After "re-inventing" Monopoly with a 10-inch electronic tower, Hasbro is giving the classic game of Battleship a similar makeover — infrared tower and all.
Just like Monopoly Live, the $50 Battleship Live uses an infrared light that cloaks the board to "see" what is going on. Players still use coordinates to sink their opponent's ships, but with a few new features. There are now spy planes that can fly around a track and "snoop" on your opponent's ships and to confirm your attack, you cover both of the "confirm" squares on the side of the board momentarily.
A Hasbro demonstrator told us that the tower is supposed to immerse the player into the game, but we felt it only got in the way.
We did a quick demo of the game and weren't particularly impressed by all the added action that was going on. Keeping up all the ongoing action over the incredibly yap-happy plastic tower turned us off to the point we wanted to just smack the thing for being so annoying.
There's a fine line to trying to reinvent a game that needs to be overhauled and one that is perfectly fine being played on graph paper or with little red and white pegs. We think Battleship is better off without the digital facelift.