Sea Battle DSi Review

Published on April 29th, 2014 by Eric Weichhart

Prepare your Nintendo DSi or Nintendo 3DS and get ready to play a board game on your handheld. I enjoyed playing this game when I was a kid and I like the idea of having the chance to play this game again on my console, but does it retain the fun of the original?



Sea Battle Gameplay

The game looks simple, but the gameplay is what matters here.

The game is a digital version of the board game BattleShip. In this game, you and the other player (or the CPU) need to guess the location of the enemy’s ships and destroy its army.

The game is really simple but complex at the same time, and if you played the original board game, you know what I mean. This isn’t a game for everyone because you will need to think sometimes, have some luck and also, some patience.

The controls of the game are well done. You can play with the tactile screen using your stylus or with the standard buttons. The controls are easy to use and work great.

Sea Battle offers three game modes:

♦ Single Player:

The main mode of the game, the one you play with the CPU when you’re alone. You might think this game has basic options, but it actually has a lot:

  • Classic mode: It has the same rules of the original game. You can also choose the two official map sizes of the board game (8×8 and 10×10) and you can only place the ships horizontally or vertically.
  • Modern mode: A remixed version of the board game, adding something different to the formula. In first place, you have more map size options (from 8×8 to 16×14). In addition, you can place your ships diagonally. New stuff in this game would be random beaches and islands (places you can’t put your ships) and mines. If you shoot a mine, you will lose your next turn, adding more ‘party like’ elements.

There are two difficulties:

  • Normal: If you don’t know how to play, this is the recommended mode to play. This mode has little IA and random location choosing, making this a pure luck experience.
  • Expert: A more normal experience, this difficulty feels like you’re playing with someone. It still has the luck factor like from the original game, but the CPU will think like a person would.
Sea Battle Gameplay

The head to head play mode.

♦ Head to Head Mode:

It’s the local multiplayer mode where you can play with a friend, assuming you both have copies of the game. It’s a great way to share experience.

Not having Download Play isn’t something you might think about since the game is really cheap, so it isn’t really needed. Online multiplayer would have been a nice addition too, but it would have also been pointless to add it when the DS and Wii online services will be discontinued.

♦ Mission Mode:

A short single player campaign mode, it’s a nice touch that could make a better experience for those who are tired of the normal gameplay. Sadly, the experience is too short due to the limited amount of missions (four, actually), missing a golden opportunity.

Sea Battle Gameplay

I’m blue, Da Ba Dee Da Ba…

This category of the game is lacking.

The game’s graphics are okay.. just okay. The sprites used in the game are nice but there isn’t a lot of artwork in the game. It’s correct, but it can be better. For example, using different silhouettes for both colors, or a better font on the text boxes. I have to add that the game still looks nice even on the 3DS XL.

The soundtrack of the game is limited however there are ome really nice tracks for the game. They are short and after playing for a few hours, you will get tired of the music. Sound effects are also limited but there is good quality sound.

The presentation is well done. You have different ways to play, the manual is explained well (you can also access it from the menu and learn how to play).

The menu is however quite basic. I also find it lazy that they used an upper image to explain the four missions instead of using a second screen after you’ve entered the mission you wish to play. However, it’s still quite solid overall.

Even without online play (DS/Wii services are shutting down on May 20th), adding the local multiplayer mode was a smart move and it’s cheaper than buying the original game if you already own the console.


Fans of the board game will enjoy playing Sea Battle, finding an identical experience playing with the CPU or with a friend. The modern mode is interesting for those who want something new on this old formula. The presentation isn’t perfect, but the experience is.

New players with patience will find this game interesting as well, but keep in mind that this (and the original board game) isn’t for everyone.

Sea Battle Review Score
Score in text: Gameplay: 80 – Graphics: 60 – Audio: 55 – Presentation: 75 – Final Score: 70.

About Eric Weichhart

Eric enjoys playing video games in his 3DS XL and Wii U. Platform, puzzles and RPG are his favorites. He doesn't care if a game is 1080p or 720p, it only needs to be fun.