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PalmInfoCenter.com Bottom Line:

The Price:
  • $8
The Pros:
  • Fun
  • Colorful
  • Lots of options

The Cons:
  • Takes a lot of space
  • Annoying intro screen
  • IR mode is awkward

PalmInfoCenter.com Ratings*:
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*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms



Ultimate Battle Fleet Review
By Pepper
12/5/2001


Overview
Ultimate Battle Fleet is a new Battle Ship game from Big Hairy Palm. It has all the classic features of Battle Ship, plus a two player IR mode.

Game Play
Ultimate Battle Fleet is like any other form of Battle Ship: you try to sink your opponent's pieces before he sinks yours. First you place your pieces. Placing the pieces can be a little difficult because you can't turn a ship unless there are no other ships interfering. Sometimes this can make it rather time consuming to get your pieces placed. On a monochrome device it's also rather hard to see the pieces when they aren't selected, making it quite difficult to set up a game.

Once your pieces are set, you shoot. You can fire up to nine shots per turn and your opponent can do the same. Over the course of the game your available shots go down which seems to make the game slightly more challenging. If your shot makes it you'll see a skull and hear a ping noise. If you miss, the square becomes orange and you get another small sound effect. Once one player has sunk all their opponent's ships the game is over and you get a picture showing your victory or an announcement of your loss.

The game also has an extensive list of options. You can turn animations on and off, change the difficulty settings, and toggle sound effects, along with several other things. There's also an option to change your set of ships; this can make the game a bit more interesting since it provides a bit of variety.

IR Mode
If you want you can set up the game to play with another player via infrared. I was really excited about this feature at first, but after a little use found it rather awkward.

To play, you set up your pieces and hit go. The game sends your data to the other Palm and waits to receive the other player's data. Once they send it you must confirm that you want the data and then you get to place your shots. Then, every time you want to fire, you have to wait for the other player and confirm the data. If both players accidently try to send game data at the same time, one player will get an error and he'll have to try sending the information again.

The entire game takes forever in this mode and it really isn't fun. I understand the Palm OS doesn't allow many options for IR games and I don't blame the developers for that. But I do think IR is a rather useless option so try not to look forward to it that much.

Graphics
In color the game has fair graphics, not too simple but not overly complex. On monochrome, however, the graphics are horrible. As mentioned earlier, setting up the pieces is very difficult in monochrome. The rest of the game is still playable in greyscale, although the graphics aren't stunning

Miscellaneous
Aside from the usual, there are a few other things about this game which should be mentioned. The game takes up 252k. Some people may find that a bit much but if you have an expansion card don't worry. Also, there is the annoying entrance screen. Whenever you play the game you need to wait through a rather long intro screen. Unfortunately, there is no option to turn the intro screen off.

Another minor annoyance is that the registration option never goes away. In fact, you can go in and accidently un-register it. Not really a problem, although it is kind of annoying.

Conclusion
Ultimate Battle Fleet is a fairly good game, although it certainly has drawbacks. At $8 it's definitely at a good price point, although you should evaluate it yourself before buying a copy.

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IR just implemented clumsily

bcombee @ 12/5/2001 7:13:58 PM #
Having the IR confirmation dialog means that the developer took the easy way and used the standard Exchange Manager for handling moves. This might make sense to get something out there, but there are better IR modes available that allow operation without dialogs. Look at Biplane Ace from Astraware for a game allowing IR play without annoyances.

RE: IR just implemented clumsily
GregGaub @ 12/6/2001 1:06:24 AM #
Race Fever is also a good example of well done IR modes. It's cool to race somone, and see their car pass you, and pass them. After the initial synchonization, there's no noticible difference than playing the computer racers.
-Greg

RE: IR just implemented clumsily
mtg101 @ 12/6/2001 4:53:20 AM #
Actually the confirm dialog needn't be shown while using the exchange manager, a developer can overide it show it doesn't show.

Used in this way the exchange manager would be ideal for a turn based game like this.


Cheers
Russell

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russ@russb.fsnet.co.uk
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Diga ao Falante pelos Mortos
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Ultimate Battle Fleet

realcat 2003 @ 4/23/2003 7:30:58 AM #
I want to become this game free for my PDA, a Palm Vx

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