Cold Waters is a submarine simulation game that is quite realistic and challenging. If you like tumbling down rabbit holes and learning about sonars, thermal layers in the ocean, cavitation of ships propellers at different depths, this game is for you. If you love movies like Das Boot or Hunt for Red October, hit “Buy” now. The realism displayed by this game seems unmatched and it doesn’t make it any less fun.
If you don’t like keeping a mental model of every mechanic in your head, you can try turning the difficulty dial to easy, but you’ll probably be better off playing something… else. 😉
My attention was directed towards this game, by somebody keeping a mission log on twitter and it seemed like a very hardcore game where you needed to do a lot of planning and make the right calls quickly. For a while I didn’t think of it, until Geek News Radio started babbling about submarine games again.
Cold Waters is made by Killerfish Games and a natural addition to their already very Naval portfolio. I’ve recorded a short video of how one of the easier missions looks on YouTube:
Cold Waters Let’s Play Video:
You’re the captain of a submarine and play either single missions or campaigns having fine grained control over many of the ships systems. This obviously results in a fair amount of micro management, looking at sonar readings to figure out which little dot on your map means what (whale, submarine, fish trawler or battleship mostly) and which weapon to use in order to engage them.
The missions are pretty varied and hasty or hot-headed approaches usually lead to you desperately fleeing and shooting torpedoes at high speeds, which cause your tubes to jam and generally mean a bad time.
Setting up a meaningful engagement and “sneaking up” on your enemy are the absolute peak points of the game, when you can see the sonar reading of your torpedo sneaking across the map and your enemy not changing course to avoid them.
Lastly, the fitting soundtrack for this game is obviously Sabaton – Wolfpack:
Tankers to the west
And upon the north Atlantic
Lies the silence of the seas
On a quietest night, in the darkest hour
The Kriegsmarine appear
Above the surface it seems quiet and calm
Deep down below the wolfpack lurks
Disclaimer: War is bad. I’m not a fan of U-boats sinking anything. Submarines are still fascinating.