Review by Lint6

"Das Boot is Das Goot!"

Introduction - I remember this being of the first PC games I played back in '92. Das Boot, loosely based on the novel and movie of the same title, is a WW2 German U-boat command simulator. It combined skills like navigation, battle no-how, communications etc..into a complex, yet remarkably easily playable game.

Gameplay - The gameplay is probably the most complicated part of the game. You choose from one of a few assorted missions, each varying from sinking a Allied-captured U-boat to breaking a blockage on the Bay Of Biscay. You navigated by a few choices A). A map, B). The conn tower, C). A "third person" view from behind the U-boat or D). If submerged, an under-water camera.

The methods of attacks also varied. When attacked you could switch to torpedos to take out on coming Allied ships, the deck gun which was slow to fire and hard to aim but surprisingly powerful for taking out ships but horrible against planes, or the anti-aircraft gun which was great for filling the sky with suppressing fire.

Battle strategy wasn't all of it. Certain missions demanded you maintain radio silence or else the Allies would discover your location and you'd be attacked. This made those select missions incredibly hard. If you started to run low on torpedos or anti-aircraft ammo, for instance, you had to break radio silence to locate a re-supply boat and thus get attacked.

Controls were, for the most part, simplistic. When outside the conn you pressed B to switch to binoculars, A for anti-aircraft gun, D for deck gun etc..inside you used the mouse to move from the engine room to the torpedo room to the conn tower to the radio room etc...If viewed from the "third person"view from outside behind the boat, moving the ship was a simple matter of using the arrow keys and the plus and minus keys to increase and decrease speed.

Controling the boat underwater, however, is were I deduct the points. A few missions required you to navigate through a underwater mine field, thus forcing youto submerg and use the underwater camera. Sometimes the arrow keys moved the boat, as they should have. Other times the arrow keys simply moved the camera. If you were going too fast and didn't notice it in time, you'd hit a mine and then game over.

Story - The story was basic. You were a German U-boat commander during WW2. Each of the assorted missions had its down backstory to it, explaining the premise to it.

Graphics/Sound - Sound was as good as it got for 1992. In the engine room you heard the engines running. The deck and anti-aircraft guns, while not Doom quality, sounded as real as the PCs of the day could do. If outside during a calm part, you could hear the ocean rushing past the boat.

Graphics were ok. None of the ships had much detail and planes looked like green or red stripes in the sky. Smoke rose from hit ships and downed planes and water splashed up for missed shots. Though rather then a nice sinking animation, the ships stayed in place and simply sunk level by level.

Play Time/Replayability - Finishing the game could take awhile. Some of the missions you were never told where the ships or other target was found, you had to keep looking. When I was 12 and playing the game, it could take me 3 hours to beat one mission..now 11 years later I think it'd probably take about 10 hours to beat the whole thing.

Final Recommendation - If I could find a way to run this game on Windows XP, I definately would. Also, if I could still find a copy of it I definately would buy it. Its great game thats very involved yet doesn't have a high learning curve. Akeeper if you can find it


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/05/04


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