Silent Service (video game)

Silent Service (video game)

Infobox VG
title = Silent Service

developer = MicroProse
publisher = MicroProse
designer = Sid Meier
engine =
released = 1985
genre = Submarine simulator
modes = Single player
ratings =
platforms = Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, IBM PC, NES, TRS-80, ZX Spectrum
media = Tape, Floppy disk, Cartridge
requirements =
input = Keyboard, Joystick

"Silent Service" is a 1985 submarine simulator computer game. It was designed by Sid Meier and published by MicroProse for various 8-bit home computers, and in 1987 for 16-bit systems like the Commodore Amiga. The follow up game "Silent Service II" was released in 1990.


The game is set in the Pacific during World War II, with the player assuming control of a United States submarine for various war patrols against Japanese shipping. Although hugely successful during the war, this side of the war in the Pacific is seldom told.


The game allows the player to choose when to attack and a whole range of realistic tactics are available, including the End Around as well as near invisibility at night (if the sub's profile is kept to a minimum).

Development history

"Silent Service" was a nickname for the U.S. Navy's submarine force in the Pacific Ocean during World War II.

The game accelerates real time when not in combat, to give the game a more arcade feel and to set it apart from the episodic nature of both past submarine simulators. Sid Meier described a number of key factors that influenced the design of the game: The size of the theatre, the variety of tactical situations, and evolving technology, such as torpedoes that did or did not leave trails of bubbles on the surface, and the use of surface radar. The battle stations were compartmentalized to allow players access to a great deal of information, but also focus on the task at hand.citation | date = March 1986 | last = Meier | first = Sid | authorlink = Sid Meier | periodical = Computer Gaming World | title = Silent Service: Designer's Notes | year = 1986 | pages = 28-29]

The game's graphics are very basic and it was often difficult to distinguish cruisers from tankers, etc. However the sound is quite atmospheric, such as the sounds of shell hits when being attacked by destroyers.

In 1986, "Silent Service" won the Charles Roberts/Origins Award for "Best Adventure Game for Home Computer of 1985". It was followed by the much more realistic "Silent Service II".

NES version

An NES port of "Silent Service" developed by Rare was released in 1989 by Konami in Europe and by Ultra Games in North America. Its realism was hampered by the simulation's inability to handle more than four projectiles at a time. This was particularly troublesome when battling multiple destroyers, since the submarine would not be able to fire if four torpedoes were already in the water.


External links

*moby game|id=/silent-service|name="Silent Service"
* [ Silent Service] Amiga version info page
* [ Silent Service 2] Amiga version info page
*WoS game|id=0004502|name=Silent Service

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