Review: Battleship Modern
Battleships is one of those classic games that everyone has probably played at least once. Starting out as a pen and paper game, transitioning into electronic table top games, and then appearing in countless video games. Battleship Modern is yet another incarnation of the perennial video game. With pen and paper hand drawn style graphics and a few twists on the original concept, is Battleship Modern modern enough to make the grade?
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Battleship Modern shows that it knows where its roots are. The game is presented on a background of squared paper with animated Biro drawn artwork of naval warfare. This style immediately draws you into the user experience. Also, just because the graphics are in a hand drawn style doesn't mean they're scruffy either. When you win or lose a game, you are treated to some fine artwork that is a pleasure to look at.
Battleship Modern artwork
As improbable as it sounds, just in case you haven't played battleships, I'll give a summary of the rules. The game is played on a square grid, each player has a fleet of ships represented by linear arrangements of one to four squares, which each of you secretly place on your own grids. Then, each player take turns in firing at one square per turn. The result of a shot is either a hit or a miss. If you hit you can keep on until the ship is destroyed or you miss. Simple? Well yes, but while the largest battleships are the most likely to be hit (queue the cry of “You sunk my battleship!”), there are numerous single square ships to find, which often transforms the last few turns of any Battleship game into something of a Russian Roulette contest!
When starting a game of Battleships Modern, you are clearly instructed on how to move and rotate the ships in your fleet. However, the ships are already placed randomly, and there is a button to generate a new random layout. Therefore, you don't have to agonise over the optimal stealth layout for your ships if you don't want to!
Deploying your fleet, with handy instructions
While playing Battleship Modern, the major part of the screen is taken up by the grid you are firing at. However, there is a miniature grid above, showing your grid and how much progress your opponent is making against your fleet. By the way, you have a choice of playing against artificial intelligence, or another human via a Bluetooth connection. The top portion of the screen also shows you how many ships of each class you have left, along with the current score. The user interface is locked into portrait mode, which seems an unnecessary limitation. Still though, playing in portrait means you can play with one hand. Overall, the user interface has a good design and shows you the information you need to play the game effectively.
Battleship Modern in action
The innovative twist with Battleship Modern is when you opt for the 'advanced' mode. In this mode, you are able to choose (at the beginning of each round) two special weapons to use. These weapons act to increase your odds of hitting something by either showing hidden ships or by using large firing patterns. For example, the radar will scan a three by three grid and highlight any return signals. Whereas the Leagfrog is a torpedo that will jump in and out of the water, targeting alternating blocks until it hits something. Other weapons like the Flagman and Air Strikes will carpet two by two or three by three areas in fire.
Using the advanced weapons in Battleship Modern
Overall, Battleship Modern is a fun game, and as far as the Battleship genre goes, I can't fault it. You can pick up Battleship Modern in the Ovi Store for £1.50.
David Gilson for All About Symbian, 12th August 2011.
Reviewed by David Gilson at