The Hunt for Red October

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a game by Beam Software, Hi-Tech, and Riedel Software Productions
Genre: Simulation
Platforms: SNESSNES, NESNES, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 6.9/10, based on 5 reviews, 6 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Movie-Based Games, Submarine Sea Battles
  • Machine: Game Boy

The opening screens of The Hunt for Red October feature some of the most dramatic graphics yet seen on the Game Boy. Fortunately, they're typical of the imagination and flair found throughout this top-notch game.

The Hunt for Red October is based on Tom Clancy's best-selling novel, last year's hit movie, and an earlier NES game. You play the commander of a Soviet nuclear submarine (the Red October) who's trying to escape to America. As you steer your sub on a long, zigzag course across the Atlantic Ocean, the entire Soviet Navy is out to stop you. Hunter-killer subs stalk you in the depths of the sea, while destroyers and aircraft carriers harry you from above. Surface travel is suicidal, except for brief dashes through shallow waters.

Your sub isn't helpless, of course. It's equipped with guided missiles, torpedoes, and high-tech defenses, including the top-secret "caterpillar drive", which enables you to evade enemy sonar for brief periods.

Your progress is shown on a large-scale map at the start of each stage. At all other times, an underwater radar map is displayed at the bottom of the main playing screen. This map shows the area immediately around your sub, including the zones in front of and behind you. This is invaluable for detecting ambushes and plotting courses through cramped underwater passages.

Power-ups are liberally scattered through each stage. By collecting them, you can boost your firepower, refuel your sub, and repair damage. But sometimes you have to navigate into some tight, out-of-the-way places to get them.

By linking a pair of Game Boys together with a videolink cable and two cartridges, two players can compete against each other - one controlling the sub and the other commanding all the pursuing units. Because the two sides are fairly evenly balanced, this makes for very exciting play. But even if you play alone, it's quite challenging.

The Hunt for Red October is an exceptionally well-designed shooter with a high-tech twist.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Take command of the most high-tech nuclear submarine, the Red October. As Captain Ramius, your ultimate goal is to defect to the United States, where you will conduct missions for the Americans. Battle your way through five hazardous levels with your arsenal of torpedoes, missiles and floating mines. The game's "head on" perspective gives a unique 3-D effect to this intriguing underwater adventure.

People say:


This game has absolutely nothing to do with the movie, and even as the action cart it portrays itself as it ends up falling short. The pace of the action in the side scrolling areas is too slow, but the intensity does pick up in the first-person sections (the best improvement). There's not much, but it does have an identity.


The SuperScope needs help. At least this game is a step in the right direction. The idea of mixing the action is good, but it has to deliver. This cart is OK but not exceptional. This is the Super NES and I think games should be made to fit the system. I kept looking for the action to really heat up but it was only average.


The side scrolling part of this cart is weak. There are only a few different enemies and the came play is sluggish and non-responsive. The 1st person part is even weaker. The simulated scaling helicopters and missiles keep you wishing for more. Nothing exciting in terms of graphics, sounds, or game play.


Somehow, this is and isn't what I expected Hunt for Red October to be like on the SNES. The control is extremely rigid, not allowing for evasive maneuvers of any kind. The different weapons are cool, but hardly effective against your enemies. Right from the start, your mission is difficult, but it doesn't change much at all.

  • Type: Action
  • Available: April 1991
  • Difficulty:Avg.

You are the captain of the Russian sub, Red October. Your mission: get out of Russian waters and into the safety of the good old U.S.A. This journey will take you through sub and tanker infested waters, all aimed at blowing your sub away! Missiles and torpedoes are not your only worry, however, as the sea walls and floor can damage your fragile sub. To make matters worse, you must battle large bosses, too!

People say:


Average. No more and no less. The concept behind Hunt for Red October is excellent, but the execution is less than adequate. Unfortunately, this cart could have been much more enticing if it was faster and featured different enemies and hazards. The round bosses are good, however.


The Hunt, for some reason, seems to move unusually slow. It didn't have to as you aren't really on a hunt where a lot of thinking must take place. As is, it's only average, but the younger player would probably like the game more. It plays too easy for my taste.


