Battleship is a stand alone downloadable product that is one of seven games that makes up Hasbro's Family Game Night. Based on the popular Milton Bradley board game, Battleship pits you against either a friend locally (your opponent will be asked to look away while you place your ships), online or against an AI opponent with 3 difficulty levels (novice, smart and genius). If you are unfamiliar with how Battleship is played, it is rather simple. You have 5 different ships of varying length (5, 4, 3, 3 and 2) which are placed on a grid either horizontally or vertically. The object of the game is to guess where your opponent has placed his or her ships, and sink them. For example, hitting the 5 points on the grid which the battleship occupies will sink that ship. Once all of the ships of one player has been sunk the game is over.
This version of Battleship stays very true to the original even down to the actual board that you play on replicating the actual board game (enhanced with moving water). There are three different modes included: Original, Salvo, and Super Weapons. Original is the simplest and retains all the rules of the original board game. Salvo, the most enjoyable game mode, allows you to shoot as many shots as you have ships. If you have all your ships floating then you have 5 different chances per turn to guess where your opponent's ships are. Super Weapons is similar to Original but as you miss you have a random chance of having a 'super' weapon to use next time you fire. These weapons include reinforcements, that gives you an extra 2 hit ship, lucky shot, heavy shot, decoy, and torpedo. Heavy shot and lucky shot simply do damage to an expanded number of points on the grid and decoy randomly generates false positives on your opponent's screen. Torpedo will launch top to bottom, vertically, until it hits a ship. If it does not hit an enemy ship it will continue onto your screen and possibly hit one of your own ships if it is in its path. These weapons spice up the game somewhat but are not all that in the long run. Super Weapons is hard to define as an extra game mode as you have the option of turning on all these weapons in the settings of original mode.
After playing a few rounds of Battleship you will likely become bored of its rather shallow game play (pun intended). What you see is what you get and the added bonuses of random items to cover your room that you virtually play is not a strong enough incentive to continue playing to unlock them all. If you head online to try and compete against someone over Xbox Live, odds are you will have a difficult time finding an opponent. In the attempts made to find an opponent during the review no rooms were found for Battleship and when entering a room which was open to any game, it was far more likely that the host would choose a game such as Sorry! or Scrabble.
Battleship's visuals are what you would expect of a game version of a board game. There is nothing outstanding to mention. The package as a whole (Family Game Night) is presented as a virtual apartment/room where you select which game you would like to play from a visual representation on the wall. Items you collect can also be displayed throughout your virtual room and the actual game play takes place at the table. The music in the game is rather bland and it will go unnoticed as you play through your game and hear the constant booms or splashes of your hits or misses.
The game is clearly aimed towards younger gamers and at the steep price of 800 MS points ($10 USD) it is difficult to recommend this game even to the biggest Battleship enthusiast. Even at a lower price point this game offers very little to justify spending any money on it as the likelihood that you will return to play very frequently is slim to none.