U-Build Battleship: Hit or Miss?
Once we got going, it was an interesting experience trying to explain shooting strategy to my six-year-old, who often took shots in spaces that were too small to contain a boat, or diagonally from the last hit. To mark hits in this version, you pull off a weapon and replace it with a red Lego cone. It's nice to look at, but lengthens the game some because of the time it takes to remove and replace pieces.
Later, during game night, a couple high schoolers saw the box and wanted to give it a shot. I asked them for their opinions afterward. While they liked the customization aspect of the game, they both agreed that they missed having a way to track where the opponent had been shooting. (In this version, you only mark on the ships when they've been hit; the misses aren't marked anywhere on your own board.) They also ran out of white pegs—though I told them that just meant they were lousy shots. Finally, they complained that the target grids were too small, making it hard to remove the pegs. I'd noticed that myself when putting the game away—the holes are too close together to comfortably pull the pegs out, and some of them fit in pretty tightly. They're sized to fit over the little container for the pegs and spare Lego bits, but it would have been nice to incorporate it into the ocean grid somehow.
In the end, I like the idea of the custom ships and I do like the multiple-shots rule, but I was disappointed in the quality of the ocean grid board. It just doesn't seem like it's going to last, whereas my sister's hard-case Battleship is probably still in fine shape as long as she can find all the pegs. The Lego ships can be fun to build, as long as you're willing to get them put together before you play the game. In the end it may boil down to this: how much do you like Lego, and how much do you want to just play the game? For my part, I might rather stick with classic Battleship and the newer Lego board games instead.
U-Build Battleship and Hasbro's other U-Build board games are available from Amazon or your local toy store.
Wired: Build your own Lego ships, customize them with weapons, and sink your opponent's ships.
Tired: The board isn't made to last; peg board is a bit small for larger fingers; Lego-based ships make the game longer to play.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of U-Build Battleship.