Wolfpack war game
Wolfpack war game

Wolfpack (1990)

Categories: naval simulatorsstrategy gamessubmarine simulatorshelicopter games

Wolfpack was published in 1990 by Brøderbund Software and even though it was advertised as submarine simulator (to quote "precise simulation" with "unprecedented realism"), in fact it was a game that is hard to classify. As the title suggests the game shows World War 2 operations of German submarines (which often operated in groups called wolfpacks), it shows the reality of North Atlantic convoys, but it is hard to call the game a simulator. In fact it is beyond simulation, it is a bit of strategy game.

But from the beginning - we can choose which side we want to command, submarines from wolfpack or vessels from the convoy. No matter which side we will choose the whole simulation is limited to single screen, where we can set the speed, depth, heading, use weapons, etc. We can switch between different modes (f.e. damage report, map, status), but in both cases the data will be displayed not on whole screen, but in small window used as outside view (or periscope view). We can control some of the equipment aboard, but it is rather limited control.

The strategy bit of the game is a little more complicated - we can control the particular vessel or submarine, but the others that take part in the battle are controlled by the computer. On map mode we can give them orders (f.e. to shadow the convoy, patrol, etc), but also by clicking on the ship’s shield we can switch between them. That way we can control the whole wolfpack (or convoy), oversee the operation, plan it, adjust it or simply take over control of the ship and do what has to be done ourselves. Also when the ship that we control is sinked we can simply switch to another and continue the battle.

The graphics were the flaw of the project - with small outside view / periscope window sometimes it was hard to find what we were looking for. The map interface was rather simple, the whole interface to steer boat / ship was also too simple and some of the functions did not give much informations that were vital to the user.

As for early game it was a good effort - with built-in editor and options to command the whole formation the game was advanced. Nevertheless to call it a simulator would be a bit much - it was strategy-simulator mix that with better technology could have been a great game, but with very simple single-screen interface and limited graphics it was interesting, but average.


Wolfpack 1990 war game
Wolfpack 1990 war game
Wolfpack 1990 war game