Teyon’s newest game is for the good old Nintendo DSi and the DSiWare service, something that has all but been abandoned by most developers. And with some of the games being released in the eShop looking like they could have easily been DSiWare titles, including lacking 3D support, that is a shame.
But Teyon’s Sea Battle, while solid in the gameplay, game mechanics and look, has a few quirks which drag it under.
If you’ve ever played the board game Battleship you’ll know exactly what to expect from this title. The game isn’t marketed that way though as the developers clearly don’t have the license to do so, but that is what you’re getting. So if you’ve ever played it you’ll have no trouble getting started, though there are a few neat additions to the game. More on that in a bit.
Single player will allow you to play random matches with the game’s AI. You have the option of choosing classic mode or modern mode. Classic mode is just what you’d expect and it truest to the actual game. You’ll have a choice of either 8×8 or 10×10 battlefields, can place each of your five boats (vertically or horizontally) and then get on the blind missile shooting. There is also the choice of easy or expert difficulty.
The real fun comes from the modern mode where you are given a lot more options. Not only are there 8×8 and 10×10 to choose from, but you are also given even larger sizes with the biggest battlefield choice being 16×14. You will have the usual ships to choose from but depending on how large an area you select you may have up to ten ships in your fleet. There are also randomly generated land masses to work around, a single square fighter jet in some instances, and mines floating in the water. Should you or your opponent hit one of these mines the next turn will be skipped. This mode also lets you place your ships diagonally, which makes it tougher to locate on the board.
One thing that really detracts from the game and caused me a bit of frustration is the AI of the opponents. While it often ended up in my favour I felt that my opponent was … well stupid at times. When you play the game and you get a hit the first thing you do is attack every square surrounding the initial strike to find and sink the rest of the ship. This doesn’t always happen as, more often than not, the computer opponent will get two strikes in a row and then start firing on random spots around the board. Good for me, but what is my opponent doing?
Another thing that really started to annoy me is in the mission levels. There are four missions to complete, but it was the third one that was my hangup. In this one you are tasked with sinking your entire enemy fleet (consisting of five ships) while you only have one carrier in your own fleet. In other words you have to make 14 strikes while your opponent has to make 5. That doesn’t seem too bad, but in nearly EVERY attempt at the level my opponent managed to find and strike my battle ship in the second or third shot. This is despite the fact that this level is played on a 12×12 battlefield with 144 possible shots.
One nice touch the game does have is that during mission modes you can strike lucky items, which give you powerups. These range from torpedoes you can shoot to strike several spots at once, multiple shot missiles so you can hit a larger are in a single shot and even a radar pass to get a blip on the screen of each of your opponents ships. The game also supports not only d-pad play to choose your shots but you can also use the touch screen.
The game does support multiplayer, but you and a friend will both have to have a copy of the game. While that’s surely a downer, considering the game is just 200 DSiPoints (or $1.99 in the 3DS eShop) that’s not that big of a deal. There is no online multiplayer, but Nintendo is going to be ending support for online gameplay, matchmaking and leaderboards for DS games (including DSiWare titles) next month anyway. So that is understandable.
If you enjoy playing the boardgame Battleship you should check this one out. Just be ready, it is a bit slowly paced.