Battleship Slots from WMS Gaming
Battleship Slots is a WMS Gaming 5-reel slot machine found at casinos throughout North America. Paylines can be 20, 30, or 40, depending on the game options you select. Casinos throughout Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Tunica have versions of the gaming machine. So do certain tribal gaming casinos. An online version of Battleship slots can be found at websites which use Williams Interactive software. This page reviews both versions of the game.
The slot machine's theme is based on a Parker Brothers board game, but the artwork and animations have a broader focus. Like the board game, depictions include World War II era battleships. The game also features pinup art of the World War II era, which makes the slot machine more visually compelling. With popular features like a Colossal Reels, people who enjoy WMS Gaming machines are likely to enjoy Battleship. Unique features like the Battle Board Feature should enhance that enjoyment.
About the Battleship Board Game
The board game Battleship dates back to World War I era France. The 2-player game was played under several different names, including "Battleships" and "Sea Battle". For two generations, it was not played the way 21st century game enthusiasts might imagine. Instead, Battleship was a "pen and pencil game" played mainly in France.
After millions of Americans and British soldiers visited France during World War II, the game began to gain broader popularity as an informal game in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1967, the gaming company Milton Bradley sold the first board game named Battleship. This was the game modern players know today, which contains a plastic game board and plastic game pieces.
The game board has a small partition which hides each player's game pieces. Each side takes turns trying to guess the location of the other players' ships. These ships consist of large battleships, smaller destroyers, and even smaller transports. To begin, players simply guess the location of enemy ships. These ships are located on a grid, so players call out a grid location (for instance, "E5") they want to target.
If their opponent's ship sits on that grid location, they call out "hit". If it doesn't, they simply say "miss". Players take turns calling out locations, one at a time. Once a hit is registered, the player uses deduction to find and destroy the enemy ships, because other nearby grid locations also should contain parts of the ship, which are 3 to 5 grid spaces long. If all spaces a ship occupies are hit, the player tells their opponent that the ship is destroyed. In the 1970s commercial, one player tells another, "You sank my battleship!"
Music and Animations
The music on Battleship Slots evokes the Big Band swing music of the 1940s. It is much different than the musical selections on most other brick-and-mortar or online slot machines. While the music might be from the World War 2 era, we have a passing familiarity with the genre and we've never heard the tunes. One of the songs sounds like a version of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", though.
The animations are first rate. Imagine WWII pinup art and that's what you can expect to see. The most commonly seen picture is a woman in a sailor-themed outfit, though it's a bit more revealing than most sailor outfits you've ever seen. Anyone who enjoys the fashions of the 1940s should enjoy the artwork and animations. Some of the pinup girls bore a passing resemblance to specific Hollywood starlets of the time, though this is not a licensed product.
Bonus Rounds and Base Game Themes
Battleship Slots has three bonus rounds. These are as follows.
- Bomber's Run Bonus
- Free Spins Victory Bonus
- Find and Conquer Bonus
It also has several base game themes which enhance the player's enjoyment, such as the Periscope Pays, Commanding Officer, Brigade, and Grand Armada themes.
In brick-and-mortar casinos, players have the option to play in team contests. Players become a part of "Team Red" or "Team Blue". When you walk up to the slot machine bank, you'll have the option to play either one. The competition requires you to sink the ships of the players on their other team. The winners receive bonus rewards.
The main reel on the game is 5x4, which is one of several standard reel sizes. The Colossal Reel feature offers a 5x12 reels on the right side of the screen. This side reel spins while your main game plays, offering a chance for many other paylines to activate on any given spin. What makes the Colossal Reel so nice on Battleship is the inclusion of the "Full Reel Wild" feature, which is discussed among the Spin Enhancements listed below.
WMS Gaming offers several "spin enhancements" on the game. These include wild symbols, free spins, and multiplier. Let's discuss each of these enhancements.
When the "Spin Enhancement" mode appears, an additional pop-up graphic appears. This contains a 5x4 grid of icons. The icons cannot be seen, but are revealed when you touch them on the touchscreen. You're told to choose three enhancements. In our experience, players receive bonus enhancements as they go. For instance, the "5 Free Spins" bonus might offer the "+1x Feature", too. In reality, most players are likely to receive 4 to 5 enhancements on their bonus game. Once these are chosen, the player receives all features they have chosen in the bonus game.
