The Game: Two fleets of four warships conduct long-distance naval warfare, randomly firing torpedoes (and occasionally some higher-powered ordnance) at each other, guessing at the positions of their targets. Whoever sinks the entire opposing fleet first is the victor. (Hasbro Interactive, 1999)
Memories: This game will always have a special place in my heart. Imagine, if you will, my new bride and I, laying in bed on our honeymoon, glistening candlelight reflected in our link cable, trying to blow up each other’s fleets in a two-player death match. Most couples wait a while before they try to shred each other viciously. But this is one of those advances they talk about with modern technology.
Needless to say, with its simple game play – and the fact that it doesn’t require a whole lot in the way of graphics – the Game Boy version of Battleship is a real hoot. Some new innovations spruce things up a bit: you can use a limited number of sonar pings to sniff out the enemy (very useful when looking for that pesky little submarine that only takes up a single space on the grid), and you can also use a very limited number of MIRV missiles which will impact two, three or five squares on the grid simultaneously.
The catch? Playing solo against the machine is fine, but the game’s AI is flaky at times. Remember, when you played Battleship against a real person – back when the game was about pegs and holes – and your opponent struck one part of one of your ships? Why, they probably flew into a vicious volley of shots at every square around that one hit, until they figured out where the ship had to be, and then you were a goner. The computer doesn’t do that – it might strike one square of your ship, and then it will lazily waltz around, trying to find the rest of the ship, but hey – no hurry! In the meantime, you have plenty of opportunities to wipe out the computer’s fleet mercilessly. There are times when the solo game presents zero challenge.
But if you have a friend to play with? Heh…that’s where the beauty of this game lies, just as it always has. Enjoy!