688 Attack Sub was submarine simulator game from 1989 that gave the players chance to be in command of American attack sub Los Angeles class (also called 688 class) and its Soviet counterpart the Alfa class sub. Although similar to previously known sub simulators the concept of the game was in some ways completely different. First of all we do not have the campaign mode, there are only scenarios (10 of them) that can be played on one of the sides.
All scenarios take place during Cold War, which affected the way game is being played. The scenarios gave wide range of tasks to be completed by the sub commander - from duels with other attack subs, patroling the area, intercepting enemy ships (also surface targets), shadowing the enemy without being detected, etc. But comparing to World War 2 submarine sims the Cold War scenarios put emphasis on completely different parts of sub warfare. Here the captains who are trigger-happy do not live long - it takes a lot of patience, a lot of effort to be undetected and keep the track of the enemy. Some of the scenarios even literally forbid weapons to be used - in Cold War first kill could be the start of World War 3.
The options available to the captain are interesting and unlike World War 2 subs the detecting devices are the biggest part of the equipment. We have here active and passive sonars, we have radar, we have periscope (although it is inadvisable to use it) - not much different from World War 2, but the important bit is what is happening with the signals from those detectors. First of all passive sonar gives us acoustic characterics of the target, so we could tell if it is natural (f.e. whale), surface or submerged target. We can detect them, but this does not equal that we know their exact position - it takes time to pin point them and make sure they actually are the enemy.
Basic weapons are modern torpedoes Mark 48 and Harpoon missiles, which means there are no targeting problems - both weapons are homing on the given target and there is no need to further guide them and thus we can concentrate on enemies, because once we fire the weapons our position is known to enemy and soon we will be a target for them.
688 Attack Sub is somewhere between sub simulation and strategy game - there are all the elements of simulation, some nice realistic touches (f.e. the computer imagining of sea floor, so we can avoid obstacles while submerged), there is the dense atmosphere of cat-and-mouse play during the Cold War, where one second you are hunter and few moments later you are hunted. But on the other hand the very technical details are omitted in the game and it is more wargame than actual simulator. Still a lot of fun.
688 Attack Sub