Welcome to our Battleship review. If you’ve ever played the classic board game, Battleship, then you’ll instantly know what this game is about. Battleship for the Nintendo Switch takes the classic game and puts it right at home on the console.
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
- Developer: Marmalade Games
- Publisher: Hasbro Gaming
- Multiplayer: 2 Player Online, Local 2 Player
- Available: 24th July 2019
- Price: £19.99 (U.K), $19.99 (U.S)
- Age Rating: PEGI 3 (UK/EU), E (U.S)
- Review Code Provided
For the most part, Battleship is a faithful digital remaster of the physical board game that has you and another player setting up 5 ships on 10 x 10 square grids that remain completely invisible to each other. Once this is done, the aim is simply to destroy all of your enemy’s ships by firing each of the coordinates a ship sits in. Once you have taken out all of the coordinates of a ship you will sink it, whoever takes out all five of their opponent’s ships first win the match.
Battleship does add a few of its own features into the mix. There are two modes, one is classical mode, where you play just as you would if you were playing the board game and the other is the commanders mode.
Commanders mode takes the normal game and adds special character abilities to the mix as well as a new optional grid layout and different shaped ships which add a bit more challenge to the game. Using these abilities requires points, which you’ll earn each time you get a successful hit on an enemy ship. Abilities range from bombs that take out a small area to airstrikes that can take out a whole row. Out of the two modes, the Commander mode is by far the best as it features more challenge and doesn’t get as boring as just firing and waiting.
Another way in which the developers have spruced up the game to make it more console worthy is the addition of a ranking system, which you’ll work your way up by completing various tasks such as winning a set amount of matches or having at least one ship fully intact at the end of a match. As well as getting a nice ranking number, certain ranks once reached will unlock new commanders and new areas.
Marmalade games have not only included modern ships and commanders in this game but have also included commanders and ships from various different eras. This adds a lot of variety to the game and ensures things don’t get too stale, too soon.
Just like the board game, the console version matches can either take ages or be over quicker than you can say you sunk my battleship. A long game can lead to moments of great impatience and boredom as you tap back and forth sometimes hitting and sometimes missing your enemy. Then you witness those moments where the A.I slaughters one of your ships and then finds another, those are annoying and that does lead me to one big issue with Battleship.
How can you make a board game for a console fair? When the A.I basically knows everything? The developers have done a good job of ensuring the A.I doesn’t just use its knowledge to wipe you clean off the board and there are plenty of times where it hits a correct coordinate then hits the wrong one on its extra turn, but there are also times where it seems to use an ability such as an airstrike and 90% of the time from what I’ve witnessed hits a correct coordinate. Most of the time, when I use an ability I don’t hit a correct coordinate, so in this respect, it seems slightly unbalanced.
If you want a truly fair Battleship experience, you’ll be glad to know the game features multiplayer. There are three ways in which you can do this. You can play online with strangers, play in the same room with another player as long as they have a Switch or play with someone in the same room using a companion app on their smartphone. The companion app option is rather interesting as it allows you to use a smartphone as a screen and controller in sync with the Switch to prevent your opposition from seeing your grid. It’s a rather clever way to solve the issue of how you make a board game that relies on guessing your opponent’s layout playable by multiple people on one main device.
In conclusion, Battleship is a pretty good console port of a real physical game. It stays faithful to the board game by providing a classic mode that is exactly the same but also adds a few new features by adding a commander mode. The single-player mode is a bit tedious and it does sometimes remind you that you are playing against a system that knows where your ships are, but there are a lot of times where it does act clueless. Multiplayer does away with this as it allows you to play against real opponents who have no idea what your setup is and therefore feels much fairer.
This concludes our Battleship review. Battleship is available to buy now on the Nintendo eStore.