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It took 2,000 years for someone to make chess better! The most challenging game on earth comes to life in Battle Chess. An entire medieval world at war is reflected on the checkered field. Everyone who's ever had a knight take a pawn has seen that capture as more than one piece replacing another on the board.
Release Date: Mar 17, 2014
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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

“Battle Chess: Game of Kings is the return of the classic Battle Chess. We are bringing it back and into the modern day. Full 3-d, a better chess algorithm and more features for online play that we couldn't do with the original. Back then we were lucky to have 320x200, 16 colors and a 1200 baud modem at best.

We are currently in late alpha with a few more features to go and we want your feed back as we get them up and going and in yours hands. Chess itself is up and running and basic multiplayer (same screen and online)is too. Soon we will have ladders and ranking and skill based match making as well as skill challenges. As these come online we look forward to your feedback and help.

One thing for everyone to know. During Early Access Battle Chess: Game of Kings will be available at $9.99. When we go live with the full version the price will change to $19.99.”
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Buy Battle Chess: Game of Kings™

$9.99

Recent updates View all (6)

Sorry for the delays in updates!

June 14

Recently, my mother passed away, and when I finally was able to settle her affairs, my wife's father passed away suddenly, causing us to once again drop what we were doing and settle the family's affairs. After getting back, comes E3, and a giant pile of contracts, emails and other stuff that sucked the time and life out of me.

It's all behind us now. Soooooooo... I'm doing a Perforce get, building and coding and wrapping up the few remaining bugs left in BattleChess: Game of Kings, so we can move this game from Early Access to full release!

Thank you, everyone, who has pre-purchased the game and helped me through your bug reports to help polish this game to a level of quality you'd expect from Olde Sküül and my old company, Interplay Productions!

Rebecca Heineman
One frazzed coder

PS. Tell your friends to buy the game and slip some burgers under the slot in my office door. Yum!

16 comments Read more

Video crashes fixed.

April 24

A new version of BattleChess is up! Please report any issues. Looks like it's only a week or two away from being final!

Thank you so much for getting BattleChess! I get to eat tonight!

Work log...

Fixed memory trasher in "Prop" handler (Item's in character hands/feet)
Fixed crash and hang when changing screen resolution
Fixed issue where data was uninitialized on the MENUSTART data load
Cleaned up chess logic.
Removed obsolete code
SSE2 support on machines that have it
Game doesn't crash when Steam isn't running when battlechess is started
Built all code under LLVM (Mac) and fixed all code warnings found (Minor issues discovered)
Removed all traces of GameSpy (Leftover code from old codebase)
Fixed a memory leak when an achievement is unlocked
Underlying engine code, too many improvements / fixes to list.

14 comments Read more
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About the Game

It took 2,000 years for someone to make chess better!

The most challenging game on earth comes to life in Battle Chess. An entire medieval world at war is reflected on the checkered field.

Everyone who's ever had a knight take a pawn has seen that capture as more than one piece replacing another on the board. In player's minds, the bold knight, resplendent in his armor of silver or ebon, sallies forth and slays the foul footsoldier. Combat, mortal combat, is the heart and soul of chess, but this aspect of it can only live in the mind's eye... until now!

Lots of computer chess games capture the basics of chess. Only Battle Chess brings chess to life by combining a magnificent chess logic system with colorful, humorous, and dramatic three-dimensional animations.

Battle Chess: Game of Kings

A new version of the classic animated chess game for Windows Vista, 7 and 8 is in development! Updated with all new animations and features, this is the ultimate version of Battle Chess.

  • Turn-based Multiplayer: Play against the computer with scalable difficulty or against live opponents via the internet.
  • Skill Challenge: Test your Chess skills by completing game play scenario challenges in a certain number of moves.
  • Battleground Training: Control your environment. Place pieces strategically on the chess board to test strategy.
  • Tutorials: Video tutorials explain the rules and basic strategies of chess with a little bit of humor.
  • Animations: Watch your army execute vivid capture moves as they take an opposing piece. Dozens of unique battles, idle and movement animations bring the battleground to life.
  • Achievements: Earn achievements and trophies.
  • Environments: Choose between 3 unique Battlegrounds.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, 7, 8
    • Processor: 1 Gigahertz or faster
    • Memory: 750 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 9 or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Sound Blaster compatible
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP, 7, 8
    • Processor: 1 Gigahertz or faster
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 9 or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
509 products in account
8 reviews
2.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
http://youtu.be/EobPYzFICy4
I still remember getting my copy of the original Battle Chess as a young boy and being fascinated by finding out what all the different animations were ... being amazed by the humour behind it (not knowing at the time how much of it was basically Monty Python-esque) and playing against my friends for hours ... Some of the combat animations still make me giggle today when I think of them .... ahh childhood memories ...

I bought this early access over the weekend with hesitant optimism ... I spent a while playing around with it and the game definitely has promise ... some of the transitions bug out a little bit ... and some of the cuts are a bit jarring ... but the foundations are there for a faithful sequel to the original ... the humour is there (even if some of it feels a little bit forced) ... and there are now multiple combat animations for each 'combination' of pieces! ... What I would love to see is them making it a bit more adult (more blood! more brutal combat animations) even if that is an option you have to select ... and also additional character sets (medieval is already there ... but what about fantasy, futuristic, etc ... how awesome would that be!) ...

I can't comment on the AI yet as I played a game on easiest just to have a look around at how the whole thing fitted together ... but all chess games live or die by their AI so I hope that in this day and age we have a great AI ...

