Fathom It! icon

What is Fathom It! ?


Fathom It! is a challenging and fascinating Windows adaptation of GAMES Magazine's popular column, "Battleships". Unlike the classic pencil-and-paper game, Fathom It! boards are solitaire puzzles solved using logical deduction. The object in Fathom It! is to solve the board by locating the underlying fleet of ships using logical deduction only -- no guess work!

A Fathom It! board is a grid representing a section of ocean in which an entire fleet of ships is hiding. The fleet consists of battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines. The following is a typical starting Fathom It! board:

Fathom It! Easy Board #226

Ships to Locate

The ship display in the upper right-hand portion of the window tells you the hidden fleet consists of one battleship, two cruisers, three destroyers, and four submarines.

Tallies: Ship Segments per Row/Column

The digits along the right side and below the grid indicate the number of grid squares in the corresponding rows and columns that are occupied by vessels. Knowing the row/column tallies is what makes Fathom It! a logical deduction game. Pit your mind against the board, deduce the location of the hidden ships, and solve the board!

Starting Hints, Toggling, Finalizing

In the above board, a few hints have been taken to start you off. Using logic, deduce the identity of any number of squares. Use your left mouse button to "toggle" the deduced squares, then use the right mouse button to "finalize" the squares. If your logic is correct, Fathom It! will display the new squares and uncover other obvious water squares (if any). If your logic is wrong, Fathom It! will tell you so.

Fathom It! removes the tedious process needed to solve the pencil-and-paper version of the puzzle. With the click of a mouse (or keyboard) to toggle and finalize squares, you can investigate a possible solution. If the logic is wrong, no problem -- just clear your guesses and try again!

Automatic Board Solver

If you're stumped at any point while solving a board, don't despair -- a hint is just a click away! Fathom It!'s internal expert system will analyze your board, suggesting a hint and explaining its logic. Here's an example:

This page last modified on: 21 January 2005