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U-Build Battleship–a review

November 4, 2010

Pickle wanted to spend his “shoe-tying” money so we went to a local store and bought the U-Build Battleship, one of a line of classic toys with a Lego twist.

I was excited b/c I love the game and had fond memories of the little plastic pegs and cases. He is technically a little young for the game according to the box (7 and up), but we have played online so I thought he could handle it with small changes.

I’m not excited anymore.

Let me say upfront that he loves it and doesn’t see any problems with it.

I, however, have LOTS of problems with it.

1) The game boards themselves have these cardboard supports to help them stand up, but they have to be removed every time you put the game away. A folding option would have been a better choice. The tabs are already getting worn and we have only played three times.

 

2) There is no way to stop the game mid-way through. In the old version with the cases that close you could put them away for a while (If you have not played in a while, it is a long game to play in one sitting).  We have just started covering the board with the box lids.

3) The Lego part of the game allows you to build the ships rather than having them ready-made. You can build according to the plan or make custom ships. If you play according to the rules in the box (we do not) then you can give your ship more “fire power” with a custom ship.  In practice, it makes for a lot of pieces, and every time you make a hit you have to pick up the ship from the game board, remove the lego weapon, and attach a red marker. As you can imagine, the ship does not always end up back where it was supposed to.

 

4) There is no good way to store the game. The way the box is designed it is not clear exactly how the pieces are supposed to fit so it is always a puzzle.

5) If you do play by the rules (I am not sure if I just don’t remember them or if they are new), then you take multiple shots on your turn. For example, if you are firing with your battleship you can call out 5 shots (more if you make a custom ship with additional weapons). There is a whole series of using one color peg to mark the shots and then you have to switch them out based on if it is was a hit or miss. Too many opportunities for mistakes!

I was excited about this line of games, but after this experience I am not sure that I would buy any of the others.

However, it was only $15 so that is something.  After looking on Amazon, I am clearly not alone!

While this is an example of a very poorly-designed toy, I am excited to announce that I will begin posting Mobmom’s 1st annual Boy-Friendly Gift Guide starting next week. Don’t shop until you see this!

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