Captain Sonar is one of the most unique games I have ever played. It's almost more than a game, it's an experience. It puts you in the middle of a battle between two submarines, and you really feel it. The real time play makes you believe you're rushing around, repairing vital sub systems, loading torpedos, piloting the sub, or tracking your enemies on the radar; depending on what your job is. And every one of those four jobs feel very different, giving every player a distinct thing to focus on. This forces the team to communicate and cooperate if they want to be able to take out their opponents. If Captain Sonar sounds stressful, well, it is! But in the best way. You'll be on the edge of your seat the whole game, deeply engaged and highly invested. On top of all this throw in a ton of scenarios for extra replay value. Captain Sonar is sooooo great.
But it's not without flaws.
The game is very hard to teach, for one. You basicly have to teach four different games, as each role really is that different. There is a turn based mode to help learn, but Captain Sonar as a turn based game is pretty unremarkable. A lot of the tension is lost that way. You'll also need a lot of players, as the game is really at it's best when you have two 4 player teams. Any less than that and roles start to combine and the game bogs down. The stress of the real time aspect of this game can also be to much for some players. These few little flaws drag the game down a little bit, but Captain Sonar still shines as one of the best games of the year.