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Battle Chess

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Released: 1988

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Interplay

Developer: Interplay

Submitted by: Gavin Eke

Chess. It's not the first thing you'd think of when considering your favourite retro-games. However, a worthy mention must go to Battle Chess for arguably introducing the classic game to a new generation.

I previously experienced a Chess game on my new ZX Spectrum many years hence (probably published by Psion) before being tempted away by Sabreman & his adventures. However, upon witnessing my friends copy of Battle Chess I was mesmerized. All the pieces were displayed on a pseudo 3D board from Pawns to Kings, Bishops & Rooks. Immaculately drawn, clicking on the desired square would see the protagonists rise up and move towards their intended destination. Each piece has a specific animation & sound effect when moving. From the Pawns tinny steps, through to Rooks which turned into stone Goliath's pounding across the board, this was unlike any Chess game I had seen or played.

The biggest joy came when each character faced off against the other. Taking an opponents piece would result in a battle sequence with the winner left victorious on the desired square. Rooks would pound poor unsuspecting pawns into the floor with their rock fists. The Queens saunter around the board & smite opponents with a wiggle of their hips. Whilst Kings leisurely strolled around the Chess Board like old Gents they were.

Battle Chess didn't need to add any extra bells & whistles as I was already transfixed by the animated confrontations. Who'd have thought that a little bit of good old fashioned violence turned what could be considered a dull strategy game by some into something even Mortal Kombat fans might appreciate.