Sea Battle - Atari 2600

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$25.00

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The object of the game is to deploy your battleships, submarines, aircraft carriers and more from your harbors. Then strategically battle your way across the seas in an effort to gain access and infiltrate your opponent's harbors. It's a bitter fight to the end!

Sea Battle was finished at M Network in the 1980’s, but never released. In 2000, Intellivision Productions released this game complete with a simple box and manual. Sea Battle is the Atari 2600 version of the Intellivision game of the same name. At one point it was called High Seas, which was consistent with M Network’s policy of changing the name of a game when it appeared on a different system.

This release of Sea Battle includes a full-color, M Network style manual created by Dale Crum.

Author Larry Zwick / Bruce Pederson
Number of Players 2
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 4K
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Nathan Strum on 07/11/2009 04:25am
Sea Battle is a lost gem amongst the seemingly endless stream of unreleased prototypes that keep resurfacing. Two players each command an island at opposite ends of the screen. The goal of the game is to launch ships from your harbor, and get one of them into your opponent's harbor. If you succeed - you win the game. (Apparently, your enemies are easily intimidated.)

You begin by launching up to four ships at a time (choosing from three each of battleships, destroyers, PT-boats and submarines). You can choose any of the ships at any time, and move them amongst the islands on screen, setting traps for your opponent and trying to outmaneuver his fleet. At this point, only you know which ships you've launched, since they're only shown as blips on a radar screen.

When two enemy ships get near each other, the screen "zooms in" to Battle Mode, where you finally get a look at what kind of ship you're up against, and the two of you can battle to the death (there's no running away, here). Each ship has its own strengths and weakness in terms of weapons, vulnerability and speed. You also carry existing damage to subsequent battles, so if you can't sink one of your opponents ships in one encounter, go after it a second time and it will be easier to take down. But beware of navigation hazards - if you hit an island, you can become shipwrecked!

Sea Battle is a pretty remarkable game, which involves both strategy and action. It takes a few minutes to get up and running, but once you do, it's quite a lot of fun. The graphics are well-done, and the controls are smartly implemented. One minor complaint is that there should be two small instruction cards included (one for each player) showing the ship types and how to select them, so you don't have to keep passing the manual back and forth while learning the game. Even then, it only takes a few minutes to get the hang of the game, and the potential variety and depth in the gameplay will keep you coming back for more. The only major downside to Sea Battle is that it requires two players to play it (which is the reason M-Network never released it in the first place, and why I'm giving it only a 4 out of 5). But if you can find a second player willing to sit down and play it, then Sea Battle is one battle that's well-worth fighting.

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