Sonar Sub Hunt Game Wanna-be's

Updated May 8, 2014

The 1970's saw the advent of cheap computer circuits and several Sub Hunt clones came on to the toy market.

Here are a few.

Parker Brother's "Code Name: Sector"

This game was sold in 1979 and was really something different. Rather expensive at the time ($40-50) it was one of the first games with an on-board computer.

As many as four players search for a single enemy submarine that moves quickly throughout the game rounds. Each round begins with the players, in turn, being given the distance of their "ship" from the submarine, they are then allowed to move, and then the new distance to the sub is revealed. Each player must attempt to position their "ship" over the location of the sub and then guess one of three depths to drop a "depth charge". A miss will throw the players "ship" to random location on the board and they must again relocate the sub and move towards it. The winner is the first player to "sink" the sub. The game surface is cleanable and crayons are included to mark positions.

I was in my 20's when this game came out and spent many hours playing it. It was a real novelty since it was the first computer based game I had encountered.

Because the battle is against the computer, solitare games can be played. The fun is in the challenge to locate the sub, even though the player ships and the sub exist only in cyberspace.

One negative is that the game is slightly deceptive. Small submarines and a charting scale are included, but are not used for anything.



Click for full size pic




Click for full size pic




Radio Shack's "Sonar Sea Battle"

Radio Shack's toy line introduced this small computerized 2 player sub hunt game in 1989.

Each player "programs" the position of a single submarine on the grid by use touch-tab style button on the center console. Then each takes a turn guessing a location of their opponent's sub, and the computer will determine the distance the sub is away from the guessed location. Subsequent turns have each player zeroing in on the position.

I found the game to be interesting to play only about once. Since the ocean and subs exist only in cyberspace, it can become rather boring in very short order. It's really not much more than electronic Battleship. The pegs must be carefully placed, and one misplaced peg can hose you for the entire game.



Click for full size pic



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Jeff Popp
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Sonar Sub Hunt ™ 1961
Mattel Inc.