Advanced Destroyer Simulator

Title		Advanced Destroyer Simulator
Game Type	3D Combat Sim
Company		Futura (re-released in 1992 by Digital Integration)
Players		1
Compatibility	Not AGA (Needs numeric keypad)
HD Installable	No
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

Although it may sound like a simulation of the latest nuclear-powered,
smart missile-carrying warship, Advanced Destroyer Simulator actually
concerns itself with a Royal Navy Destroyer in World War Two. Each of the
three scenarios; the English Channel, the North Sea, and the
Mediterranean, come with a range of missions as well as a special Delta
mission which basically allows you go on patrol, looking for any trouble
you can find, re-fuelling and repairing at the available bases as

The game is portrayed in a similar style to the Silent Service games by
placing the player in several of the ship's stations: The Bridge, the
Look-out post, one of three gun-turrets, the torpedo stations, the map
room, or the status screen. The most obvious difference between ADS and
the aforementioned Silent Service is the quality of the 3D display, with
which ADS excels. In all fairness though, the nature of Submarine warfare
means a greater emphasis on careful scrutiny of your charts is in order,
and here Silent Service remains superior. It isn't that the ADS 3D scenery
is done marvelously, the land is rather plain infact, but there are some
rather nice touches; the little buildings and flag that represent naval
bases, the graduated sky, and the enemy dive-bombers spring to mind. I
also particularly like the effect when you launch your torpedoes at speed;
as you pull away, a spread of four menacing shadows cut through the water,
bearing down on their quarry like guided sharks. BAM!!! Some of the static
graphics suggest a connection with the designers of the game M4 Sherman,
although I maybe mistaken here. The sound is fine, not inspiring, but
certainly adequate, with alarms, sonar pings, and plenty of gunfire.

There are some quite imaginative missions, ranging from stopping the Nazis
delivering a shipment of Heavy Water from Norway for the construction of
nuclear weapons, offering protection to allied shipping evacuating our
gallant chaps from Dunkirk, as well as hunting German U-Boats, or
searching for prey in the Norwegian fjords. Ultimately though, there isn't
a huge amount of variety, and more often than not the game seems to revolve
around engaging and sinking the enemy, and while I suppose that is what
you might expect from a Destroyer simulation, there is a feeling that the
missions don't quite live up to the exciting mission text that precedes
them. The combat is good action-based fun however, and you will find
yourself frantically changing stations, trying to bring your guns to bear
with the numeric keypad. The guns animate nicely and it's highly
satisfying when you get the range right, and fire and destruction rain
down on your unfortunate adversary. He will fire back however, and you'll
sometimes lose gun turrets, torpedo stations, steering and power, causing you to
flip from screen to screen in an effort retrieve the situation. A small
point against the game is that every time you leave a gun turret it
realigns itself with the ship, so in an emergency, you are forced to lose
valuable microseconds re-aiming your guns, instead of having each of them
facing in the general direction of the enemy.

ADS is a well produced game, and while it may lack the depth (sorry!) of
Silent Service, you can't save the game or start a career, it is more
attractive and offers the player an opportunity to jump straight in
without the need to read a lengthy and detailed manual. Not a profound
game then, but both pleasing and polished.

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