Developer: Marmalade Game Studio
Publisher: Marmalade Game Studio
Genre: Board Game, Strategy
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: E – Everybody
Release Date: 24/07/19
Price: £19.99 / $19.99 – Rapid Reviews were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Ever since 1967 one boardgame has survived all challengers. One title has remained both popular and relevant. In fact, Battleship has been a popular game since the 1930s when it was played on pen and paper.
Through all the years, close to nine decades, the base concept of the game has remained largely unchanged, and now it is time for the next generation of gamers to line up and try their luck — a game of chance as much as it is cunning and though.
Say it with me now everybody, F-4 … HIT … You sunk my battleship.
How does this classic game hold up on the Nintendo Switch? Keep reading to find out.
It’s a game played on a 10×10 grid, yet the developers have made it look interesting. They have created numerous battlefields – some free and some that need to be unlocked by levelling your profile. Technically, these are just backgrounds, but they offer a nice change-up from a plain blue screen or whatever could have been given to us.
When you sink a ship, an image is overlaid onto the screen, and each captain and each ship in their fleet are different. The team put some good thought into this element of the game. They got the right level of detail without going too ‘out there’ with it.
The soundtrack is likewise suitably placed. The effects within the games are simple, a splash for a miss, and explosion or a hit. It is as you would expect. Sinking a ship ushers with it a claxon, that again fits the situation. The menu screens play a rousingly triumphant melody that gets you ready and fully hyped for the skirmish that lies ahead.
The game plays exactly like a game of battleships. The concept of the game remains as unchanged as ever. Choose your fleet commander, plot out your fleet and start dropping bombs.
At the start of the game, you can choose between one of three captains. Depending on which game mode you play, the difference between the characters ranges from none to minimal.
As you play games and complete objectives, your player level increases, and with it, you open new battlefields and characters.
There are two different game modes in Battleship. You have classic, and you have Commanders mode. This is the battleship game you know and love but with a clever twist that is both subtle and revolutionary. Alongside these, there is an online mode that allows you to take to the same battlefields but playing against your friends.
The standard 10×10 grid. Place your five ships and wait for your opponent to place theirs. Once the battle starts, it plays out exactly as you expected. You can swap from one board to the other and plan your next move with as much care and detail as suits your plays style.
Choose your location, fire a missile and watch to see if you hit or miss. Hit a target, and you get to go again. The map of your opponent’s waters will show you each hit and miss you have accrued, but the side will show you which of their five ships you have sunk. This is more important for the Commander’s mode.
While the core gameplay here remains the same, the Commanders mode comes with a slight twist. Different shaped boards are available, and unlike classic mode where everybody has the standard 2, 3, 3, 4, and 5, sized ships, in Commanders mode each captain has a different looking fleet, with ships forming different, non-conventional shapes.
This adds an extra element of strategy to the game both in terms of placement and targeting. It also brings the overview of your opponent’s fleet into play because you can reference it at any time to see what shape of ship you still need to sink.
Along with the different sized ships, Commanders mode also introduces something new the battlefield: skill points and a range of weapons that can be used in exchange for said points.
Each captain has the same three standard weapons costing 2, 3, and 5 points each. This is a mine, a sonar, and a bomb. Then each captain has a weapon specific to themselves. This can be an airstrike hitting 6 random targets, or a taking out an entire row in the grid with a series of missiles. In essence, it is a super move that can turn the tide of battle in an instant.
Purists of the game may suggest it removes some of the fun or point of the game, but as it is in a separate mode that is designed to give an alternative slant, I think it is a fun addition. I do, however, agree it does not feel like a true battleship experience and would prefer to stick to the classic mode when playing.
The battle doesn’t just happen on the high seas, but out on the highways and byways of the internet. Connect and hit up a friend you’d happily go to war against. The available game modes and play do not change, but going head to head with a human foe is always a different experience to playing an AI.
There are three difficulty modes in the game: the traditional easy, medium and hard approach. While there is no difference in the game itself in either mode, the enemy seems to have both more luck and a better insight into your ship’s placement.
On easy mode, a hit doesn’t always spell the end of a ship, while on medium and hard, the chance of escaping with a boat intact is slim.
Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept it
There are essentially two ways to play the game. Casually, picking it up and having a laugh against the computer or a friend, or you can set out to accomplish the different missions that are set for you. There are three open at any one time and completing one will spawn a new one. Only by completing these missions can you level up and unlock new characters and playfields.
The missions’ range in difficulty but also in reward. From winning a game in so many moves, or missing no more than 16 moves to playing a certain number of games versus a friend. While simple, they add a nice extra level to the game and certainly make it one you want to play again.
With a game like Battleship, there will always be a replayability factor. It is the nature of the game. There are no long levels or scrolling side-quests. It’s a case play a game, win or lose, then play again. It is a game for short bursts, and while the single-player version is suitable for an end of the day bus ride where you want a game without any pressure but enough enjoyment to help you escape, it is multiplayer where it shines.
Battleship is a two-player game, and nothing beats playing against another human mind.
Don’t get me wrong. I thought this was a very enjoyable take on a classic game, but it is still just battleship, and with so many other games available on the system, this just isn’t going to be a game you play for days on end.
One to crack out when your friends are around and a few beers are being consumed. It’s a good game that deserves an iteration on the system. The team involved made a good product, but if we are honest, it is one that will undoubtedly be forgotten by most.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Battleship from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/BATTLESHIP-1587491.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.