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Sub Battle Simulator

DOS - 1987

Also available on: Mac - Amiga - Apple IIgs - Atari ST - Commodore 64

Year 1987
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Simulation
Theme Historical Battle (specific/exact), Naval, Submarine, World War II
Publisher Epyx, Inc.
Developer Digital Illusions, Inc.
Perspective 1st-Person
Dosbox support Supported on 0.63
4.41 / 5 - 22 votes

Description of Sub Battle Simulator

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Epyx' Sub Battle Simulator is an early submarine sim that was quite sophisticated for its time. Included were the usual world war II theaters, and plenty of features which have been borrowed numerous times over the years by later submarine simulations.

Sub Battle has much more depth than Epyx' surface sim counterpart Destroyer, with a lot of factual technical information being provided during the game. The excellent submarine history page at describes the game as follows:

This subsim from Epyx was one of the early superstars. It first supported CGA and Hercules graphics, and was later updated for EGA (and really used EGA). Enemy ships were all black in color but had good and clearly recognizable forms. The user interface was executed beautifully. Control and status information was provided on one screen. A window within the screen features specific views such as radar, sonar, periscope, etc.

It had four difficulty levels. In level four, one could see the rolling sea from the periscope. The programmers get an A+ for overall scope. Sub Battle supported single missions or entire WWII campaigns in the Pacific or Atlantic. For the German side, Type II, Type VIIC, and Type XXI U-boats were available. For the US, your choice is between S-class, Gato class, and Tench class, with the mission determining the actual type used. All subs had reasonably correct specifications.

Sub Battle had an impressive list of features. The year the mission takes place determines the level of equipment available. Aircraft are present. If the sub is near the shore or a carrier, occasional patrol aircraft could cause a bad day at sea. Ships in an attacked convoy will change speeds and courses in an attempt to escape destruction. Damage a ship and its speed diminishes. Radio is used to give reports and orders, including downed pilot locations for pickup. Missions also include shore parties and minelaying. Many types of surface ships are featured, including battleships and carriers.

This subsim sent so far as to include the sun and moon, even with changing phases. A rough spot to note: The time "slow down" didn't work properly. After slowing down from accelerated time, a detected convoy might be too far out of range to plan an attack, whereas if you had been running in real time, you could have easily made the attack. But overall, Sub Battle shined."

Definitely one of the first really good sub sims-- two thumbs up!

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

UncleH 2023-06-14 0 point

it is very touching to read your comments all of these years later!

Kyle P 2021-07-14 0 point

I got back into this because of the movie Greyhound.

breakone9r 2019-08-12 3 points Commodore 64 version

This was my absolute favorite game, growing up. It was so cool that I wrote my own battleship simulator in C64 BASIC and used a lot of ideas from it.

I had no real graphics, but quite a bit of sound, and the game was menu driven.

julianrai 2018-10-03 3 points DOS version

My first pc game in my Amstrad PC1512.
A great subsim, for me far better than Gato and Silent Service, I completed German and American campaigns.

Daniel B 2018-07-15 1 point DOS version

Pretty good game but playing the full campaign had some serious bugs that would often keep you from properly completing it.

Agathosdaimon 2017-01-26 2 points DOS version

Really good sub sim, i had to get a boxed copy, - i like it more than Silent Service, it has alot more to it than SS, and both atlantic and pacific campaigns

Astuur 2016-02-07 0 point DOS version

One of my very first games on an Amstrad 1640 PC (EGA Version). I was fascinated by that game and it kept me playing for some months. I would adjust the key assignment (ALT-1 to ALT-4) to my German keyboard, manipulate most features of my sub - and complete (with very divers outcome) war commands at different play levels. As far as gameplay goes definitely one of the best sub-sims ever - even with that pathetic graphics.
I'm just reactivating this game in a DOSBox.
Can anyone remember how to enable the TDC-Lock - or how to adjust the sonar view, so that your sub's heading is always at 12 o'clock? Would be welcome :)

Knökenknecht 2014-02-19 1 point DOS version

I played this first on CBM and later for IBM. However, in matters of sleeping times, I was without mercy to myself. Techno-toy.

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