Enigma: Rising Tide


An exterior view of your vessel.

An approachable sim for casual admirals.

Most naval combat sims are virtually impenetrable hardcore strategy titles. In contrast, Enigma: Rising Tide is a first-person vehicular shooter set in an alternate-history World War II — a history wherein Imperial Germany (the victor in WWI) is embroiled in a two-way conflict with the United States and an Imperial Japan–Royal Navy alliance. Some well-rendered visuals have been used to re-create each of the 16 warships and submarines you control, and the ocean effects range from gentle swells to full-blown gales.

The game includes over three dozen singleplayer “Patrol†missions as well as a hard-scripted mini-campaign for each faction. Promotions, medals, and built-in support for voice commands add to the immersion, and the gameplay mechanics are straightforward enough to draw in newcomers without excessively alienating the sim crowd. The generic radar/sonar screen that magically alerts you to the presence of enemy contacts and your almost unlimited supply of quick-reload ammo are a far cry from reality, but they do make the game a whole lot more fun.


A look at the campaign mission map.

Each mission unfolds inside a small patch of oceanic real estate, and the action turns fast and furious within minutes. You try to pound enemy ships out of the water with your heavy guns or sink merchant and naval craft with well-placed torpedo shots.

Enigma’s voluminous collection of scripted missions certainly adds ‘depth’ to the game. The lack of multiplayer notwithstanding, Tesseraction has turned out a solid naval-combat action title that can be enjoyed by armchair admirals and first-time landlubbers alike.

System Requirements: Pentium III 700 MHz, 256 MB RAM, 16 MB Video, Win98

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