Aces of the Deep

Moby ID: 1171
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Take command of one of seven German U-Boats during WWII and hunt down and destroy allied convoys. This is never an easy task since their escorts and aircraft are waiting to ruin your day. The level of realism, and with it the difficulty, can be set by enabling or disabling ten options, e.g. unlimited ammo, clear sight or even invulnerability.

Campaigns can be started in one of several time slots, allowing you to play for the entire war if you wish. During these campaigns you gain medals and promotions which includes the command of better submarines. You can also choose to play a single mission where you can set certain variables, e.g. number of ships or weather conditions. Specific missions aren't required because the engine "rolls up" convoys and targets, meaning every time you play the missions will change. The type and location of these missions depend on the historical time and the used submarine.

The submarine consists of several rooms where you can access the functions and instruments you'll need, e.g. the logbook in the captain's room or the fuel and battery prompt in the engine room. However, the most important functions can be brought up at any time, this includes the sea map where you set waypoints. The crew can take over certain tasks, e.g. identifying ships.

The CD-ROM version adds additional multimedia features: video interviews with German submariners, an on-line manual gives detailed information about the historical background and submarine tactics as well as historical maps, movies, photos and articles.

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Credits (DOS version)

79 People (65 developers, 14 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 85% (based on 17 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 18 ratings with 1 reviews)

The definative submarine simulation

The Good
Outstanding gameplay, ocean graphics, and sounds. The asdic "pings" will raise the hair on the back of your neck! As will the ever increasing whirr of the escort ships' propellers as they pass over your u-boat. Then comes the inevitable "splash" of the depth charges! Sink a ship while submerged, and you'll hear eerie creaking and groaning sounds of her bulkheads collapsing as she sinks. Iv'e played all the submarine simulations out there, and nothing even comes close to the level of submersion (pardon the pun) AOD thrusts the player into. There are few easy kills in this game, rarely will you find an unescorted convoy. On the expert difficulty setting, the game is extremely challenging. The quality of the escorts improves greatly starting around mid 1942. Escaping the DC attacks is very challenging; and if they inflict damage while your'e at 700 ft, it's generally curtains for you. The enemy ai is truly pro-active. If you play the campaign game, starting in October 1939, plan to be playing a long time. There is a strategic map (stretching from the eastern coast of N.America to Greenland in the north, Africa and S. America down south, and encompassing all of Europe and part of western USSR. Most of these continents will have some coastal airbases (Allied nations), naval bases, (Axis and Allies), or submarine ports. (Axis). The tactical map, is used as a battle map. Each map has standard zoom features and time compression features (thank God!).

The Bad
It can take forever and a day to reach your patrol zone. Even though the max time compression multiple is 4096, quite often the computer will slow you down to a max of 150 or so. This can go on for 5 or 10 minutes, then it speeds you up again, and so on. Also, there seems to be little difference in the actual patrol zones themselves. Historically, during 1941-42, the u-boats enjoyed some of their greatest success hunting off the eastern US coast. In the game however, you'll spend an eternity sailing to this area to likely find nothing.

The Bottom Line
If you have even a remote interest in the subject matter, give it a shot, you won't be disappointed! The simulation is an intellectual (arcade reflexes won't help much here!) and sensory delight. I can't think of a game that makes me feel more like I am actually there, participating and sharing the fate of my submarine.

DOS · by Richard Agnew (6) · 2000

Trivia

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
  • May 1995 (Issue #130) – Simulation Game of the Year (together with NASCAR Racing)
  • November 1996 (15h Anniversary Issue) - #71 on the 150 Best Games of All Time list

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Maury Markowitz, Martin Smith, Patrick Bregger.

Game added March 27, 2000. Last modified January 20, 2024.