The GameBoy version doesn't live up to the name. The game play gets frustrating and your sub isn't responsive enough. The graphics could have been better and the sound is minimal. The game didn't impress me as it moves slow and unpredictably.


The Hunt for Red October is nothing more than a slow-moving shooter in a submarine. The enemies lack variety, and the power-ups are disappointing. The idea is good, and the levels are large, but it just isn't enough to really impress me. Nice try, but it needs more.

If Tom Clancy (author of "The Hunt for Red October") ever envisioned a video game based on his work, this SNES version by Hi-Tech would not have been it. Instead of a realistic simulation of commanding a claustrophobic, high-powered, super sub, you get a generic, side-scrolling shooter for the standard controller with a weak Super Scope sequence.

The Hunt Is On

As in the movie, you are Marko Ramius, captain of the Soviet pride-and-joy submarine -- the Red October. Fed up with communist oppression, you must evade the U.S.S.R.'s underwater armada to defect to the promised land -- the United States. After this brief introductory mission, the game's story swerves away from the film's entirely. You embark on eight U.S. Government missions, culminating in an overthrow of the communist leadership in Russia.

Subs Dead Ahead

While Hunt's story is creative, the gameplay and graphics are an underwater mess. Essentially, you navigate a smallish sub in a side-view screen and destroy or avoid endless waves of subs, battleships, and helicopters until you reach each mission's end goal. Your opponents strike fear into the hearts of no one -- they're tiny, nondescript sprites. The action is uninspired, repetitive, and doesn't hold a candle to other SNES shooters, such as Axelay and Thunder Spirits. The game's music is equally sub-par.

ProTip: If a sub closes in, don't pull up or it'll nail you. Instead, pull down and launch a SAM.

The Red October is equipped adequately for the dangers of the deep with four types of missiles, a noise cloaking device, and a radar cloaking device. However, the weapons are in limited supply, and you run out all too quickly.

Worse yet, there are no continues, which decreases your life expectancy to next- to-nil. It doesn't help that control and movement are somewhat sluggish. Your Super Scope (or standard controller substitute) gets called in for duty whenever you touch a periscope icon and engage the Commies in a first-person sniper sequence. While this concept is unique, the execution is again poor. Your missiles are slow to reload, and you must "lead" the targets by a ridiculous length to score a hit. It's way too tough and just plain frustrating.

In the periscope mode, don't shoot 'til you see the whites of the chopper's cockpit.

Sink This

Hunt is not without redeeming qualities, but the lack of continues makes its virtues very hard to find. We in the U.S.A. welcome most immigrants with open arms. However, Hunt for Red October can go ahead and deport itself back to Siberia.

Published by Hi-Tech Expressions, Inc. and developed by Beam Software Pty., Ltd., this an underwater side-scroller was released in 1990.

The game is based on the same-name movie. The Soviet Union have been secretly building a Typhoon-class submarine with nuclear strike capabilities. The Red October is the name given to this war machine. The captain Marko Ramius, while on trial run of the submarine, has captured it along with it's crew. His plan is to defect to the United States. Obviously, such kind of weapon must not be allowed to get into American plans. So, the orders have been issued among the Soviet forces to destroy the Red October.

The Red October submarine is able to move in any of four directions. Invisibility may be activated for short time periods; also the player may activate a ECM blast, that will destroy all the nearby offensive weapons. Destroying enemies, the player can increase or decrease the power of missiles and torpedoes.

Based on the Paramount Pictures' movie this game pak takes you on an ultra-secret mission. You become captain of the Red October, Russia's secret missile submarine. Your mission is to successfully defect to the United States. The game itself is a deep-sea simulation where you evade detection, destroy your enemies, and guide Red October into the safety of U.S. waters.

Snapshots and Media

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots

See Also

Viewing games 1 to 2
SeaQuest DSV
The player takes the role of the captain of the submarine seaQuest DSV 4600, and is tasked with carrying out a series of missions in a series of levels, divided up as "ocean quadrants".

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    Andy said on Forum:

    This game was also called Polaris and is quite a different approach to a side scrolling shooter because you have to pick the right weapon for the job at hand with Torpedoes, Polaris missiles, Depth charges, And surface missiles to chose from, This game is full of action and i recommend it!.