Written by  :  Martin Smith (66754)
Written on  :  Mar 12, 2004
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars2.4 Stars

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by Martin Smith
read more reviews for this game


Chess for people who don't like chess

The Good

The graphics are superb, and the animations are well thought-out, inventive and entertaining. The game as a whole succeeds in bringing chess to a wider audience.

The variety of colour schemes and board views are a nice touch, with something for everyone.

The Bad

The AI is hopeless. Not only can a mediocre player like me beat it 90% of the time, there's never any surprise in the moves. Almost every time it makes an obvious, flair-free move which is easy to respond to. Programming 'human-ness' into a computer AI isn't easy, but this was a poor attempt.

After a few games the animations lose their appeal and you just want to get on with the game. This is when you find no meat beneath the sauce.

The Bottom Line

The whole thing smacks of mutton dressed up as lamb. Compared to other chess games of the era, it's lacking much, and it's not as much throwaway fun as the much older Archon games. In truth, the remark on the packaging that the 2-dimensional board provides clarity and ease of play slightly gives the game away - the main hype subject of the game is at the expense of those elements which should be key to a chess game.