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Chess is an incredibly complex and absorbing game, but not one that's normally associated with engaging and entertaining visuals. Developer Interplay remedied this back in 1988 however with Battlechess, which embellished the original game by adding colourful cartoonish graphics and some hugely funny and entertaining animations to the mix.
The game itself remains exactly as before, but each piece is represented by anthropomorphic, 2D animated characters, with wizened, white-bearded kings in long robes, spell-casting Queens, sword-wielding pawns and knights wearing suits of armour and with wicked, golem-like stone monsters as Rooks.
Each time one piece takes another the player is treated to a humourous animation that is unique to the two pieces involved; for example Queens cast spells to blow up or vaporise pawns and knights; Knights cut pawns down to size with a whack on the head with their swords; Rooks pick screaming Queens up by their legs and devour them whole; and in what is perhaps my favourite sequence, Kings inexplicably pull out ray-guns out from under their robes and blast their enemies out of existence.
The game can be played either against a human opponent or against a rather impressive AI player, and boasts a simple and straightforward interface and basic-but-endearing crashing/bleeping sound effects in addition to its bright and charming visuals. A funny and inventive take on the game of Chess.
To sum it up - violent chess! This was a great game for getting youngsters to learn the rules of chess. You could choose an option that would enable the piece to go into battle. It just gave chess an extra interesting edge, especially the first time you played it. Each peice had its own unique way of dealing with all the other peices. For instance the castle - or rook if you prefer - would get up and transfom into a monster made of bricks and would either pick up the other piece and throw it or bash it on the head! Th 3-D effects brought the game to life, which you didn't get with the battle mode switched off. The downside of the game was that it took a long time to play especially with the battle option on. A playable game for both kids and adults alike although they will probably have different reasons for wanting to play.