iPhone App Video Review: BATTLESHIP FREE

by Andrew Koziara

I still find it hard to believe that a Battleship movie even exists. Even though it was totally expected, the amount of cross promotional material for it is staggering. The most reasonable of all these is Battleship Free from Electronic Arts, a simple adaptation of the actual Battleship game except with prettier, movie-inspired graphics.

The movie may just be the latest Michael Bay inspired popcorn blockbuster explosion-porn extravaganza, but despite other awful attempts at movie tie-ins, some people still remembered that this is all based on a simple strategic board game. However, just like the recent treatment of the board game, this is essentially a re-skin of the already existing paid Battleship app.

So everyone knows the drill, right? After placing your own pieces, you have to fire projectiles blindly across a grid, seeking out and destroying all enemy ships before they sink all of yours. The amount of projectiles you can fire correlates to the amount of ships you have left. As simple as that is, I have some grievances. They don’t allow you to rotate pieces outside of randomly shuffling all of them. There is also much to be said about the computer AI. It’s a little too lenient most of the time. I like winning and all, but the AI opponent is just plain stupid and nonsensical.

If you don’t want to deal with said AI, you can play local multiplayer over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Pass and Play. There is no true online multiplayer sadly. I always felt like this game would be perfect for the notification based; turn taking, “With Friends” kind of treatment. Oh, also, winning matches on either side will allow you to “rank up” through ten arbitrary ranks that mean nothing and yield no rewards. It also needs to be said that the overabundance of intrusive advertisements was rather annoying. Then again, this entire app is essentially a sloppily thrown together advertisement, so I suppose it’s fitting.

The visuals and all that are very basic, but they get the job done. I like the idea of little cut-scenes showing ships firing or being hit, and you can even turn them off if they annoy you. This is a much faster version of the original board game, so that’s certainly another incentive to play. Honestly though, there are much better unofficial Battleship apps out there, such as FleetMaster. There is no harm in picking this app up since it’s free, but it would have been nice to see a bit more from it. Either way, it’s still Battleship, and it’s still a decent way to sink some free time.

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