Hoyle Majestic Chess
Description official descriptions
Majestic Chess features single- and multi-player chess game modes, as well as a special mode called "Chess Adventure." In this mode you play as a lone king, building up your army of chess pieces to take on the various challenges you find along your way. It is designed to teach someone how to play chess from the very basics to complicated middle game strategies. The player encounters tutorials, speed drills, puzzles, and other challenges.
- 迷之象棋 - Chinese spelling (simplified)
Credits (Windows version)
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Average score: 76% (based on 11 ratings)
Average score: 4.3 out of 5 (based on 4 ratings with 1 reviews)
Engaging campaign that enhances your understanding of the game. Great selection of game pieces and background settings. Well written tutorials. Nice range of computer AI/personality. Good attention to detail, such as the building animations. Built in trainer that helps you learn from your mistakes. Good tongue-in-cheek humor for Fantasy genre enthusiasts. The perfect laptop game (no CD required once the game is installed).
Would have liked a wider selection of player avatars. The mechanic used for picking up and moving pieces could use some minor improvement. The fact that they haven't release a sequel yet.
The Bottom Line
Are you a casual chess player? Do you enjoy classic RPG games and other High Fantasy Adventures? New to the game and intimidated by its complexity? Then this is probably the chess game you've been waiting for. Having never even heard of Majestic Chess I actually stumbled upon it a couple weeks ago while perusing the local bargain bin. There's usually a chess game or two there, along with the usual assortment of PopCap style games and solitaire mega-packs. But what really grabbed my attention were the screenshots showing the tiny Knight on a vast world map, dotted with various fantasy like structures. You see, what Hoyle did with this (which is rather brilliant) is build an entire adventure campaign around what is actually a very well done chess tutor. You start off in the First chapter on a quest to defeat the mysterious but evil Faceless Knight. Your king then travels across the land, meeting various characters along the way, with each one passing on essential knowledge or challenging you to test the knowledge you've just acquired. But you can't go just anywhere at the beginning, you've got to unlock new areas by completing mini-quests, and when you do a fog-of-war lifts to reveal the next area. Over time you'll earn gold, important chess pieces, and special artifacts that let you do things like take back a move, or get advice on what your next move should be. At some point along the way you may have the opportunity to spend your hard earned gold on additional artifacts that are sure to come in handy toward the end of the chapter. This all ties together in that the goal for each chapter is to work your way to the main villain who awaits your arrival and a full blown game of actual chess. But before you reach the main evil character you've got to build up your army by collecting (or in some cases purchasing) the necessary chess pieces to complete your army. Naturally these encounters get increasingly harder as you progress, which is really when the magical artifacts come in handy. The brilliance of the way all this is structured is how even though the end chess games get increasingly difficult, your chess acumen is slowly increasing as well - through the various trials that must be passed along the way.
I'm not too in touch with the other chess games out there, but this might very well be one of the first chess games to incorporate an adventure quest in this way; and Hoyle has done a superb job of it. I'm finding myself enjoying the challenge of passing each trial, just to earn that much needed Rook or other critical piece. It's so easy to get sucked into the challenges and overall adventure that you practically forget you're really learning how to play chess. And believe me, after working your way through the first few chapters, you'll have acquired some solid chess knowledge through this seemingly light hearted adventure game.
Always a big fan of details I love the way each small building animates when you click on it, and the care that went into each of the well designed world maps. Even the music and sound effects are appropriate and pleasant. You can tell the creators of this game have a genuine love for classic fantasy games in the way they creatively inject humor into many of the encounters, especially when you pitifully lose at one of the challenges.
Outside of the Adventure mode is a very well done single player game. In this mode you choose the AI difficulty and personality, pick your avatar (if you wish), and select one of the many excellent themed settings where the game board will reside. My personal favorite is the cathedral; others may appreciate one of the dungeons or the ice cavern. There are several others as well.
At its core Majestic Chess is a solid chess trainer that's also masterfully wrapped in a nicely done fantasy adventure package. The result is a one of a kind chess game that not only greatly improves your knowledge and skill at this ancient game, but lets you have a really fun time doing it. Casual chess players, or those who've been wanting to improve their skill level, would do well to give this one a shot.
Windows · by lost chauncy (53) · 2007
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Greg Laabs.
Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx.
Game added September 13, 2003. Last modified February 22, 2023.