Overall Rating: 78%
Chances are if you enter "Battle Chess" into Google Images, you will find (among other things, of course) images of the original 1988 Battle Chess from Interplay. It was one of the first games to replace traditional chess pieces with animated characters for a more immersive Chess experience. Fast forward about 25 years and here we are. Battle Chess has returned (again) with a modernized look and a sense of humor that remains true to its groundbreaking ancestor. Currently, there are three Battle Grounds (boards) to choose from: Throne Room, Garden, and Dungeon. There are only two color sets to choose from: White vs Black and Blue vs Red. Start up a game in Single Player and play against the computer or go up against a friend either Online or Hot Seat. The Online forum is divided into rooms based on Skill Level, which makes it easier to pair up with a random player. A handful of game options allow you to tweak the interactive experience as you like.
As a fan of the original Battle Chess, I have to say that I am happy to see it again. BC was how I actually learned to play Chess, back in the day. I think most of us would agree that the best thing BC has going for it is the battle sequences. Some of the scenes that transpire as one piece overtakes another are sincerely hilarious (my personal favorite being the Knight vs Queen). The soundtrack is nothing to sneeze at, either. But today, BC has to contend with Chessmaster and a few other prominent titles to hold its place as a Chess favorite. That being said, I really hope to see more content in the near future. It shouldn't be hard to come up with more choices for piece colors and even a few more boards. What we have so far is great for the price, but more customization would greatly enhance the appeal of this game. It would also make it easier to forgive the fact that the original Rook monster was replaced with a big, ugly, fat guy! Just saying. But hey, this is old school. Really cool old school. I can dig it.*Note: This review is intended for people who want to make an informed decision on whether or not to buy this game. Although other players may have differing experiences and credible feedback to offer, this represents my own opinion after experiencing this game.