Full Reel Wild
The Full Reel Wild feature is an expanding reel symbol. When it hits, all four icons on that reel are filled with wild symbols. This is a powerful spin enhancement, because it also fills spaces on the Colossal Reel. That's a whopping 12 reel spaces for a total of 16 wild symbols at a time. This makes the Full Reel Wild a volatile and exciting game feature.
Five of these symbols appear during Spin Enhancement selection process. That means your odds of having the Full Reel Wild symbol in play are pretty good. If you can collect two or more of these in the bonus mode, you should max out the non-jackpot payouts. With a 25% chance of collecting one on a pick and 3 to 5 selections, the chances are roughly 50% to trigger the Full Reel Wild feature. That means your odds are roughly 25% to activate two of them.
That is not the only wild feature working towards your advantage. A basic wild symbol is one of the selectable options in Battleship Slots. The basic wild icon is not as good to have as the Full Reel Wild, because it represents a single space on the reels. For that reason, players might be disappointed to see the wild symbol by itself. Still, this symbol substitutes for any other symbol on the game.
To give you an indication of what you might activate, basic wild symbol options we've seen among the Spin Enhancements are "5 Wilds", "4 Wilds", and "2 Wilds". As mentioned before, this symbol might appear alongside the bonus feature. Two of the twenty squares contains both.
This simply provides a player with an additional spin enhancement. While it is helpful in the pre-game process, it provides no help once the reels start spinning.
Spin x2 Multiplier
The spin (x2) multiplier doubles the number of coins you win on your spins. It's one of the best features to have when the bonus game starts.
Several of the enhancement are bonus coins. In this case, you receive no in-game advantage. Instead, you collect 200 coins, 400 coins, or 800 coins. Higher coin options might exist, but we haven't seen it in our Battleship Slots gaming experience.
Battleship Spins Bonus
The Battleship Spins Bonus allows gamblers to pick an opponent. The player is allowed to select 1 of 5 pinup girls, who range from brunette to blonde to redhead. Selecting an opponent activates either the Battleship Bonus, the Submarine Bonus, or both.
Battleship Spins lets you take aim at aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers, and patrol boats. Players sink ships by firing torpedoes at the ships at the top of the screen. The bigger the boat hit, the higher the bonus you receive. The bonuses are 1250 coins for a patrol boat, 2500 for a destroyer, 5000 for a battleship, and 12,500 for an aircraft carrier. Like in the board game, the bigger boats require more hits to trigger the prize, so the chances of getting a smaller prize is greater.
In the Submarine Spin Mode, the player commands a destroyer which is dropping depth charges in hopes of hitting a submarine. The more subs you hit, the more you win. This bonus game looks more like the main game, with both the main reels and colossal reels spinning. The pace is frenetic and you receive many chances to hit submarines.
We mentioned before that you can play both games at once. This happens when you select one of the pinup girls who corresponds to both. When you make a selection, the machine shows what each girl would have unlocked. When both game modes are happening at one, the Battleship Spins take place at the top of the screen, while the Submarine Spins take place at the bottom of the screen.
Colossal Reel pay tables have notoriously low payouts. That is the main complaint you'll hear about with Battleship Slots and it's a legitimate complaint. The possibility of a big hit exists, but it's small compared to games with one single reel.
At the same time, this game has plenty of features and a high win rate. The chance to activate 2 or 3 Full Reel Wild symbols at once all-but-assures a payout of more than 10,000 coins at a time. That happens frequently enough that no one should complain too much. Just about any gambler is going to be excited to walk out of the casino with 10,000 times their initial wager.
Some gamblers complain that the videos are not short or condensed enough. That is a rookie error to complain about such things. Slots gamblers play (in part) for the entertainment value of the game. The cut videos are a big part of the entertainment factor. More importantly, drawing out the game is better for the player, because they face a high house edge in slots row. Anything which speeds up play, such as the autoplay feature and shorter cut videos, is an advantage for the gambler. The WMS Gaming and Williams Interactive game designers on Battleship Slots therefore do you a favor by adding less condensed videos.