Reviewed: July 9, 2009
Released: March 18, 2009
Founded in 1923, Hasbro (then called Hassenfeld Brothers) predominantly made school supplies. In the next few decades they expanded to children's toys including doctor kits and eventually the ever popular Mr. Potato Head. Hasbro was wise enough to know that boys don't play with dolls, and before long I was playing with G.I. Joe action figures.
As with most successful companies, at some point they reach a stage when the financial climate is right to start gobbling up competitors and their intellectual property. Which is what happened in 1984 when Hasbro acquired Milton Bradley, makers of Yahtzee and other popular board games.
Hasbro has continued to be wildly successful, to the tune of over 3 billion dollars in revenue. They have adapted to new technologies with the changing times, with many of their IP's ported over to video game systems for the current generation and plenty of good product placement in movies like Toy Story.
Battleship was one of my favorite games as a kid. Especially as a male, I of course found great pleasure in seek and destroy games – with heavy emphasis on destroy. I remember sneakily moving my ships around when my opponent had guessed correctly. Of course the person who made the best bomb noise also got props.
Hasbro Family Game Night on Xbox Live Arcade offers a common apartment game room interface to launch all their games. When you start up HFGN you are greeted with a Welcome menu which you can choose from local play, Xbox Live play, or you can look at the leaderboards, achievements, and options. Up to 4 people can play locally or online. Once you pick your game type, you chose your game. Currently, HFGN includes Yahtzee, Boggle, Connect 4, Sorry, Sorry Sliders, Scrabble, and Battleship.
When you select your game, your host Mr. Potato Head flies off to the apartment game table and sets up the game board. He is somewhat helpful during the game... he never speaks, but he will give certain facial and verbal expressions that sometimes can give you hints that what you just did was significant.
The goal of Battleship is to be the first to sink your opponent's fleet. To sink a ship you must hit all the units that make up the ship. A fleet is made up of 5 vessels of different units: Aircraft Carrier (5 hits), Battleship (4), Cruiser (3), Submarine (3), and Destroyer (2). You set up your ships by placing them vertically or horizontally on the bottom “ocean” grid. Once the game starts, your ships will be invisible and revealed only once sunk. You begin by selecting a square on the upper target grid to target your shot, and fire. At the end of the turn, your shot will be revealed as a hit or miss.
Game modes include:
Xbox Live play is fairly limited but not by the game as such. It's not that easy to find people playing these classic board games online. While that is almost certainly a factor of the cost to get these games, it also can be attributed to the simplicity of these games. There just isn't much here to hold your attention – especially if full games like Sonic, Lego Star Wars or others are available.
The graphics in Hasbro Family Game Night are clean and fun. You can choose from 5 room themes (Jungle, Girls Room, Secret Agent, Boys Room, and the default Modern). The additional rooms are a free download and take about 30mb of hard drive space for each theme. Each theme has unique graphics and sounds. In Battleship the game boards are remarkably accurate to the original right down the the pockets on the sides to hold the ships and pegs. It brings back great memories. Ships explode and sink and the water splashes when you miss.
Each downloaded room theme has it's own music. The music is fun at first, but quickly gets repetitive and annoying. The same could be said for Mr. Potato Head. His “woohoo” expressions and various sighs can be helpful for gameplay, but usually prove to be an annoyance at best. Thankfully, all of the above can be turned off in the options menu. Battleship has the unique sounds of bombs and explosions so that adds to the fun.
There are significant items to win or download in Hasbro Family Game Night. The room themes are available for free to download. The game trophies go in your room trophy case for you to enjoy. Additionally you can win certain furnishings for your apartment like themed pillows and other items.
Hasbro Family Game Night offers 1,400 achievement points. Each game has 20 achievements which can all be earned over the normal life of playing the games. However some of them are extremely rare occurrences. Achievements such as rolling a Yahtzee (5 dice of the same value) on the first roll are lucky beyond measure.
The individual games in Hasbro Family Game Night are 800 Microsoft Points each. That is a little pricey. These are simple games which are nice for rainy days when the family is cooped up indoors, but these are not games that people generally will play over and over again. The price should easily be half of what they are charging.
Hasbro Family Game Night is a good family game for rainy days. It is especially good for families with younger kids who wouldn't do well with group games like Scene It. Hasbro once again bridges the gap between generations with Hasbro Family Game Night. If you are a fan of any of these games, it will be a “must purchase”. However, at a steep 800 points each, choose your purchases wisely.