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    cjvitek's Avatar
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    Default Review: Battleship

    Battleship, by Electronic Arts
    $2.99, ****1/2


    • Multiple game modes
    • Multiplayer (not online, though)
    • Fun, addictive gameplay

    • Some graphics seem a little skimpy
    • Game AI is lacking

    Battleship comes to the iPhone! The classic two player game has been updated for the iPhone, and includes some new game modes, multiplayer action, and some decent (although not stellar) animation.

    The game of Battleship includes three different game modes – the classic mode, a salvo mode (which allows you to fire the same number of shots as you have ships left), and a new game mode “super weapons” where you can pick advanced weaponry (chain guns, floating mines, air strikes) to assist you in sinking the opponent. Throughout the game, you can acquire additional super weapons by achieving specific ranks. These ranks are based on how many ships you sink. I would have preferred to see ranks based on things like games won, with maybe some “hidden” weapons for special feats (like winning a game with your entire fleet intact). As it is, all you have to do to unlock weapons is simply keep playing.

    Best of all, the game also allows for multiplayer! You can play via wifi, Bluetooth, or “pass the phone”. Unfortunately there is no internet multiplayer – hopefully that will be coming soon. I can see leaderboards, issuing challenges to people online, and the immortal words “You sank my battleship!” (which unfortunately don’t appear in the game at all).

    Game play itself is very easy. When setting your fleet, you can either had a random assignment, or move them around yourself. Choosing the locations to attack is a little more difficult, but only because I sometimes had difficult picking the correct square (simply by tapping on the screen) probably because of my fat fingers. But that slight difficulty aside, there was no issue or concern when actually playing the game.

    The graphics are nice, but not stunning. They have nice cut scenes available for sinking ships (including air craft sliding off the sinking air craft carrier), scenes for the weapons firing (all weapons, including the super weapons), but the graphics themselves are pretty simplistic – especially seeing things like the “rolling waves”. I certainly don’t except movie quality graphics, but these left a slightly hollow taste in my mouth. I was hoping for more, but I can’t say I was disappointed with what I got.

    The sound effects are typical – bombs blowing up, guns firing, etc. It would be nice to have some voice effects in there (as I said, I would love to hear the iPhone say “You sank my battleship!”) but it isn’t required.

    The game AI is the most disappointing feature about the game. There are many times when I see the game make absolutely boneheaded decisions on where to fire there shots. For example, if I have only my sub (three units long) left in the game, why would you fire a shot in a location that is only two units long? I have seen this happen time and time again. There is no option to adjust difficulty, so presumably that is something that will stay.

    All in all, this is a great import of the classic board game Battleship. Adding the super weapons game mode to the list of game is great, and including multiplayer is a must. The game is fun, and addicting, but without online/internet play the multiplayer is somewhat limited. With decent graphics and easy game play, this game will be sticking around on my iPhone for quite some time, and at $2.99, everyone should buy it. Four and a half out of five stars.

    Update: I was looking through some of the special weapons, and some of them do require you to perform special "tasks" to unlock them.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.
    Last edited by cjvitek; 12-22-2009 at 12:22 PM. Reason: updated information

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