App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Battleship App Poster Image
Classic remake adds new strategy to the ship hunting game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can use strategy to make smart in-game choices. They will also need to decide how to budget their energy for special moves in the Commander mode.

Ease of Play

In-game hints help players as they get started and game play is simple.


Simulated battle game asks players to "fire" on other ships, display destroyed ships, and includes mention of weapons like bombs and mines. No blood or gore's shown/


Additional ships, maps, and captains are available as in-app purchases without adult approval. This is based on the classic board game of the same name.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Battleship is an enhanced version of the classic two-player strategy game for iOS and Android devices. It's a simulated battle where players take turns firing at enemy ships. There's mention of weapons (bombs, mines, etc.) and images of ships being destroyed, but no blood or gore. Kids under the age of 16 are encouraged to get adult approval before playing, but access requires answering a multiple-choice math problem. Kids may be tempted by in-app purchases that offer additional boards ("arenas") and commanders, each of which has a special weapon not available otherwise. Commanders are $3.99 and arenas are $2.99 with discounts available for bundles purchases. Female commanders are only available via in-app purchase, and there are no options for people of color. The game has a single player mode (against AI), online against strangers, and online with friends. There's no chat option for online play, but players can create/edit their own user names, so questionable content may appear. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

At the core, BATTLESHIP is much as you might remember it from childhood. Players place 5 hidden "ships" on a grid and take turns dropping bombs on the opponent's grid to uncover and therefore "sink" each ship. This version ups things a notch by including alternative boards to the traditional 5x5 grid, as well as a new "Commander Mode." Commander mode adds in ships with new shapes and the ability to use sonar, mines, bombs, and one special ability (specific to the Commander chosen) to help unearth and sink your opponent's ships while protecting your own. Each skill requires a certain amount of energy (rewarded each round and when your own ships are hit), so players must decide whether to save it for more powerful attacks, or use it right away for quick advantage. Players can play solo against AI, online against a randomly assigned opponent, or via an online connection with a friend (via a game code). Solo mode has three difficulty levels: easy, medium, and hard.

Is it any good?

Not all board games translate well to an app version, but this classic fave certainly shines with its new app-based gameplay. Some purists may prefer to play only the classic version of Battleship. That version has been included in this game as well, and if you're looking for the traditional game, it's here in its digital glory. But the new Commander mode is a great addition to the game that would have been difficult to implement in a strictly offline situation. The new ship shapes change things up since it's not always as easy to figure out where to fire your next shot. Similarly, the addition of new weapons and unique Commander abilities places a much needed twist on the standard strategy formula. And fortunately, there isn't a lot of pressure around in-app purchases or ads for other games. The only disappointing aspect is that players need to pay more (especially iin a paid app) for a female character, and that they have no options at all to be a Commander of color. But if you're looking for a way to sink your opponent's ships in a fun, entertaining way, Battleship will let you fire away without getting your feet or devices wet.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about strategy. What strategies can you use to increase your odds of winning?

  • What role do real battleships play in historical/current military actions? Does your family know anyone who serves or has served on a battleship?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love board games

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