War in the South Pacific is the forerunner of later games dealing with the World War II Pacific theater, particularly Uncommon Valor, by designer Gary Grigsby.
Not all-encompassing in regard to the Pacific War, WitSP nevertheless concentrates on the numerous land, air and sea battles that took place within the large geographical area centered on the Solomon Islands and extending to the northeastern coast of Australia, Papua-New Guinea, the Caroline Islands, the Marshall Islands, Fiji and New Caledonia.
The game scale is strategic in scope, with players having to account for ships being repaired, construction of new air bases and sea ports, managing pilot experience levels and much more.
Tactically, WitSP builds upon Grigsby's earlier Carrier Force, with players searching for enemy task forces, before preparing, launching and recovering carrier and land-based air strikes.
Damaged ships can be returned to local ports for minor repairs, or be sent back to Japan/United States for more extensive and time-consuming repairs.
A system for moving armies across land also exists, including combat against enemy armies, but the focus is on the air-naval aspect, which is the decisive element.
In single-player games, the computer can only play the Japanese side.
By Gary Grigsby