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Harbour Attack

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Released: 1984

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Commodore 16/Plus4

Publisher: Commodore

Developer: Greg Duddle / Mr Micro

Submitted by: Clarance Frank

This came in one of those nice clam-shell packs from Commodore, and has three distinct sub games that link together to form the ‘Harbour Attack’ of the title.

You control a submarine with a mission to seek and destroy an enemy cargo ship. The first level finds your sub having to negotiate through a screen of sub nets and moving mines, with the amount of air remaining aboard the sub ever decreasing as you make slow and careful progress across the screen. Once this screen is negotiated the sub moves to the open ocean, where it is attacked by both sea and air – a patrol boat is hunting you down and will release depth charges whenever your craft travels directly below it, and a jet-plane is constantly circling the area, ready to bomb your sub whenever it surfaces for air.

Progress to the final screen is achieved by destroying a number of enemy aircraft by firing towards them while surfaced, not an easy job as you will be fired at by the patrol boat and bombed by the jet simultaneously. Once the required numbers of jets have been destroyed it’s on to the final screen where the perspective changes and you view the scene from the bows of your sub. The enemy cargo ship is seen moving left to right on the horizon, protected by three moving barges. Your job is to sink the ship by firing a torpedo into the centre of it (which has been rather helpfully marked with a crosshair!). Once your torpedo has been fired it can be directed onto its target through movement from the joystick, although fast accurate reactions are needed here, as the time limit imposed is much more severe than on the previous levels, sink the ship quickly or its game over! If you succeed in destroying the enemy ship it’s straight back to the starting level to continue to rack up the hi-score. 

A very simple game which although very short is also quite fun. Everything that has been implemented here has been achieved very well. Not shatteringly brilliant, but solidly playable.