4/10 – Battleship

Hello and welcome. My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

The last couple of day’s, we’ve talked about some critically acclaimed games so today, let’s jump into the bizarre with Battleship for the NES and Sega Game Gear.

Based on the board game, Battleship has players try to launch various weapons to try and sink the opponent’s hidden battleships. Players have access to four weapons: cannons, the standard weapon, torpedoes, which are stronger but slower than cannons, depth charges, used to sink submarines and destroy underwater mines, and missiles, which have limited uses but will instantly sink a ship.

Perhaps because of the single screen, Battleship is a single-player only game with no multiplayer options available. Players can play through 8 different stages that feature 5 battles each. After each battle, players receive a password so they can maintain their progress. As the player progresses, new weapons are unlocked.

Board game adaptations are nothing new for video games, even at that time, but what is odd about Battleship is that it is a single-player only game made for the NES and Sega Game Gear in 1993, 4 years after the release of the Sega Genesis and 2 years after the release of the Super Nintendo. The game was also made in Europe but not released on any of the PC systems at the time which were far more popular than game consoles at the time in PAL regions. Finally, this game came out only two months before Super Battleship was released on the Super Nintendo but seven months after that same game released on the Sega Genesis.

Battleship received middling reviews with criticisms made towards the game’s lack of multiplayer and unnecessary differences from the popular Milton Bradley Battleship game. Critics and fans said that ultimately, the board game was always little more than a guessing game and the changes made to the gameplay only worsen the problem. That combined with the fact that better versions of Battleship were made for more modern consoles shortly after or even before this game makes it a strange and unnecessary addition to the gaming canon.

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