: Radar Mission
: Game Boy
Utterly, utterly superb
game for the Nintendo Game Boy
A game of naval combat, and still one of the finest multiplayer link games for any portable system, ever. Stunning, almost photoreal graphics (on a portable, at least) and some of the finest music heard from a portable.
Game A is a advanced version of Battleship. You have a wide variety of options, including:
grid size (8x8, 10x10 or 12x12 - this will decrease by one size for every level until it reaches 8x8)
aircraft (after about 10 turns, any surviving aircraft carriers launch anti-shipping missile-equipped F-14 Tomcats. These then circle the carrier and provide an annoying extra target to try and hit.)
lucky shot (you can hit 'stars' on the map which provide you with a super shot on your next turn. This is either a 'white star' multiple-launch across either 5 or 9 squares depending on your grid size, or a 'black star' super missile which completely destroys the ship it hits and any other adjacent ships. A closely packed fleet can be destroyed in a single hit, therefore)
near miss (if you hit a square adjacent to a ship, you get a bigger splash telling you to look nearby for a target
You can then choose your own commander's appearance (either Admiral Yamamoto or General MacArthur, and your opponent - Admiral Davis (goofy looking, easy), Colonel Olds (geezer, medium) or Admiral Volcano (hardcase, difficult).
Finally, you are invited to place your fleet. The standard five ships from Battleship are presented (carrier, battleship, cruiser, submarine and destroyer) and you can place and rotate them as you wish.
YOUR FLEET: One carrier (5 squares), one battleship (4 squares), one cruiser (3 squares), one submarine (3 squares), one destroyer (2 squares).
ENEMY FLEET: One carrier, one battleship, one cruiser, one submarine, one destroyer.
Location: Open Sea - Grid Sizes: 12x12, 10x10, 8x8
You are presented with your radar screen. A targeting cursor is given, and you simply aim at the square of your choice and push 'A' to fire. Pressing 'B' gives a quick view of the status of your fleet. When fire is pushed, a little animated sequence of a Ticonderoga -class frigate appears, firing a vertically-launched missile at a distant ship. You will see visually whether you were successful. A small splash is a miss, a large splash is a near miss, a small explosion is a hit, and a large explosion (accompanied by a sinking, burning ship) is a destroyed ship. These indicators a very useful, especially as the AI loves to put several ships bow-to-stern. If the enemy's aircraft is airborne, you will see it streak overhead.
Your hits are indicated on the grid by a large circle, and misses by a small square. After your shot, you are presented with an overhead view of your ships while the enemy takes their turn. And so the game continues, with turns being taken, ships being sunk, and the awesome animated sequence of the F-14s being launched from the carrier deck.
If you lose, the firing screen appears, except the distant ship fires back and the Ticonderoga sinks! If you win, you get a binocular view of the last ship exploding, and tiny sailors run out onto the deck to celebrate.
YOUR FLEET: Whatever survived from level one, plus one destroyed ship repaired. If only your aircraft survived, your carrier will be repaired.
ENEMY FLEET: one aircraft carrier, three cruisers.
Location: Enemy coastal waters - Grid Sizes: 10x10, 8x8
The enemy regroups for a second assault. Again, you are invited to place your fleet. The grid is far tighter now, and the battle more tense. In the distance you can see the enemy shoreline. Gameplay proceeds as before. Keep in mind the position of the enemy aircraft changes with every turn, although it cannot move to a square where you have fired and missed, or a square occupied by another ship. Also, both you and the enemy can continue if only the aircraft survives and all the ships have been sunk.
YOUR FLEET: Whatever survived from level two, plus one destroyed ship repairs. If only your aircraft survived, your carrier will be repaired.
ENEMY FLEET: one airbase (8 squares), three tanks (2 squares).
Location: Enemy capital city - Grid Sizes: 8x8 only.
You have reached the enemy harbour. Your firing view is now of your destroyer, firing rockets at the enemy HQ on the shore. Tanks are driving past. The enemy airbase should be your primary target, as even if you locate it, you still have to hit it eight times to destroy it before it launches a plane.
Should you succeed, the enemy HQ explodes and a giant white flag is waved from the rubble. Well done!
Game B is a more action-oriented game, similar to Seawolf or any other number of old submarine games. You are commander of a submarine as part of a large fleet. You objective is to either sink the enemy fleet, or destroy the enemy submarine before the same is done to you. You can purchase the following powerups:
Prop Speed (increases your speed from 20kts to 30kts. This is essential)
Twin Shot (fires both torpedo tubes in unison. If one is hit, the second is virtually guaranteed to.
Power Sonar (enemy ships are now shown on the sonar screen as arrows indicating their direction, rather than mere dots. Also practically essential.)
After choosing your difficulty and powerups, a smart animated sequence sees your (Soviet-style) sub pulling out of dock to join the fleet.
You are presented with your sonar screen. You have a speedometer, a torpedo tube indicator, a damage meter, and your sonar screen. Enemy ships are the standard blips, while the enemy submarine is shown as a small icon. Your own fleet is behind you. Two counters show how many ships remain in each fleet. Money bags are shown with spinning star effects. You can move left or right, but cannot attack. However, you move much faster submerged, and cannot be attacked.
You are on the conning tower, looking towards the enemy fleet. You have the torpedo indicators and the damage meter. Arrows in the top corners of the screen point the way to the enemy submarine. Button A fires torpedos, while button B fires the Vulcan deck gun. Torpedoes can hit anything, but the deck gun can only hit the enemy submarine. You can move left and right, to fire at the enemy ships as they pass. Some enemy ships can also fire back with torpedoes. In addition, an enemy aircraft carrier may be present, launching torpedo bombers to attack you. Lastly, the enemy sub may come into view, and engage you.
The simpler way to win is to simply sink the enemy fleet. Some ships take multiple hits, some are far in the distance and require careful aim. The more difficult victory is to seek out and destroy the enemy submarine. This is very dangerous, but also very lucrative if you can do it quickly. Being hit causes any powerups you may have purchased to detach and appear as money bags on the horizon. If you succeed in shooting them, they are added back to your account to be spent again at the start of the next round.
You get a time bonus for finishing a level in under a minute. In this way, it is possible to achieve a high score (in excess of 10,000 points in a single round) by going straight for the enemy sub. On the other hand, the cumulative scores for a destroyed enemy fleet more than equals that. Any power-ups/money bags in your possession also count for 1,000 points each. Depending on your final score, you get a higher rank and a better ending at the end of the three-round game.
Two Player Modes
Both games can be played with two players. Very little is altered about the actual gameplay, except you now have a far more unpredictable opponent. The flexibility of the options and gameplay makes this a perfect game for a long car/bus/plane/train/boat trip.
A sequel was produced, Power Mission, which was a turn-based strategy game.