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Battleship, a backbencher’s favorite pen-and-pencil pastime, became one of the most popular toys in the mid-70s. This guessing game was first introduced by Clifford Von Wickler before the First World War and was later marketed by Milton Bradley, which reintroduced the pad-and-pencil pastime in an electronic toy format to kids and grownups in 1977. There are other versions of Battleship, including the ever-popular portable toy that has tiny plasticky ships ready to be deployed and red and white pegs to attack the opponent’s ships.
Today, this popular guessing game can be played on the Internet, thanks to several free online Battleship games. What’s more, there are plenty of gameplay variations and improvements that make these games fun and engaging. Of course, one cannot expect the same level of excitement against AI as against a human opponent, still the guesswork and logic by the AI is praiseworthy. Here are some of the top games that pits you against Captain AI or human players (multiplayer) in the virtual grid:
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Battleships: General Quarters
This is one of the most popular Battleship games played on the Internet. The game has a simple interface and has mouse-based controls. It follows the standard rules of the pen-and-paper pastime. The player has to place his ships strategically on the grid first and then do some guesswork to destroy the opponent’s battleship by clicking randomly on a similar-looking grid. The AI is quite impressive here. Once it sniffs a target, it will leave no stone unturned in destroying the remaining parts of the ship or submarine immediately.
The online game has neat visuals. The explosion animations are impressive, so is the water-splash animation when the player misses a target. The ship unit design is quite reminiscent to the plasticky ships of Hasbro’s Battleship, giving you a retro look and feel. When you sink your opponent’s ship, the game will notify you immediately.
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A 3D online game, Warship Strafe is visually appealing to the eye, but is a stripped-down version of the original toy. Nevertheless, the game will win a few hearts due to its uniqueness. Instead of the standard fleet of ships, the game lets you place only three ships on the board.
After deployment, you will see a small attack helicopter hovering over another board. This will be your attack board. Just click on the grid boxes and the helicopter will unleash its firepower on the selected target. The AI has its own fighter jet plane to destroy your fleet of ships. This ongoing battle between your tiny attack chopper and your opponent’s jet plane adds some variation to the standard Battleship rules. Warship Strafe is a fun game. Gameplay is a bit unusual, but the 3D visuals and plenty of surprises will leave you spellbound.
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This 2D online game looks similar to the pencil-and-pad game. The game has two 16x16 grids placed side-by-side. The grid on your right is where you will find randomly-placed fleet of ships whereas the left grid is for attacking the opponent’s ship. You cannot deploy your own ships, which might be disappointing for sure. But if you click the refresh button of your browser, you will find the fleet of ships randomly placed. Every time you refresh the page, you see a completely different setting.
The visuals look exactly like a 2D minesweeper game, with plain two Sudoku-like grids and well-designed ship units. The rules are same, and the gameplay too entertaining, thanks to the advanced AI level. Overall, Battleship Online is one of the best games for those who want to go down memory lane and relive the same oldie-goldie pencil-paper game.
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This online game is quite distinct from other games because of its unique “Torpedo Attack" feature. Besides the standard rules, the game allows players to hit ships with a torpedo by pressing the space bar. You will notice the visuals quite reminiscent of Hasbro's toy Battleship game, where players plot pegs on grids to attack their opponent's ships.
After deploying ships, players (human player and AI) take turns plotting points to attack ships. Once the target is determined and the ship destroyed, the victorious player can opt to destroy the ship completely by firing a torpedo. The player rakes in 100 points only if the ship gets destroyed by the torpedo and not on the game board. The player who reaches 500 points first wins the game. Now, that’s something unique and interesting!
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This is a must-play game for all die-hard fans of free online Battleship games. Lots of variations have been added to this game, which makes it more interesting than other games on the Internet. Besides the usual seek-and-destroy mechanics, players can hunt down for additional power-ups that lie hidden within “Powerup Pods" – randomly generated green-colored squares. Gamers will have to hit the squares to unearth a unique power-up, which could be anything from an extra ship or submarine to chain bombs that can wreck havoc on the opponent’s ship. Another feature is the number of turns per player, which starts with 5 turns and gradually diminishes by one turn lest a ship gets destroyed by the opponent.
If you find a power-up that can unleash five bombs at once, you can use it in one turn on a location you feel may hide a submarine, destroyer or a patrol boat. This will save you from wasting your remaining turns. The game is fun, especially with the additional features and a unique turn-based combat.