Air-Sea Battle

aka: 02 Air-Sea Battle, Batalha Aero-Naval, Hava-Deniz Savaşları, Target Fun
Moby ID: 10942
Atari 2600 Specs

Description official descriptions

Air-Sea Battle is basically a target shooting game. On most settings, you are positioned at the bottom of the screen and you shoot at targets at the top of the screen. The various settings provide different targets and weapons with different characteristics.

In games 1-6, you are an anti-aircraft gun and you shoot, unsurprisingly, at aircraft. You are stationary. Your control is limited to selecting the time of firing, the angle at which your shot is fired, and, on some settings, exertion of minor control over the direction of your missile.

In games 7-12, you are a submarine and you shoot torpedoes at the ships above. On these settings, you are able to move your submarine back and forth across the bottom of the screen. Your torpedoes, however, can only be fired directly above. Some settings allow minor control over the direction of your torpedo once fired.

In games 13-15, you are apparently the anti-aircraft gun again. This time, however, you are shooting at shooting gallery targets (clown faces, ducks, rabbits). The controls are as in games 1-6.

In games 16-18, you are a ship and you fire Polaris missiles at jets flying above. Your ship constantly moves on its own, you control only the speed. When you fire, the angle of the missile and its speed are based on the speed your ship was traveling at the time of firing. Some settings restrict your ability to change speed once a missile is fired, others allow you to exert control over the missile by changing speed once the missile is fired.

In games 19-21, the situation is reversed, you are the jet dropping bombs at the ships below. The controls in this setting are the same as in games 16-18. The difference, of course, is that you are dropping bombs from above at targets below.

In Games 22-27, one player is the jet and the other is the ship.

Each of the two-player games is a matter of who can hit more targets in (oddly enough) 2 minutes and 16 seconds. (The manual says that the game will also end if one player hits 99 targets. I have yet to see this happen.) In each of the single-player games, the single-player tries to outscore a computer opponent that simply constantly fires.

Spellings

  • Air Sea Battle - Alternate spelling

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 74% (based on 5 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.4 out of 5 (based on 29 ratings with 3 reviews)

The first 2600 shooter. OK in short spurts, but better with a group.

The Good
Air-Sea Battle for the Atari 2600 (VCS) has no shortage of variety with twenty-seven different variations. Anti-Aircraft, Torpedo, Shooting Gallery, Polaris, Bomber, and Polaris vs. Bomber, each with their own variations of standard play, guided missiles, or standard vs. computer. The Anti-Aircraft, Torpedo, and Polaris vs. Bomber games also have each variation with or without obstacles in the firing field.

For the time, I would say it was a very clever use of a few variables while giving the player nearly every permutation.

The graphics and sound effects are rudimentary, but OK for the era, and the fact that every game is 2 minutes 16 seconds (an odd choice, but probably based on the clock speed and a power of two for an easy countdown for the hardware) keeps things flowing and allows you to switch up the game regularly.

I could see this game being very popular in a living room with the whole family or kids' friends all wanting to take a turn, playing the winner, or even setting up a tournament to get bragging rights until next Saturday.

The Bad
That being said, it does get repetitive, even with all the variations. And with the computer just constantly firing at a steady pace, the player vs. computer games are barely more stimulating than playing a standard game with no opponent at all.

Realistically, this game really needs two players to be any real fun, and a group of players taking turns would be even better to break the repetitiveness, and it wouldn't be long before much more interesting games came along.

The Bottom Line
Air-Sea Battle is a shooting gallery game with lots of variations, but in the end it's still pretty much the same shooting gallery game. It's not worth your time without at least one other player, and preferably between 4 and 8 players in total, taking turns, for variations in skill and strategy.

The game itself is only one part of the fun. Classify this as a party game.

Best played with a group of friends who enjoy friendly competition in a basement on an old CRT TV, shag carpet, wood panelled walls, and some 1970s classic rock playing in the background.

Atari 2600 · by NixieLake (28) · 2022

Good old shoot-the-enemy-ship games...

The Good
The firing of torpedoes is quite easy, but challenging if you find a good second player. Winning relies more on reflexes and timing than on tactics, except maybe for the games that oppose the bomber and the boat in combat. However simple the game appears, the gameplay is addictive and the cartridge offers many ground-air, sea-air, air-sea games and even has a shooting gallery.

