The missiles whistle through the air. One of your ships suffers a devastating hit – chaos ensues on deck. As commander of the fleet, it’s up to you to launch a counter-strike. You ready some missiles of your own and give the order. They launch into the air, arcing gracefully before…
“Miss.” You curse your luck. And while you don’t show it, you’re all too aware that you’re fighting a losing battle. You wipe the sweat off of your brow and brace yourself for another attack.
If only playing Battleship was as epic as we make it sound, but board games aren’t exactly known for their tactile interfaces and immersive gameplay. And while we wait for a video game adaptation worthy of the name Battleship (with particular emphasis on “battle”), we can at least enjoy some online fun. Here is how to play Battleship online.
A History of Tabletop Warfare
For those of you who may not be aware of what exactly Battleship is – (and we’re sure that there must be very few of you) – it’s a popular board game made for two players who “strategically position” their battleships on their respective sides of the board, unaware of the placement of the enemy’s fleet.
After this, the game is played out in turns, and each player is allowed to launch one missile per turn. Regardless of whether or not the missile hits, the player marks that position on a graph to avoid striking at the same coordinates.
The game ends when one of the players’ entire fleet is destroyed. But while smart pregame placement can increase your chances of victory, the game is typically won by the player who simply makes the best calls.
Bringing Tabletop Naval Combat Online
If the urge to launch a full-scale naval assault ever strikes you while you’re browsing the web, then you’re in luck. There are a few options available to you, each of them catering to your unique penchant for naval warfare. Let’s take a look at where you can go to scratch this very special itch of yours.
So far, with regards to browser iterations of the classic board game, battleshiponline.org is our top pick, mostly due to its presentation. Let’s be clear though, you’re still not getting Call of Duty here – this is still a browser game, after all. But if you’re looking for a quick fix, this lovely little site will do you no wrong.
You won’t be able to play against your mates, unfortunately, but there’s a pretty smart AI for you to engage with. There are two game modes available to you: Classic and Advanced.
The former plays out exactly like its table-top counterpart, while the latter features power-ups which can give you – or your opponent – an edge on the battlefield – er, ocean.
There are no costs involved, which means you can pretty much launch this bite-sized browser game at any time without worry.
Our next pick, unfortunately, does not have the benefit of a great presentation like our first choice, but it does get extra points for allowing you to play against a friend.
A simple grid-based interface harkens back to the earliest iterations of the classic board game, which can be good or bad, depending on who you ask. You have the option of randomizing the placement of your ships, but there aren’t any other game modes.
To play with a friend, all you need to do is select the “friend” field beneath the “Opponent” heading, then copy the link provided and send it to your best mate. Really, it’s as simple as that.
We’re not really sure what naval combat has to do with mathematics, but mathisfun.com seems to be better informed than us, apparently.
Really, we’re including this final choice of browser-based naval warfare as a courtesy and to nicely round out our list. There are no special features here – if anything, the game is pretty stripped down, and you only have access to four pieces.
In all fairness, however, this iteration of Battleship is probably meant for kids, so if you’ve got a little scamp running around your house, they might enjoy this. Maybe.
Naval warfare has never been easier thanks to these browser games. There are no costs involved in any of them, which makes them an economically-viable distraction if you’re stuck in the office all day. We hope to have informed and entertained. Good luck, commander.