Indie game offers realistic future naval warfare

Screen capture from Naval Warfare: Arctic Circle

Naval Warfare: Arctic Circle is a real-time strategy game.

The future of naval warfare is unclear, but thanks to modern gaming we can guess.

Naval Warfare: Arctic Circle is a Real Time Strategy game (RTS) by Turbo Tape Games that presents a realistic and engaging view of future naval combat.

“It’s important to us, and we think what you see in the game is similar to what you can find in the real world,” says Jan Haugland, Chief Technical Officer of Turbo Tape Games. “We want weapon ranges, max speeds, sensor accuracy, and so on to reflect reality.”

The game is set in the year 2030, and imagines a conflict in the North Atlantic, Arctic Ocean, and Baltic Sea, where melting polar ice caps have opened up the north for exploration and resource exploitation.

With the current political climate and tensions over ownership of Arctic channels, this conflict doesn’t sound implausible.

“There are certainly political differences between the NATO powers and Russia today, but I can’t imagine these nations would let it come to World War Three without nukes, which is basically what this game is,” says Haugland. “Luckily, I think, this scenario will remain in the world of fiction.”

Though the game is set almost 20 years in the future, Haugland says the goal was to portray the future of naval warfare as realistically as possible.

“We didn’t do this to have a game with science fiction units,” Haugland says. “All the ships, submarines and aircraft in the game, as well as the sensors and weapons employed, are real, either already operational or in advanced stages of development.”

This allows Turbo Tape Games to include units that are well known such as the F-35 stealth fighter and the UK’s new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier.

The game was released last March, quickly flying to the top spot on the Steam Digital Download platform. Haugland says the greatest compliment they have received is the popularity among serving and retired naval members.

“All of our playable countries are based on real navies, and we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from actual sailors,” says Haugland. “We have also developed missions and vessels based on the Royal Canadian Navy and hope Canadian sailors can enjoy the Halifax frigate.”

The game has also been a hit among civilian gamers. The game allows players to create their own naval missions and offer them to other players online.

“We really wanted to work with the community, and so far we have counted 67 player-contributed scenarios on the game’s Steam workshop,” says Haugland. “That is something we’re really proud of. It gets the community engaged and extends the lifetime of the game’s online community.”

To try it out, go to the lower right side of to the linked ad. Click to go to the demo page.

Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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