The Bad
Please, be sure to have a second player at hand. The one-player variations are boring. You play against an opponent who shoots missiles at regular intervals in the hope of hitting a target once in a while, so there goes the challenge... The story, well darn! it has no story. You just play for the simple pleasure of shooting. The aiming of the anti-aircraft guns is quite limited unless you decide to use the controlled missiles variation. Still, another limitation is the fact that you have to wait for your missile to explode on target or to disappear from screen before you can shoot another one. In the other hand, a gun that shoots non-stop would be no match for such big targets, and destroy all the fun along with them, wouldn't it? The game offers almost no artistic appeal. It has no music, the sound effects are basic and the graphics are sufficient enough to suggest what kind of target you're dealing with.

The Bottom Line
Nonetheless, the game, a classic since its publication at the end of the 70's, has given hours of laughing and shouting to more than a generation. I suppose the idea of shooting planes faster than you neighbor has some appeal after all!

Atari 2600 · by RobinHud (68) · 2005

Basic Target Shooting

The Good
The game action really isn't that bad, especially if you've got a second player.

The game variations do actually add some variety due to the different limitations on your movement and firing ability.

The Bad
The game is pretty slow - you have to wait for each slow moving missile to clear the screen before firing again. The wait can be interminable.

The one-player game is not much fun at all. The computer just fires in the default direction each time its last missile clears the screen. Really gives no sense of competing against someone.

The graphics and sound are also pretty unimpressive. Even for the time, the graphics are not very suggestive of the objects they represent. Also, in some games the color contrast is so poorly thought out that it's difficult to track your missiles. The few loud and grungy sounds this game provides quickly become annoying.

The Bottom Line
Air-Sea Battle is basically a target shooting game. On most settings, you are positioned at the bottom of the screen and you shoot at targets at the top of the screen. The various settings provide different targets and weapons with different characteristics.

In games 1-6, you are an anti-aircraft gun and you shoot, unsurprisingly, at aircraft. You are stationary. Your control is limited to selecting the time of firing, the angle at which your shot is fired and, on some settings, exertion of minor control over the direction of your missile.

In games 7-12, you are a submarine and you shoot torpedoes at the ships above. On these settings you are able to move your submarine back and forth across the bottom of the screen. Your torpedoes, however, can only be fired directly above. Some settings allow minor control over the direction of your torpedo once fired. In games 13-15, you are apparently the anti-aircraft gun again. This time, however, you are shooting at shooting gallery targets (clown faces, ducks, rabbits). The controls are as in games 1-6.

In games 16-18, you are a ship and you fire polaris missiles at jets flying above. Your ship constantly moves on its own, you control only the speed. When you fire, the angle of the missile and its speed are based on the speed your ship was traveling at the time of firing. Some settings restrict your ability to change speed once a missile is fired, others allow you to exert control over the missile by changing speed once the missile is fired.

In games 19-21, the situation is reversed, you are the jet dropping bombs at the ships below. The controls in this setting are the same as in games 16-18. The difference, of course, is that you are dropping bombs from above at targets below.

In Games 22-27, one player is the jet and the other is the ship.

Each of the two player games is a matter of who can hit more targets in (oddly enough) 2 minutes and 16 seconds. (The manual says that the game will also end if one player hits 99 targets. I have yet to see this happen.) In each of the single player games, the single player tries to outscore a computer opponent that simply constantly fires.

Atari 2600 · by eratik (105) · 2008

Trivia

Cancelled arcade version

Game 7, Captain Seahawk, was ported to the arcades in 1978 by a team headed by Mike Albaugh. It was a 100% faithful port, including the lack of AI, and re-used the Destroyer cabinet. According to Albaugh's own telling, he and everyone else except the decision-makers at Atari were convinced that Captain Seahawk would make a poor arcade game. This turned out to be true: in the first week of testing it made about $25 (100 plays) and was cancelled.

Inspiration

Air-Sea Battle was based on the Atari coin-op game Anti-Aircraft.

Launch title

One of the nine games available for the Atari 2600 launch in 1977.

Analytics

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Windows, Xbox 360 added by Alaka. Antstream added by lights out party.

Additional contributors: RKL, Indra was here, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, firefang9212, 64er.

Game added November 9, 2003. Last modified March 21, 2024.