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Download Harpoon

14688 kb



Harpoon is a real-time naval command simulation set during the Cold War of the 1960s to the early 90s, with NATO facing off against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies.

The player is an admiral placed in command of a naval task force of destroyers, cruisers, frigates, submarines, battleships, and aircraft carriers, with a specific mission to perform within a specific sea area. You can be either NATO or the USSR naval task force deployed in the area to complete a mission. The battlefield is the same for both sides in any given mission; however, both sides have different objectives. NATO, in one mission, is dedicated to destroying USSR surface ships and land forces, while in the same mission, the USSR is trying to sneak submarines out into the Atlantic Ocean instead of engaging the NATO navy. Many missions involve protecting something and/or destroying something without suffering too many losses yourself.

Harpoon is a realistic naval command simulation, and the developers spent an enormous amount of time researching the weapons, planes, ships, and capabilities of the time period. There is a significant amount of military terminology and designations that the player will need to know in order to fully understand the situation. Harpoon is so realistic that the facing of your ships and planes dictates the likelihood of getting hit, using weapons, what gets damaged or destroyed when they take damage, and even sinking ships become navigational hazards. This forces the player to pay extremely close attention to ALL the minute details in order to be effective. Something as seemingly simple as turning on and off your radar can spell doom or success for your ships.

The sound and music is almost non-existent. It consists of missile/cannon firing noises, explosions, and warning klaxons for sounds, plus funeral music for when you lose a unit. Other than that, there are no sounds or background music, but that is what you would expect if you were standing on the bridge of a war ship.

The interface appears cluttered and takes some fiddling to figure out what each part does and how to give your ships and planes orders. Everything is done by using the mouse to click on icons and buttons to give orders or learn more about something. Everything is left click only; right clicking does nothing.

The graphics are simplistic. Blue represents water, black is land, and simple icons represent ships, missiles, planes, etc. The graphics are like what a real admiral would be looking at in a command and control center aboard a ship back in the 90s. It’s very simplistic and of a "good enough" style.

Because the game is so realistic, the developers included as much complete information about all the ships, planes, and submarines as possible with a built-in encyclopedia. However, to access any encyclopedia entry, the player has to select the ship or plane to learn more about and then select Details or Full Report in the interface.

I'll warn all people interested in this game that Harpoon is very difficult to play, and even harder to master. If you aren't willing to spend the time learning the game in detail, and losing a hundred times to learn how to play effectively, then I do NOT suggest this game to you. Harpoon originally came with a massive manual that the player needed to read in order to have any real chance of being successful in their early attempts to play the game. It was filled with useful information and tactics that were needed to combat modern naval vessels armed with long-range missiles. The game was successful enough to earn a sequel, but it was always intended for dedicated, hardcore armchair generals and admirals. If you ever wanted to be an admiral in any navy around the world, this game is for you, if you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to play.

This version of Harpoon includes all the expansions that were released before the sequel came out.


Reviewed by: dkw / Screenshots by: dkw / Uploaded by: hunvagy / share on facebook

User Reviews

Old school wargame
Posted on: 2013-06-29 by agdbnetru
Harpoon - old school Maritime war-game, based on the Board game. Driving one of the parties (USSR or NATO) offer 13 scenarios of a possible world war. The action takes place in real time, so the game is quite dynamic and realistic. Graphics in these games do not count.

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