Written by  :  Kasey Chang (4623)
Written on  :  Jul 06, 2001
Platform  :  DOS

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Once the novelty wears off... It's not too bad, but one glaring rules omission ruins it

The Good

The cute animations, a decent Chinese chess engine, modem support.

The Bad

The animations are a bit too cute, especially after you've seen it a bazillion times. One glaring rule omission... Interplay did not implement the "the two generals may not face each other" rule (see http://www.chessvariants.com/xiangqi.html, scroll down to "King or General").

The Bottom Line

One of the few Chinese chess commercial programs ever published in the US, this introduced Chinese Chess to the masses.

The cute animations from original Battlechess remained, and even has even MORE gag-filled laughs (I won't ruin the surprises here). You can always turn off the cute stuff and stick with the regular 2D board, available both in Chinese and Roman versions.

The game engine don't make many mistakes that you can take advantage of, but you can confuse it by attacking on multiple fronts. It however, REALLY capitalize on your mistakes. On the other hand, you CAN trick AI into taking your sacrifices. All the proper Chinese Chess rules have been implemented with the exception of one: the "generals may not face each other" rule.

The game was great for its time, and still holds up today if you can stand the pixel-y graphics (only 320x200x256). With eight levels of difficulty the computer can keep you on your toes.