Retail Price: £1.99
Author: Keith Burkhill
Previously released only on a compilation, Elite's Battle Ships is now available at a budget price.
Just as in the traditional game, each player has a fleet of six ships (of varying size) which are placed on a twenty-by-twenty box map. Battle is ready to commence.
You fire shots at squares (targets) on the map, hoping to hit enemy ships. On selection of the last target, the screen switches to a graphical representation of the enemy fleet at sea. Missiles are automatically fired from the player's ship as aircraft fly overhead. A direct hit appears as a red square on the map.
Players take turns to fire till an entire fleet is sunk and the winner rejoices in a victory sail past.
Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: detailed and atmospheric
Sound: sparse firing effects
Options: definable keys. One or two players plus multi-player tournament
Battle Ships is basically just the same as the pencil 'n' paper game. The graphical display of the action is purely decorative, although it enhances the atmosphere of the battle. Unfortunately, the computer opponent is extremely easy to beat and there are no skill levels, so to get the best out of the game two players are needed. The presentation is excellent with well-drawn ships and an impressive title screen. If you're looking for a game with depth then this isn't it - but as a simple and pretty version of the classic game, Battle Ships works well and is definitely worth a look.
Hooray! My favourite boardgame on the Spectrum (well I've got the electronic version actually). Battle Ships is an excellent boardgame conversion, but it does play slightly differently from the original. Instead of taking one shot and waiting for the opposition to make their move, you have multiple shots at the enemy. This new system makes the game faster and more addictive as you can watch your opponent's ships blowing up, without worrying about which of yours they're going to hit all the time. The graphics are detailed and show all the different ships in all their stages of decomposition. It's a pity that there's no tune and only the odd sound effect when a ship takes a hit, but even without them Battle Ships remains a favourite. Thoroughly addictive.
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