In Gato, you play the commander of a United States submarine in the Pacific Ocean during World War II against Japanese warships.
Gato is a 3D real-time submarine simulation game. Gameplay consists of missions where the primary directive is to navigate your submarine to track and intercept (multiple) enemy warships (patrol boats, destroyers, etc.) on the randomly created map and close in for the kill with torpedoes.
Combat itself consists of a direct visual of enemy ships (via periscope) and firing torpedoes at the correct angle to ultimately sink the ship. Be warned that although you have the element of surprise, enemy ships can fire back!
When all hell breaks loose, an identified submarine is a sitting duck to those Japanese guns. Be prepared to direct your damage control team to fix up your damaged submarine ASAP! The mission ends when you have successfully eliminated all targets in the map.
The first World War II submarine simulation ever made for the PC, GATO was a true pioneer in this niche genre, an ambitious sim that features a lot of realistic instruments and weapons. As the submarine history page at Subsim.com describes it: "This was the first sub simulator for a personal computer. The graphics were very limited, CGA with stick figures for ships, of which there were five enemy types. Although it simulated GATO class subs, there were only four bow torpedo tubes available. All functions were generated by the keyboard (mouse - what's a mouse?). The mission area was very limited--a group of islands in the Pacific, which was subdivided into 20 "quadrants". You pressed the "M" key for new missions and they were transmitted by Morse code. You were instructed to keep in mind "the enemy may break Allied code at some point. Some messages may be enemy fakes designed to trap you." How's that for early efforts at realism? Resource management was one of the game's subtler features. Your primary strategic objective was to complete as many missions as possible with the supplies you carry before returning to the quadrant where your subtender waits.
Gato was the Pong of submarine simulations. When the first players encountered Gato, you can imagine they thought it was pretty significant. They had to start somewhere." True enough. Primitive, but honorable for the pioneer that it was.
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