Search And Rescue

A version of Battleships for young children

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This is a version of Battleships for children who'd find the full version of the game a bit of a struggle. There is a single ship to find, which is 4 units long, somewhere on a grid of 6x6 squares. The object is not to destroy the boat but to locate it, thereby rescuing it.



First, you need to make sure your computer runs Java programs, as Search And Rescue is written in Java.

Then click here to install and launch the application, or to download the program & run it from your computer. Save it to somewhere handy (for example the desktop on Windows), and either double click on it to run it (Windows, Mac OS & Solaris), or run it from the command line (Linux).

If the installer asks you about security, click the option that allows the program to install. There's nothing malicious or secret in the program.

How to use Search And Rescue

The screen displays as a 6x6 grid with an ocean background. There is a ship hidden somewhere on the grid. It fills 4 squares, vertically or horizontally. By clicking around, the toddler can find where the ship is.

When an empty square is clicked, the background darkens considerably to show that you've clicked it. When a square is clicked which contains part of the ship, an emergency flare appears there, and you hear a claxon and some cheering. Once you've uncovered the whole boat, you're offered the chance to start again with a new boat or to finish.

The idea is that young children come to realise that, once they've uncovered the first square, they can find the rest pretty quickly by making a line. Furthermore, they may be able to work out where the line might go by looking at the darkened squares they've already clicked on. In the case of my daughter, this knowledge was by no means automatic, which is why this game exists - so she could practice the rudiments of the logic part of the game on a smaller game grid & on with a single boat.

If you prefer, you can turn off the background ocean sound and the claxons, using the Sounds menu.


V1.00 - Initial release.

V1.1 - Theme changed from Battleships to Search And Rescue.