Computer Bismarck is a computer wargame developed and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI) in 1980. The game is based on the last battle of the battleship Bismarck, in which British Armed Forces pursue the German Bismarck in 1941. It is SSI's first game, and features turn-based gameplay and two-dimensional graphics.
The development staff consisted of two programmers, Joel Billings and John Lyons, who programmed the game in BASIC. Originally developed for the TRS-80, an Apple II version was also created two months into the process. After meeting with other wargame developers, Billings decided to publish the game as well. To help accomplish this, he hired Louis Saekow to create the box art.
Computer Bismarck is a turn-based computer wargame in which players control British forces against the battleship Bismarck and other German units. The German forces can be controlled by either a computer opponent (named "Otto von Computer") or a second player. The game takes place on a map of the North Atlantic Ocean on which letters from the English alphabet represent military units and facilities (airfields and ports). Units have different capabilities, as well as statistics that determine their mobility, firepower, vulnerability and other gameplay factors. Turns take the form of phases, and players alternate inputting orders to maneuver their respective units. Phases can serve different functions, such as informing players of status changes, unit movement, and battles. Players earn points by destroying their opponent's units. After the Bismarck is sunk or a number of turns have occurred, the game ends. Depending on the number of points players have earned, either the British or German forces are declared the victor.
By John Lyon, Joel Billings & Dave Cook