THIS is possibly the world's longest delayed game. Previewed shortly after Army Moves and before Game Over, it promised fabbo graphics and Dinamic gameplay - sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding.

Behind the façade of perestroika, them Rooshians have been building a submarine of such hugeness that it alone would be capable of holding the Free West to ransom. This just is not cricket, so you, as the predictably skilled aquatic assault commando, have to get aboard the sub, kick some Red ass and blow the thing out of the water. You have plans of the sub and you can have a good laugh at repressed Commie ineptitude. The sub's main weapons are radar guided nuclear torpedoes. Yet, curiously, there are no torpedo tubes. Using radar from a sub is similar to raising a pink, mile-high hoarding above the ship, saying: "Yes! It is a submarine!". Bit of a giveaway, to say the least. Not as much as the lack of a rudder, or the designers being St. Stanislav's Institute. And what did the Marx chap say was the opiate of the masses?

The area around the sub's base is littered with mines, which blow your little boat skywards and cause a typical Dinamic go-all-the-way-back-to-the-beginning. After that it is a confrontation with Reds on jet-skis. Once past them it is a quick swim down to the underwater entrance to the sub base, bracing hungry sharks. They are not Pinkos, by the way - they just know a good meal when they see one.

Once into the base you must steal the assault bathyscaphe - the only means of getting to the sub. In the bathyscape, giant octopi and sea monsters are rather keen on Tinned Persons and will do anything to sample the particular delicacy. Once past these delightful beasts you are given an entry code for part two of the game. Glad to see that the old Dinamic values still hold.

The second phase takes place in the sub. You must halt the sub, enter the reactor bay, plant a small bomb, transmit an arming code and then get out very, very rapidly.

You need to cajole - at gunpoint - members of the crew to do things for you, such as shut down the engines, open the reactor bay doors and do the final transmission.

To make your day pleasurable, marines will shoot at you - a service extended to only the most favoured customers.

Navy Moves boasts possibly the most teeth-grindingly irritating tune, which seems to be composed of three sampled riffs repeated as often as is electronically possible. It plays very quietly through one speaker while playing the game, so there is no escaping it.

The graphics in the first stage are very small and rather free from the ravages of detail. But then I have only seen the very first part of the first stage.

The truth is that even to an inordinately skilled gamesplayer such as myself, Navy Moves is completely impossible. And because you go back to the start every time you die, it remains completely impossible. The later stages, as far as I am concerned - and probably you too - just do not exist. What a waster of time, money, talent, effort, packaging, trees (for the documentation) and plenty of other things which, off hand, do not spring to mind.

Put on your flippers and snorkel and make ready with the flamethrower and harpoon gun: because it is aquatic destruction time. The U5544 nuclear submarine must be destroyed and it appears you are just the person for the job: if you can get there. Like Dinamic's ealier game, Army Moves, it is a two-parter, access to the second part being denied until you complete the first part and receive an access code.

The first part is also sub-divided into smaller sections. At the start of the game you are on the surface of a very choppy ocean in an inflatable dinghy, trying to jump a line of mines that are little more than a boat's length apart. Then you confront enemy commandos on jet skis: here is where the harpoon gun comes in, because if these guys shoot or crash into you, one of six lives is lost.

Get past them and it is time to dive in and take on some deadly sharks and enemy frogmen. These are all small fry compared to the third stage, though, where you clamber inside a bathyscaphe to take on first an octopus and then a large eel-like monster.

The second part is a side-on viewed platform game set inside the sub, during which you must place a bomb in the reactor and escape. Unfortunately, it is not easy to move around the sub without the passes that officers carry, so you must shoot and rob them.

The game differs from Army Moves in the scenario only. Navy Moves too has extremely difficult gameplay, to the point where it spoils your enjoyment rather than increasing it. It is incredibly tough and for the first part at least, the game is simple, uninspired stuff.


The animation is good and the moody, atmospheric backgrounds are good too. Sound effects are nothing special, however. What it gains in the graphics and sound departments does not compensate for the lack of good gameplay.

Remember Dinamic? They are the Spanish software house who brought you Game Over, the left to right scroller with the subtle advertising? Well they are back with Navy Moves, and take it from me, it is more than a marked improvement on its forerunners.

It follows roughly that a group of fanatics have gotten hold of a nuclear submarine, and are planning to do rather unpleasant things with the missiles on board. Seeing as you are a commando of the highest order, it falls to you to use more than a reasonable amount of force to stop them.

Taking it from the top you start in your Run The Gauntlet reject rubber dinghy somewhere in the choppy mid Atlantic facing flotilla of Ussex-12 mines. If the little rubber boat says hello, the mines say boom. But, as luck may have it, you have an ace up your sleeve and a jump feature on the boat.

Try not to prang yourself on Tiger Sharks. Bypass these and its into a bathyscaphe from which you can blow merry hell out of innocent octopi, until a giant Moray eel turns up.

Once you have made it past all the things that Jules Verne considered too nasty to include in his books, you arrive inside the sub. Armed with a rib tickling machine gun/flame thrower combi unit, you can administer death to anyone you meet - the only problem being that they can do the same to you.

The objective is to plant a bomb at the base of the main reactor, and then send a signal to your mates to come and pull you out before the thing blows.

Initially I was slightly disappointed particularly with the first stage. The graphics are not too good and the sound is very patchy. It is also very hard. But persevere, and you are rewarded by the submarine stage which is a combination of Green Beret and Impossible Mission. Shooting one of the enemy produces a very satisfactory Dirty Harry style death - enough to make you want to waste all your ammo.

A fun arcade game, which produces a good combination of arcade and, later on, arcade strategy. But Navy Moves is all too easy to get into. A fun, though only moderately original game.

Those naughty terrorists have gone and 'borrowed' the brand-new American U-5544 nuclear submarine intent on launching an attack on some oil-rich Arab countries.

Seeing as Ollie North's stuck in a courtroom somewhere, it's up to you to sneak behind enemy lines, infiltrate the sub and activate the self-destruct system built into the mechanics of the underwater fortress.

A two part program, Load One sees you negotiating a mine-strewn section of the Gulf in a rubber dinghy, avoiding rocks and extremists on your way, before hijacking an enemy bathyscaph and diving the depths to reach the sub.

In Load Two you must collect the many pieces of secret code, unknowingly carried by Middle-Eastern officers, and enter them into the central computer, of which workstations are placed at strategic positions on the vessel.

Phil King The best thing to do with Navy Moves is ignore the ridiculously hard first section altogether. Thankfully the second section is easier and much more playable as a result. Because of the limited ammo, this isn't a mindless shoot-'em-up, but instead a thought provoking arcade adventure. A rhythmic soundtrack and detailed graphics complement the gameplay. Navy Moves is stylishly presented and fun for a while at least.
Paul Rand Once you manage to get past the frustrating first section, an infinitely superior game is waiting for you on the second load. Presentation is first-class, with realistically animated, superbly defined characters and an amazing James Bond- style title track. A brilliant arcade adventure only slightly marred by a cruel first level.