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Subject: Alternate version or separate game entirely? rss

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Jan Tuts
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Hi, I'm new here.
I was in the middle of adding my games to my profile, when I got to a 1995 game called "Super Sea Battle" by Saitek, which is unlisted, but which bares much resemblance to the listed 1995 game "Voice Sea Battle II", also by Saitek.

Here are some images of the exact same game I have, that I've found online (I can't make pictures of my game right now, maybe tomorrow) in comparison to those of Voice Sea Battle II found here on BGG.
As you will see, the base and vertical board are the same, apart from the colour and decals. However, the actual electronic console in the middle of the base is very different. Apart from that, the only difference I can see, is the theme (space and sea VS land and sea), the box (quite obviously...) and the fact that, if I'm not mistaken, Voice Sea Battle II seems to feature "voice commands", while my game just makes beep-boop (input), whistle (falling missile) and crash (explosion) sounds. Both games have a solo-play feature where you battle the CPU.








So,
Question 1:
Are "Super Sea Battle" and "Voice Sea Battle II" just different versions of the same game, or separate games altogether?

Which leads me to Question 2:
Aren't these Saitek games just different version of Electronic Battleship and Electronic Talking Battleship, respectively, but from another maker/publisher? They have the same amount of rows/columns, same size ships (apart from the Land or Space vehicles) and are, in effect, just electronic versions of Battleship.

WHICH leads me to Question 3:
Aren't both Saitek games AND Battleship, Electronic Battleship and Electronic Talking Battleship actually the same game, but just different version and/or publishers? What actually defines what is a different game altogether? (I'm not saying all Battleship-like games ARE Battleship, as many games on this list (click here) actually change stuff like grid size, grid shape (hex, ...), 3D-play, etc...)

I've noticed that Monopoly and Monopoly: Electronic Banking are separate games, but the only difference between those is the use of paper money versus a bank card, is it not? Wouldn't that just make it a more modern version of the same game? Likewise, themed version of Monopoly are listed as separate games, while they only appear to be superficially, visually different. (Maybe some cards and prices have changed, I don't know about that...)
On the other hand, Chess lists Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Marvel, Muppet, ... themed chess games as simply different versions of the same game.
I also have another game in my possession, called BoardScript, which is essentially Scrabble and is thus listed as a different version of the same game, EVEN THOUGH the board layout isn't entirely the same: notice the layout of the pink squares on the BoardScript board (left) versus those on the Scrabble board (right).



PS: I'm not trying to be difficult here, I'm trying to be precise, so that any future entries or edits I make, will be correct.
PPS: Anyone's answer is great, but I'd really appreciate it if an admin (or similar) could answer these questions.
 
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Albert Hernandez
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Greenville
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I don't know the answer to all the questions, but I know there is a specific rule about Monopoly, called the Monopoly_Fiat. It can get really tricky to enter games some times. I know the official opinion has changed over time.

There is no clear cut answer that can apply to every game. It isn't always obvious if a game is the same as another or not, unless you have personall experience with both.

For example, if a new version of Carcassonne is released which includes 12 extra tiles is it a different game? Well, if the tiles add a new mechanic of auctioning, then maybe it is justified in being a game, but if it is just 12 tiles with slightly different terrain, then maybe it's not a new game.

Generally speaking if the only real difference is theme, then they are the same game and should be merged and that sounds like what you are talking about.
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Differences in rules and game play (including things like player count or containing an expansion) warrant a different game entry. If the difference is cosmetic (artwork, theme, publisher, fancier components), it's a version of the other game.


The game description of
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/4781/electronic-talki...

gives some information on why it is different from http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/4122/electronic-battl...

including
Quote:
- Solo play against the computer
- Alternate game play rules such as salvo fire


Monopolies are separate because of the Fiat, as noted by fractaloon. Rethemes of Chess that only change artwork but don't offer new rules or change game play are versions of Chess.

Scrabble/BoardScript - if you have information about how the game play is different and you feel it should be a separate game, you can submit a correction, detailing your reasons, and it will be reviewed by an admin. There are sometimes games that were lumped together that, upon further investigation, were really different and were separated.
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Jan Tuts
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Sorry for the late response, I've been very busy lately...

Thank you both for you input on this matter!

I've done some more research and I've found some more similar games, most importantly this game, called "Sea & Space Battle" by RadioShack, which is nearly exactly the same as my game EXCEPT for the fact that it has the oddly shaped space ships instead of land vehicles. (Source: Ebay)


Along with what you two said, I've come up with these facts and conclusions:

Facts:
– 1.
"Electronic Sea Battle" is not the same as “Electronic Battleship”, as the first features salvo and live-action modes, which the latter does not.

— 2.
“Super Sea Battle” (my game) also features these salvo and live-action modes, but it’s land vehicles cannot be placed the same way as it’s ships, thus creating an entirely different way to play and can therefore not be considered simply another version of "Electronic Sea Battle".
(When using land vehicles, you automatically know that adjacent hits cannot be 2 different vehicles, because those targets are always at least spaces 2 apart due to the design of the pieces. Their larger design also limits the amount of possible placements and of the vehicles.)

– 3.
“Space & Sea Battle” is not the same as “Super Sea Battle” (my game), because the space vehicles have a very different shapes and sizes than both games’ ships and my game’s land vehicles (same reasons as before)

— 4.
Voice Sea Battle II” (talking game) is not the same as “Electronic Talking Battleship”, again because of the new shapes and sizes of the space vehicles creating an entirely different way to play (similar to point 2.)


my conclusions in short:
— A.
Voice Sea Battle II” and “Super Sea Battle” (my game) are definitely separate games (compared to each other and all Battleship-like games currently listed on BoardGameGeek)

— B.
“Voice Sea Battle II” is nothing more than an updated version of ”Space & Sea Battle”, as the only differences are voice clip sounds -vs- beep-boop sounds and other cosmetics (nothing game-changing)


If you agree, I will proceed to upload everything I've found


PS: about Scrabble/BoardScript; I do believe they are the same game, even though those 8 squares are placed differently, because maybe the older versions of Scrabble had this too. I cannot know for sure, so I will leave it as is.
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That all sounds reasonable. When you submit, be sure to put a link to this thread in the Admin Notes field so that it's easy to find and reference.
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Jan Tuts
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Ok! And again, thank you for your help!
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