No child wanted to see this come Christmas morning in 1993.
More than my battleship, you sunk… my heart.
PUBLISHER: Mindscape, Inc.
DEVELOPER: Milton Bradley
GENRE: Board game
RELEASE DATE: September 1993
Battleship is a mindless money grab, and I type “mindless” with full confidence. It’s a none-too-fun video game based on an impossibly boring board game. We all remember shouting “B12” right? In “Battleship,” you and a friend set up your different sized ships on a two separate “boards,” labeled with numbers at the top and letters across the side. There are two parts to the board: on the bottom is where you place your ships, and the top is where you place your pegs for when you miss or hit your opponent’s ships. Obviously, you are not allowed to see where your opponent puts their ships. You then shout out combinations like “A6!” and if your opponent’s ship happens to be on A6, they take a hit. If not, keep trying. Rinse and repeat until you’ve wasted your whole artillery of ships.
Battleship is an almost exact replica of the board game. You aim a target over any number of blue squares (representing water, I suppose), fire your missile, and then the game zooms in on a targeted ship. Your missile will either hit it or fly right over it. The computer takes its turn, they hit your ship, and you die a little inside. It’s hard getting through one mission, but there’s forty missions in the game. Think it might be tolerable playing with a friend? Sadly, there’s no two-player mode, and as previously implied, the computer is a cheap, difficult, hideous mistress. For some reason, Milton Bradley took out the numbers and letters. My guess is they removed them to make the game more realistic, but Battleship already fires on Geo Metro cylinders anyway; not sure why they bothered. To add “depth” to the game, your different ships can fire missiles in varying patterns. For example, a battleship might be able to fire a 4X4 grid of missiles, whereas a little cruiser can only fire one missile. You have a limited number of these special extra attacks, so really make ’em count. Or, you know, turn off the game.