Radar report! Three objects on scope, nearest 990 units, speed 15 knots, course 180°! Up periscope! Enemy destroyer!! Dive! Dive!
You’re in command of USS Growler(SS215), a World War II fleet submarine of the Gato class in this exciting simulation game. Your decisions determine your vessel’s success and survival. The Pacific Ocean in 1943 was a dangerous place to hunt!
Gato uses every bit of the Mac’s graphic and computing power. The screen displays are numerous and complete and the action, as viewed from the bridge or through the attack periscope, is remarkably realistic Players can set their own level of difficulty of the game and the relative strength of both the sub and the enemy ships.
Each mission begins with a message in Morse code, which the sub’s radio operator can translate even if it is so many dits and dahs to you. Set the speed and course and head off into the broad Pacific. You may have been ordered to rescue a downed pilot, or sink a freighter carrying vital new radar gear, or any one of eighteen other missions that are included. And if those twenty pale, you can create and store up to ten missions of your own.
Some missions have a time limit while others last until they are accomplished or you are sunk. Playing a mission to completion in one session is not required. Players can pause a game in progress, or save the current position for a future session. The "suspend” feature is particularly valuable if you have to stop for a moment during one of the time-limited missions. Up to five games can be saved to disk.
There's plenty of on-screen help, some history, and a Morse code tutorial (actually, just a chart of the code). Sub commanders can get a report on how many missions they have successfully completed and a report listing the name, size and date sunk of all victims.
Gato is engrossing; players must pay attention to all the information the r eyes and instruments supply. That's not enough. A successful captain must know, or more likely learn the hard way, what good sub tactics are and what their opponents are likely to do. And although luck doesn’t play a big part in this game it sure helps to be lucky!
The basic training in the manual will serve you well. This is one Mac game where you should read the manual before you start to play.
This first real simulation game for the Mac sets a high standard for those to come. We can look forward...Excuse me, a fat tanker just came into my view on my periscope. Full speed ahead! Open forward torpedo tube doors!...
Bobker, Steven. (November 1985). GATO. MacUser. (pg. 38).