a booklet by author Tom Clancy that deals with Russian destroyers. Clancy used the simulation to test the naval battles for Red Storm Rising, which he co-authored with Bond.
Computer Gaming World's reviewer, a United States military officer, gave the game five stars out of five. He stated that "there is no question that Harpoon is the most detailed simulation to appear in the civilian marketplace ... a must-have for the serious naval gamer", and that he had learned more from six hours with the game than one year at the Naval War College. The PC/MS-DOS version of the game was reviewed in 1990 in Dragon #156 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 5 out of 5 stars. The Lessers reviewed the Macintosh version of the game in 1991 in Dragon #168, giving that version 5 stars as well. The Lessers reviewed the Amiga version of the game in Dragon #174, also giving that version of the game 5 out of 5 stars.
In 1990 Computer Gaming World named it as Wargame of the Year.
- Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (April 1990). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (156): 89–95.
- "Harpoon Naval Warfare Simulation Game - AGSI - Harpoon Commanders Edition (HCE)".
- Brooks, M. Evan (1990-02). "Harpoon". Computer Gaming World. p. 12. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- Brooks, M. Evan (1992-06). "The Modern Games: 1950 - 2000". Computer Gaming World. p. 120. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (April 1991). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (168): 47–54.
- Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (October 1991). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (174): 57–64.
- "CGW's Game of the Year Awards". Computer Gaming World. 1990-09. p. 70. Retrieved 16 November 2013.