Naval Gazing: Naval Warfare Arctic Circle Demo

Glass bottom boat tours, 6 pieces of eight

The fine smell of a cold sea breeze is in the air as the Paradox published, Turbo Tape Games developed Naval War: Arctic Circle demo docks at port. A sea-faring RTS featuring modern-day fleets and aircraft, the demo includes the first two NATO-led story missions, a skirmish map and multiplayer to battle other freeloaders on the high seas. You can download the demo on Steam, while the full game released earlier in the week and is available on Steam and elsewhere.

The release trailer, made with Paradox’s usual carefree glee, is bunking below deck.

That reminds me, I need to buy some new pants.


  1. leeder krenon says:

    Only had a go with the first 3 tutorials but this is a very impressive game. Looking forward to having another go tonight.

    • TheWhippetLord says:

      It is a fine game. Very Harpoony. The only thing I miss is no in-game encyclopedia that I can see, not essential but always nice to poke around and see what that contact you just picked up can do to your poor defenceless units.
      I’m finding it pleasantly tricky, even on the easy setting. As always with a strategy game part of the difficulty is learning the UI, but NW:AC seems pretty well designed from that point of view. Worth a look if you’re any kind of naval warfare geek.

      The mission briefings have made me chuckle a few times, which I didn’t really expect.

      • leeder krenon says:

        Indeed, the UI is excellent. The sense of humour in the game is a bit unexpected but not unappreciated.

      • Durkonkell says:

        Yup, been enjoying it so far. It’s remarkably easy to get to grips with, but tactically very challenging, particularly when you’re dealing with submarines.

        A in-game reference would be really good though, not just for seeing what the enemy’s about to do to you, but for finding out more about the capabilities of your own units. What’s the difference between these 3 helicopters that I’ve got? Can this torpedo ever catch up to that enemy sub if it comes about and goes straight to military power, or should I try and close up a little more? They’ve clearly done a ton of research here, it’d be really nice to be able to pull up the numbers for your different units.

  2. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I’m playing this right now at work – it’s running on my home PC in 1:1 real time, I connect in a couple of times an hour to issue new orders and check the status.

    If you’re at HR where I work, you, uh, didn’t read this. Okay?

  3. Makariel says:

    Very nice, was hoping to see a demo of this!

  4. Solomon Grundy says:

    Anyone know of a comparably modern-ish WWII-era game? I used to love the Great Naval Battles SSI series back in the day…

  5. JB says:

    Enjoying the demo, it’s a fun game!

  6. AlexisPius says:

    Remind me:

    Just how much is Paradox Interactive paying you to flog their games?

    • Nick says:

      oh do fuck off, there’sa good chap.

    • Barman1942 says:

      What about Paradox gets your panties in such a twist?

    • Ranger33 says:

      Refer to the Defenders of Ardania review. They described the game exactly as it is (good idea, poor execution), despite giant ads in the background for the game that day. I think PI gets lots of attention simply because they churn out a lot of interesting titles that other companies wouldn’t touch.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      RPS has been bought by Paradox! RPS has been bought by Valve! RPS has been bought by Notch! RPS has been bought by Games Workshop! RPS has been bought by Bethesda! RPS has been bought by EA!

      What with all this being “bought” by everyone, it’s surprising they have time to post anything at all while they stagger around under the weight of their money-hats.

      There, I think I covered all the basics. Now shoo off back under your bridge, troll, before I fluoridate your water to pollute the purity of essence of your precious bodily fluids.

    • AlexisPius says:

      You all seem upset.

      link to

      In the field of journalism, you are supposed to avoid conflicts of interest (for instance, allowing a company to advertise with you, while knowing that you are going to report on their products)

      I don’t see why video game journalism should be held to any lesser standard – certainly not if people want video games to be taken seriously.

      • Llewyn says:

        Most of the people who replied to you might agree with your second comment, but they’re “upset” with you because your first was a pathetic and ignorant troll post. Make your point in an intelligent manner and you’ll get (mostly) intelligent responses; post as a dribbling moron and all you’ll get is scorn.

        However, while I’d agree that your point makes a good general rule, it’s trumped in RPS’ case at least because we’re all capable of independently assessing RPS’ credibility in our specific cases. We’re all gamers, we all play at least some of the games that each blogger writes about and we can all use this to determine whether their opinions and writings have merit. Importantly we can apply this critical eye to the writings of each blogger individually – one can think that, say, Alec’s opinions carry great weight while choosing personally to disregard John’s.

        Merit trumps perceived neutrality in my opinion. It’s worthless to me to know that a writer is entirely uninfluenced by third parties (and let’s be honest here, no writer on any subject is) if I also believe that writer to be arbitrary, uninformed and misguided.

      • Durkonkell says:

        That’s bollocks, though.

        Computer games publications and websites have ALWAYS shown computer game adverts. They always will. Do you expect them to make their money advertising… electric razors? The Ikea mattress guide? Car insurance comparison sites? Advertisers only pay to display adverts on this website because it’s a games site and they have games to advertise.

        Would you expect them to say “Sorry, we won’t be covering Half Life 3 as Valve is advertising with us”? Because that would be mental.

      • Torgen says:

        AlexisPius seems to have no idea how the real world works, or is willfully blind in order to play the “I’m so pure and above you people” card. ALL publications take ads geared towards their audience. Automotive magazines have car ads. Fishing magazInes have fishing tackle ads, Cooking magazines have cooking ads.

        But of course, you know this, AlexisPius. You’re just putting on airs of superiority while pretending your dream world has any relation at all to reality.

  7. Havok9120 says:

    This is darn good. Gameplay is easy to get into and a ton of fun. It was pretty tense when everything started going to Hell in the missions. You go from playing chicken with the Russians to, “Wait, there’s HOW MANY aircraft incoming???”

  8. Lenderz says:

    Quite frankly loving this game, worth every penny at ~£15.00 just for the shear amount of time I’ve been playing it now, everything else has been put on the back burner.

    I’m finding some of the missions a real challenge, the kind of challenge that you think about when you’re away from your computer, and you have to take breaks from the game due to frustration, but its the “right kind of frustration” the same frustration I felt when playing commandos back in the day and my plan didn’t come together. Or Hidden and Dangerous. Although those are very different games its giving me a similar feeling, when I put a hour into a plan, and a battle and its all going so well until…. Oh crap I didn’t expect that, I’ve been destroyed! Inevitably happens.

    The cat and mouse nature of huge areas, various generations of stealth technology, active and passive radar/sonar just works incredibly well in a game like this.

    I must have put 4-6 (none consecutive) hours into the “Baltic Breakout” mission on the NATO side, getting the right amount of visibility of the hostile’s, enough jets in the air to counter the huge amount of Russian air power and incoming missiles, at the same time as trying to throw enough missiles at the enemy ships to break their protective SAM launchers was a real juggling act. In the end I managed to do it with all my ships surviving and only losing about 20 Jets and ALL OF STOCKHOLM…. Acceptable losses apparently for the game!

    Can’t recommend this enough, although it does have a few issues, they’ve already released the first patch which has got rid of the memory leak & freezing which were the main bugs. I just wish it had an encyclopaedia of information on the units/weapons included and their capabilities. As sometimes I don’t know the difference between the different surface attack missiles etc, and its not made very clear… But still, if you like RTS with an emphasis on the S you should give this game a look.