Battleship, the classic board game, has been brought into the digital realm on the Nintendo Switch. People have been playing that naval combat game for over 50 years. It’s a favorite of many, myself included. Lots of features make this particular update stand out, but an unfortunate glitch almost sunk the game for me.

Since classic Battleship is so popular, I’m not going to spend much space talking about it. It’s inclusion, sure to delight purists, is but one of many in this iteration. The Commander’s Mode brings some new variations, including different map shapes, special weapons (bombs, mines, etc.) and more.

No matter how you tackle Battleship, you can play it against the computer or in multiplayer. When facing off against the AI opponents you have a choice of challenge. I think medium seems pretty balanced and, save for encountering the odd uncanny game here or there – a 70+ accuracy percentage. This competitive feel aids to some extent with replay value, which in turn means you’ll unlock things (more players and arenas) even faster.

Multiplayer can be enjoyed both locally and online. I always manage to find online competition, a positive definitely worth noting. Multiplayer has you downloading the free ‘Battle Grid Companion’ app so you and your friend can each have private screens; I should mention that the “Local” mode seems to work anywhere. I’ve played friends twenty minutes away, several hours away, etc. Marmalade Game Studio might be advertising this feature modestly. Needing only a single copy of the game to play with friends anywhere is a highly appealing selling point worth emphasizing!

But that glitch I mentioned, it’s a sizable one. After an online match atypically froze, I reset Battleship to find that all of my progress was deleted! All the hours I had invested, my victories, my earned medals, my unlockables, etc. all gone. It’s almost indescribable how gutted I felt.

As far as aesthetics go, for a digital board game the visuals do the trick. There’s not much animation, but the backgrounds are varied, and you’ll unlock even more. Everything looks sharp, and the commanders add some personality. The music is… good enough. While lacking diversity, it adds to the mood the game evokes, even if it is a bit soft. When using the app the aesthetics are toned down. HD rumble is included but feels underutilized.

Battleship is guaranteed entertainment, and this version has several features elevating it beyond a simple board game. My only concern when it comes to replayability and value is the big glitch I encountered. So, even with things to unlock, I have some real pause concerning a solo recommendation. But it’s great in zippy multiplayer, and you don’t need to worry about gathering up small pegs afterward. This isn’t a “best-case scenario” digital version, but no matter how you play it, it’s undeniable that Battleship is still one of the quintessential games.