Pacific Theater of Operations

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a game by Koei
Genres: Strategy/War, Educational/Kids
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, SNESSNES
Editor Rating: 6.1/10, based on 4 reviews
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Download Strategy Games, P.T.O. Games

If you've ever dreamed of being Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific fleet during World War II, it's time to test your mettle. Koei is looking for a few good generals and admirals in Pacific Theater of Operations (or P.T.O.), an excellent thinking man's war game for the Super NES.

A War Room in the SNES

In traditional Koei fashion, P.T.O. is a historically accurate World War II simulation that is perfect for grognards (diehard war game enthusiasts) and game strategists everywhere. This game shies away from blood-and-guts action and instead focuses on strategy and tactics. As the Supreme Commander of either the Japanese or the Allied Forces, you command 16 fleets, hundreds of aircraft, and thousands of soldiers. As in real life, the U.S. has the upper hand, but either side can triumph.

The game consists of nine scenarios, and each has goals and victory conditions. The first scenario covers the entire Pacific Campaign during WWII and can literally take weeks to complete! Scenarios two through nine recreate individual battles and events, such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway. You can play against the computer or a friend, with 10 available difficulty settings.

ProTip: Plan your resource decisions ahead. If you know you're going to be involved in a lot of dogfights and will be losing some aircraft, build them up before the battle to have a fresh supply for your next encounter.

From the Top

P.T.O. distinguishes itself from other military sims by merging two styles of game play: strategic command decisions of the highest level and tactical maneuvers during battle. On the strategic level, you control the army, the navy, the airforce, and even the civilian population as a whole. You manage the budget, invest in industry, develop new weapons, implement a draft, and more. The vast number of excellent resources are easy to manage, and realistically affect the outcome of the campaign.

When at sea, buy some time using scout planes to get a long-range reading.

On the tactical level, you can order your ships to attack, defend, or retreat in battle. Alternatively, you can delegate these responsibilities to subordinates and let them fight it out for you.

The Big Picture

P.T.O.'s methodical game play is turn-based (you attack, then your opponent attacks), and the interface is fairly easy to use. A menu tree displays all available commands, and selecting destinations and targets is a simple matter of cursor movement. However, entering numbers is painstakingly slow, since you always start from one and work your way up.

War games don't need to be flashy with their graphics. P.T.O. gets the job done, but not much more. Sometimes you'll confuse carriers with other ships, but otherwise the units are distinguishable. The map lacks glitz, but it's loaded with information.

The audio is pretty much a loss. The combat sounds are good but the light-hearted, bouncy music is hardly appropriate for a war game.

Drafted for Combat

If you fancy yourself as Douglas MacArthur or Isoroku Yamamoto, P.T.O. is your chance to win it all for your country...or go down in a blaze of glory.

Download Pacific Theater of Operations


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


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

Game Reviews

It's 1941 and the U.S. and Japan are preparing to clash.

The goal is to control the Pacific! The game schedule is exhausting: Pearl Harbor, Midway and the Philippines for starters. Both teams have great captains, fantastic rosters and the best equipment around. The Americans can depend on the Yorktown, Hornet and Nevada to run successful battle plays that win amaze their opponents. But don't count out the other team quite yet. The Japanese carrier force can quickly make up lost ground by running secret plays or handing off tough missions to their top-notch kamikazes. The starting gun is about to fire. It's time to pick your team colors and hit the battlefield. Good luck!

  • Manufacturer: Koei
  • Machine: Genesis
  • Theme: Military Sim.

Armchair generals, prepare yourself for some of the most explosive sea and air battles. Koei has exploded onto the Genesis with their new cart ready to challenge the most seasoned war simulation strategists. Choose from a number of WWII scenarios and relive history or simply rewrite it by making diplomatic proposals or plotting out military plans. The armed forces need a strong leader. It's time to take command!

People say:


I usually like these strategy games, but sometimes a cart tries to be more than the limitations allow. P.T.O. will probably be more effective on a bigger platform because it doesn't quite hack it on the 16-Bit system. The action is somewhat slow and sluggish, and not very exciting. Fans of WWII history will probably like it.


In two words: sensory overload. P.T.O. is one of those games that will really appeal to strategy players. There are lots of scenarios to finish and the game can take any course of action. P.T.O. really requires a player to sit down for hours to enjoy the game. The game is good but a bit complex for the average gamer.


Not my cup of tea, but I have to admire the detail and complexity of this cart. The main emphasis is on game play and there is tons of options and little details that simulation fans will flip over. Prepare to log in mega hours just to plan out your attacks and develop winning strategies to defeat some pretty tough opponents.


Dive right in if you're a war hero without a war to fight. This is a decent simulator with all the options, action, and strategy you'd need. Personally, these games don't entertain me for too long. This is one ol those games you either spend loads of time getting into, or it just passes you over. It's decent but not my bag.

Air raid! The Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor on December 7,1941 propelled the U.S. into the Second World War. In this simulation, you have the unique opportunity to play either the Allies or the Japanese. You get to assemble a fleet, launch recon Sorties, discuss strategies, and conduct massive assaults. The game includes 10 difficulty levels, historically accurate maps, and more than 200 historical ships. Challenge history and change the outcome of WWII's great sea and air battles.

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots