Like Battleship, but on steroids. Tiny, mobile steroids.
Navy Battle from VU Games Mobile is essentially the game of Battleship I always wished existed when I was a kid. When playing the board game with my siblings, I always wondered why we were limited to guessing just one coordinate at a time. Why wasn't there special abilities to be earned and used, like mega-bombing a 4X4 area or something? This is the way little boy's heads work. Fortunately it seems the good people at European Software Games had similar thoughts were they were young, spawning Navy Battle years later.
For the unfamiliar, Battleship is a classic two-player board game where you're tasked with sinking your opponent's fleet of ships. Both players strategically place their large and small ships on a grid, hidden from their adversary's eyes. Players then take turns guessing coordinates (B5, G1, etc), and, assuming your playing partner was scrupulous, you were informed whether you had a hit or miss.
Navy Battle does include this bare-bones coordinate-guessing game in its classic mode, but also features an Advanced mode, full of all kinds of trickery. Gamers have access to torpedoes and missiles, which can hit entire rows or columns at once, respectively. An airstrike hits all blocks in a 3X3 area, and radar reveals all ships present in a 4X4 area. Lastly, gamers have the ability to move any undamaged ship during their turn, if they so choose.
What's interesting is that each of these special abilities is tied to one of your five hidden ships. If you lose your Aircraft Carrier, you lose the ability to drop an airstrike. It adds a new dynamic to the game. You don't really want to blow all your special weapons at the start, but if you wait, you might lose the ship and lose them altogether.
The single player includes a "campaign" mode which is basically just a series of matches, each just like the one previous. Why not give us some scenarios like being outnumbered, or levels on larger or smaller maps? Additionally, the AI did seem to get smarter as the campaign progressed, but it still made some silly choices, right to the end. I witnessed it guess coordinates that literally no ship could have fit into.
A pass 'n play multiplayer option is also included, which is a nice inclusion. Strange to think that this gigantic board game has been distilled into a tiny mobile download so effectively. It's a shame the "bomb dropping" animation can't be skipped. The well-known "neeeeeeeeeerr" bomb-dropping sound effect and animation get a little old after the 5000th time, especially when you're trying to squeeze in a quick match. At least matches can be saved and resumed, later.
More could have been done with this formula (and more has been done, by other mobile publishers), but I still enjoyed Navy Battle. Your own enjoyment is undoubtedly closely related to how much you enjoyed Battleship back in the day, though.
What's Hot: New ship-sinking weaponry
What's Not: No option to skip animation