As an avid gamer, I’ve become jaded. I wouldn’t normally give a second thought to the classic games that I played as a child. I assume they’ll be boring or inane. When last year’s designer strategy games are old news, how can a 40-year-old title compete? Fortunately, though, Hasbro sent me a copy of Classic Battleship Movie Edition and its small model spaceships hooked me in to giving it a try.

As the name implies, Classic Battleship Movie Edition is pretty much the game you remember. It’s a guessing game, where the two players are trying to find each other’s ships on a hidden battle grid marked A through J and 1 to 10. (You knew that, right?) In this Movie Edition, one player is the navy with an aircraft carrier, battleship, Japanese destroyer, American destroyer, and RHIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat). The other player gets five alien ships: a flagship, heavy ordnance craft, red storm stinger, blue shredder stinger, and small assault ship. (I am such a sucker for miniature space ships!)

The Movie Edition also gives each player a deck of 24 cards to play two variants of Battleship called Special Ops, basic and advanced. Rather than always calling out one shot per turn, players, depending on which card they play on a turn, may also call multiple shots, scan a row for the number of coordinates containing a ship, blitz a row or column to hit all coordinates in a line, force their opponents to reveal a hit, or automatically sink anything they hit. In the basic version, one card is flipped each turn, telling players what they can do that turn. In the advanced version, players can accumulate hands of cards, and then decide which they want to play.

Either way, I think the Special Ops cards are a fantastic addition to the game. Instead of a boring back-and-forth (miss, miss, miss, hit, miss…), the game becomes a lot more dynamic and, while adding a bit of randomness, the cards also add a bit of strategy. That is because in order to take full advantage of some of the cards, players must have certain ships still afloat. For example, if one’s battleship is sunk, then a row blitz card reverts to a single shot. This means that the choice of whether to finish off one ship from an opponent, or focus on locating the others, can be an important decision. If required to reveal a hit, it may even make sense for a player to scuttle a ship rather than reveal the location of one yet undiscovered.

Classic Battleship Movie Edition isn’t going to replace any deep strategy titles at adult game night, but it’s a great game for kids, I’ve been having a lot of fun playing it with my daughter, and I’ll be happy to play it again.