Silent Service was a nickname for the U.S. Navy's submarine force in the Pacific Ocean during World War II.
The game accelerates real time when not in combat, to give the game
a more arcade feel and to set it apart from the episodic nature of both
past submarine simulators. Sid Meier described a number of key factors
that influenced the design of the game: The size of the theatre,
the variety of tactical situations, and evolving technology, such as
torpedoes that did or did not leave trails of bubbles on the surface,
and the use of surface radar. The battle stations were
compartmentalized to allow players access to a great deal of
information, but also focus on the task at hand.
The game's graphics are very basic and it was often difficult to distinguish cruisers from tankers, etc. However the sound is quite atmospheric, such as the sounds of shell hits when being attacked by destroyers.
In 1986, Silent Service won the Charles Roberts/Origins Award for Best Adventure Game for Home Computer of 1985. It was followed by the much more realistic Silent Service II.