Morse Uses Actual Morse Code To Win You A War

Morse [official site] is a wonderful take on the classic Battleships where you’ll use actual Morse code to thwart waves of enemy attacks. Set in World War 1, it’ll have you defending the land from a three-pronged enemy invasion: by land, sea, and air. All you’ve got to do is get your own troops past the foe’s trenches at the other end and victory is yours. By tapping out Morse messages. No pressure, soldier. This video playthrough explains how it all works:

You might’ve spotted Brendan mention Morse in last Saturday’s edition of Free Loaders, but in case you missed it here’s me waxing lyrical about it too.

Morse is a really neat idea because, aside from teaching you actual Morse code, it’s more complex than first meets the eye. While the three plains of land, sea and air present their own distinctive threats, they’re also interlinked. Land is the most important field as that’s where you’ll send your troops into No Man’s Land, win points, and, ultimately win the game. But infantry on land is delivered by sea, so guiding your vessels safely from end to end there is essential. And air provides recon, so sending planes over the aerial threshold makes the rest easier to pull off.

As you might expect, all of the above can be turned on you, thus any strategy I attempted to employ under pressure regularly broke down, degenerating into a stramash of button-bashing and curse words. It’s great.

Cooler still is the fact that game was born of a makeshift DIY job. Creator AlexVSCoding says this on the game’s website: “Morse’s origins came from developing a Morse code controller earlier this year using a clothes peg and a plank of wood.” Here’s that very peripheral:

Morse is free and can played online here.


  1. tr76 says:

    — — .-. … . / -.-. — -.. . / .. … / – …. . / … …. .. –

    • Sian says:

      Well, yes, but it’d be easier to read if your dashes and dots were formatted better. :p

  2. SuddenSight says:

    It is a neat game, like a Mavis Beacon typing for Morse code.

    As someone who has studied morse before (though I wouldn’t call myself fluent) it was perhaps a little on the easy side.

    I’m not sure the interactions work as well as intended. Because land soldiers are the only way to win, and land soldiers aren’t generated (I think?) unless ships get through, you can make the ground area irrelevant by killing all the enemy ships. At least, that strat worked fine for me.

    I’m also unsure of the pacing of the game. The numbers start to become relevant pretty late in the game, and by the time I had to consistently input both numbers and letters I was often only 60 seconds or so away from winning.

    In the other hand, the input registration feels a bit slow. I had little problem inputting just the letter, but when numbers become involved I found I had to lead my shots quite a bit to give the input reader time to update.

    Still, this is a fun game I wouldn’t mind playing a more expanded version! An full-fledged morse-code typing game would be swell.

    • SuddenSight says:

      Addednum: it is a little annoying that the help sheet doesn’t stay gone when you dismiss it. It reappears whenever you transition height, which you must do often.

    • Dozer says:

      My thoughts exactly! I was up far too late last night, making a morse key of my own from a clothes peg.

      It’s inspired me to learn Morse – and buy an SDR, indirectly.