Battleship for NES and Game Gear is an adaptation of the pen and paper battleship game that puts its own spin on the concept. The ship lineup is unique in designations and sizes, the grid is 12 by 8 instead of the standard 10 by 10, and only one shot can be made per turn regardless of if it hits or not. Major changes from the classic game are a level structure and special weapons. The game contains eight larger levels, consisting of five sub-stages each, with passwords awarded after a successful battle. Each main level adds a new gameplay element: either a new ship (submarine and carrier are not available from the start) or a new weapon for an existing ship. The special weapons fire many missiles many points across a set grid, for instance in an X pattern. The bigger the ship, the larger the grid area. Each ship can only shoot its special missile once per game and if the ship carrying the weapon is destroyed then the weapon becomes unusable. Later stages add reconnaissance weapons: a sonar that can only detect the submarine and an aerial recon that can spot any ship.