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Available Platform: Amiga

Harpoon is a naval wargame created by Three-Sixty Pacific and published for MS-DOS in 1989, then ported to Amiga and Macintosh in 1990.


84/100 based on 9 Editorial reviews. Add your vote

OS supportedWin7 64 bit, Win8 64bit, Windows 10, MacOS 10.6+
Updated19 February 2021

Game Review

Harpoon is a naval wargame created by Three-Sixty Pacific and published for MS-DOS in 1989, then ported to Amiga and Macintosh in 1990.

Former naval officer Larry Bond took inspiration from a real military simulation called NAVTAG to design a board game called Harpoon in 1980. In the game, you can choose to be a commander of either the Soviet or NATO forces in one of the several war scenarios, and employ more than 100 real weapons and pieces of equipment.

The board game became very popular and the author himself, together with Tom Clancy, used it to test the naval battles of The Hunt for Red October and later Red Storm Rising, a book that the two wrote together.

In 1989 Harpoon became a video game and was an immediate success. Computer Gaming World elected it Wargame of the Year and many other magazines voted 5 out of 5 stars. It is still considered one of the most detailed simulations ever created. A must-have for all war games fans.

This is the original version, that contains the Greenland/Iceland/United Kingdom battle set. Don't forget to download the manual.

Review by: GN Team
Published: 2 December 2018 5:02 pm

Users Reviews

Harpoon ... one of the best .... if not the best modern naval warfare simulator of the 90s.

Initially, it appears to be just a large database of information about naval, air, and submarine units from the era of the full "cold war".
Instead, on closer inspection, Harpoon is a very realistic modern naval warfare game. Virtually nothing is missing from the game. For every single unit, the game provides every possible news. Type of weapon used; Capacity of each individual weapon in terms of range, accuracy, damage caused and total number available on each unit. There is also a complete overview of the sensors mounted on board. From active to passive ones. For air units, information on the autonomy of individual aircraft is also available. It should be borne in mind that, each ship; air unit or submarine, has a wide range of weapons ... including nuclear ones !!! Each of these weapons is painstakingly simulated in the game.

In this way, one can understand the very common meaning in the time of the Cold War, of "Force Projection". Terms that were associated with the operations of naval task forces, often pivoted on large aircraft carriers. American Gorup tasks were almost always referred to.
In practice, strong air, naval and missile contingents, transported close to enemy coasts. From there to operate clear maneuvers of demonstrations of force ... Suffice it to think that often a single American super aircraft carrier was able (and still is) to field an embarked air force that was greater in number than the entire strength of many air forces. European, land based !!!

The game required a lot of patience, especially in scenarios where enemy submarines had to be found. Often the danger was that of getting used to cyclically launching antisom patrol boats waiting to be able to find enemies. In reality, it could all be over in minutes. Survival was entrusted to the reasoning ability of the commanders at sea.

It could be a game not really for everyone, but only for lovers of real strategy games. To fans of action games ... I ... well! I would not recommend it. But for those who drew great satisfaction in being able to find enemies well hidden in the ocean depths, or to eliminate the entire enemy air force, while running severe risks, or even to be able to stop an enemy invasion formation ... then this it was the right game.

The game involved pitting Western weapon systems against the classic Soviet enemy. Both NATO and Soviet forces could be maneuvered. The strength of the game was the truthfulness of the use of weapon systems, the real sighting capabilities of the individual sensors, and the real possibilities of inflicting damage on each weapon in the game. Precisely to avoid waiting times, which at times could become prohibitive, the function of compressing the time was also available. The possibility of occasional malfunction of the various systems was also implemented, be they propulsive ... of weapons ... or even of sensors, such as radar, sonar or passive antennas.

An interesting function was to organize missions in a rather capillary way and make them repeatable by entrusting them to the various subordinates. Here it must be said that the naval formations were arranged in "ring" areas. Therefore, in a naval formation the higher value ships were placed in the center of the formation, the ships with anti-aircraft systems were in the outer areas, while other units of low value but with good sensors, were placed in even more distant areas, this to allow them to hunt down enemy submarines without being interfered with by the allied shipping. That said, for example, an antisubmarine search could be organized by launching specific aircraft for this task (usually "Viking" type aircraft) and ordering them to patrol a certain sector. If they found nothing, they re-entered the aircraft carrier and their mission was automatically repeated, refueling the planes for a further search, until our direct intervention arrived to change the various missions.

Unfortunately, the version provided by the friends of Gamesnostalgia, probably due to Copyright, is equipped with only one of the 4 scenarios provided by the game in its completed development phase. In fact, the complete game included a scenario of the North Sea and Norway (the one provided by the game downloaded from gamenostalgia), then there was a scenario on the Mediterranean, one on the Indian Ocean, and one on the Atlantic Ocean. There was a further expansion for personal changes. Each scenario was called "Battleset", and could contain more than 10 individual sub-scenarios.

So wind in your sails and ... good hunting admiral!

Review by: Maurizio Petta
Published: 11 July 2022 9:36 pm

Download Harpoon - Amiga Version amiga

PC Download Download for PC en

Amiga version 1.0 - Language: English - Size: 7.82 Mb

Mac Download Download for Mac en

Amiga version 1.0 - Language: English - Size: 8.48 Mb

Manuals, Patches, Music and more

Mac Download Download for PC/Mac en

Harpoon Manuals - Language: English - Size: 15.36 Mb

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Latest Comments

  • Joe Hoyt - 2022-11-29 - Reply

    Stoked for 2 reasons! a) It is a great strategy/simulation wargame! I really feel like I'm at the bridge commanding a task force. b) It's working great on my M1 MacBook, needed to find a few workarounds but all features work, a lot of other games I ran into problems with the smaller laptop keyboard or other hardware issues. THANK YOU!

  • David Holman - 2022-06-24 - Reply