Battle Chess: An iconic computer classic released in 1988

Battle Chess was originally released in 1988, in the days of Amiga, Atari, C64, and MS-DOS. Battle Chess follows the exact same rules as the chess we love and know, but occasionally adds a little dark humor. Battle Chess is more than just a chess program, it’s a work of art. The beautifully marbled board is viewed from behind and above your pieces from a more elevated viewpoint than is seen in most other traditional 3D chess games. Each piece has been painstakingly designed to look so realistic that you could almost reach into the monitor and move it by hand.

Rather than slide clumsily from one square to the next, the pieces come to life and walk to their destination. Each piece is animated in a different way to bring out its own character and importance in the general scheme of things. The knight, for example, heavily weighed down by his armour, clanks laboriously to his destination, while the Queen, complete with wiggling backside, glides gracefully across the board in true regal fashion. Each piece has its own method of combat commensurate with its character. The knight fights with a sword, the castle rock-monster hits people over the head and even resorts to eating the queen!

The bishop brandishes his staff, while the queen raises her hands above her head before casting one of a number of awesome spells on her victims who get fried to a crisp, reduced to nothing more than a heap of charred bones. The battle sequences are both realistic and humorous. The knight-takes-knight battle in particular is hilarious. Battlechess is a fine program with attention paid to every detail, from the full-scale riots of a chess game to the creative display of its menu’s. But give it a decent opponent, and you’ll soon realise its shortcomings. Maybe as a chess program it is not the best ever on the Amiga, but it is definitely the most interesting and certainly the most fun.

news source: various sources / image source: GenerationAmiga / watch on Youtube / download Battlechess

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