Harpoon (computer game)

Infobox VG |title = Harpoon

developer = Three-Sixty Pacific (now bankrupt), [http://www.advancedgaming.biz ACSI->AGSI]
publisher = Matrix Games
engine = Proprietary
designer = Larry Bond
ratings = ESRB: Everyone
released = 1989, 2001, 2004, 2006
genre = Real-time strategy, Wargame
modes = Single player, Multiplayer
platforms = Original: MS-DOS AmigaCurrent: MS-Windows, Macintosh
media = Original: Floppy disk, Current: CD, Download
requirements = Originally EGA, 8088, 512kb RAM, 1.2mb Floppy Disk. Presently P3+, .5Gb, 120mb
input =

"Harpoon" is a realistic air and naval computer wargame based upon Larry Bond's miniatures game of the same name. A Player can play one side: Blue or Red, in simulated naval combat situation, both local conflicts, as well as in Cold War confrontation between the Superpowers. Missions differ from small missile boat engagements to large oceanic battles with tens of vessels and hundreds of aircraft. The game also includes large database containing many types of real world ships, submarines and planes.

The simulation has a small but very dedicated fan base with several websites offering a varying style of scenarios and discussion forum. Often described as a 'niche within a niche market', development of the simulation has progressed steadily over the years in the face of the overwhelming numerical and graphical superiority of First-person shooter and Real-time strategy games. AGSI, developers of Harpoon, currently distribute the simulation through Matrix games, with technical support being handled on a co-operative basis via AGSI and Matrix games employees.

Harpoon was originally developed by Three-Sixty Pacific, and had several development paths and publishers, but now all computer rights rest with Advanced Gaming Systems. The game's development history is quite long and sometimes confusing, especially considering that there were two separate versions of the game on the market, "Harpoon Classic" and "Harpoon II" (later "Harpoon Commander's Edition" and "Harpoon III ANW" respectively).

Harpoon's interface emphasizes technical accuracy over graphical polish, with simple 2D symbols reminiscent of a warship's radar display. There has been considerable debate in the game's user community about the decision of the developers to utilize 3D graphics in later versions of the program. As of May 2008, two releases are available to AGSI civilian customers. "Harpoon Commanders Edition" is an "introductory" offering based upon the game engines of the original series and "Harpoon III ANW" is the current civilian distillation of the product. Military customers are offered "Harpoon III Pro", which is tailored for customer specifications. Development of both versions is ongoing, with ANW V3.8 released and V3.9 expected in Fall 2008. V4.0 is expected to undergo a graphical overhaul. Further development of the civilian variant will include a totally new user interface and improved graphics capability.


The game plays in real time, with time acceleration capability in case the action slows down. The player can control single or multiple platforms (up to the hundreds if the computing power is available). The game is extremely comprehensive, although certain elements of naval warfare are not modeled, such as radar ducting, sonar bottom and surface bounce, and COMINT/SIGINT.

Titles and Release Dates

*Harpoon II (1994) "becomes Harpoon III"
*Harpoon Classic (1994, 1997, 2002) " - also for Windows - becomes Commander's Edition below"
*Harpoon III (2001) (Updated 2004) - Mac only - ended at v3.6.3. "Windows version becomes Harpoon Advanced Naval Warfare"
* [http://www.computerharpoon.com/h3pro Harpoon 3 Professional] (2002,2006,2007) - Windows only
* [http://www.computerharpoon.com/h3anw Harpoon 3: Advanced Naval Warfare] (v3.7 June 14, 2006, v3.8 Feb 2007)- Windows only
* [http://www.computerharpoon.com/hce Harpoon Commanders Edition] (v1.0 Early 2007) - Windows only

External links

* [http://www.computerharpoon.com AGSI - developers of Computer Harpoon]
* [http://www.computerharpoon.com/wiki/main/index.php?title=Main_Page AGSI's Wiki for Manuals, Tutorials, Betatesting]
* [http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=278 Matrix Games - Publishers of the commercial versions, this is their Harpoon Forum]
*moby game|id=-group/harpoon-series|name=The "Harpoon" series
* [http://www.harpgamer.com HarpGamer] - a Harpoon players' fan site.
* [http://www.HarpoonHQ.com Harpoon HeadQuarters] - The biggest and second-oldest community Harpoon site.

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