All in all I think they are headed in the right direction ... and hopefully they will be able to smoothen out the bumps and make this a game that I will be playing in years to come ...
Posted: March 24
Was this review helpful? Yes No
8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
57 products in account
1 review
8.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
The game looks good, sounds great, and seems to have a lot of potential. But of my first ten games, I won two, lost one, and had seven freeze/crash to desktop. I get that it's an early release, but the bugginess still seems excessive. If you're frustrated by glitches I'd hold off on buying it until the kinks are worked out.
Posted: March 27
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 products in account
1 review
29.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This is definately the best 3d chess game currently available, and I have tried most of the popular ones. The pieces are detailed and easily recognizable, the online multiplayer works well (have played 4 online games so far), it just needs a few more players in the lobby. I have only played against the AI on the 2nd skill level (out of 6), as I am only a beginner at chess. It's not too difficult as to be frustrating (as some chess engines are), but still somewhat challenging as a way to improve. I am happy I saved $10 by buying the early release.

I recommend disabling the battle camera, setting it to windowed mode, increasing movement speed, disabling the post-processing filter, and adjusting the resolution. After playing many games, I prefer to have battle animations disabled, although an option for shorter, simpler animations would be very nice.

Please add me to friends if you want to play a game (since the lobby is often empty)

There are a few minor issues which will hopefully be fixed soon, none of which break the game however.
Posted: April 30
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
529 products in account
40 reviews
3.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I just had to review this whilst it's in Early Access...

It's brilliant, go to the forum to see my ongoing game diary...

But in short, the great game you remember is back...
Still the same humour... loads of different duel animations...
3D camera or fixed board camera (just like the original version)
Totally adjustable camera (brilliant)

And a really friendly and active developer...

DON'T WAIT - BUY IT NOW!
(and as a thank you for reading this - here's a rampaging queen...)
ENJOY!
:)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq5i92h2Coo&list=UUy7kWBkzBwT1jsz7biD4rVg
Posted: March 18
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 products in account
1 review
21.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Regretfully, I do have to say, I'm very disappointed about the turnout of this newest version of Battle Chess. My opinion is besides the multiple bugs rapant during Early Access which render the game frustrating to use. (On this side note, the game has only very recently been released, and so bugs are understandable; assuming that they'll be fixed in due time.)

Let me start with thegood. The graphics are great! The silly-at-heart battle sequences, as Battle Chess has been known for, are creative and hilarious, and there were a whole lot more of them than in the previous versions which played the same single ones over and over again. The design for the skin meshes is very fancy. (My personal favorite's the Bishop.)


And now, "onward" to my stark critique.

I feel as if the proud traditions of Battle Chess has been spat on and replaced with a mocking version which claims to know BC's history but doesn't show it well in its performance. This is speaking especially in regards to the "artificial intelligence" ("AI") in Game of Kings. (They're in quotes 'cause artificial intelligence has been inaccurately used to describe computer chess evaluation function; the same way it's silly to describe a calculator as AI.) The ability for BC to calculate moves has been severely dumbed down in GoK. Anyone who has played BC from its beginning (I myself grew up with the 1992-3 version, which I hold very dear to) will know just how damn hard the thing is to beat, even at its NOVICE level: Battle Chess's AI saw EVERY possible move and, more so, every possible opportunity to gain and save material points 5, 6, 7 and more moves down the line; it knew how to schemingly find skewers, pins, double-checks and silent evasive maneuvers that no average good player could humanly find within a few seconds (or even minutes) of thinking. BC has beaten several other excellent chess computer programs, including ChessMaster. It was freakin' frustrating as hell! Such frustrating superior "AI" has given BC its reputation. Obviously, such a hard e-opponent is designed to teach you to become a more prominent chess player, even if the defeats are diabolical.

On the other hand, it was sandbox-easy to beat the Game of King's "AI": the powerful tactics as described above simply weren't there. Rather, GoK's tactics, juxtaposed to BC's, were hind-sighted, unholistic and predictable, if not simply lunkheaded. As a loose example, in the most previous game at “Nobleman” level, the Black queen captured my pawn on g2, which is undefended by the Bishop on f1 since I moved him out to check the King, and my right-side knight on g1 hasn't previously been moved; an extremely dimwitted blunder on my part; in fact, Battle Chess 1993 was the one to harshly teach such a lesson to me over and over again. I can't even believe that, after years of experience in chess, I would make such a foolish mistake. My restricted undefended Rook on H1 was DOOMED for capture without any immediate opportunity for me to capture back!! Or, was he? The next move Game of Kings played was pawn on f7 to f5 to threaten my other knight on e4. This equally foolish move played by the computr opened up a diagonal line for my own queen on C3 to capture ITS Rook on H8!!! It's almost as if GoK deliberately DID this because it didn't WANT me to lose material points easily. Battle Chess would have never allowed itself to make such a move: unless there was an opportunity to cleverly steal more pieces from me, it would have immediately and mercilessly captured my poor Rook on H1, while leaving none of its own pieces up for danger without re-capture. I thought for a second that perhaps it was some sneaky way to expose my own queen for capture. Hey, after all, Battle Chess is known for its surprise attacks, right? Unfortunately for me, surprise attack against my queen was rarely the case. After I did indeed move her up to H8 to capture its Rook, Game of Kings didn't even seem to bother to try to capture my queen back after 4 or 5 moves. Worst of all, and this is the best part, ladies and gentleman: the black queen never took my easy defenseless Rook on H1! All of this was the "Nobleman" level, which was supposed to be Game of King's 4th level of difficulty. I simply closed GoK in dire frustration, knowing that I wasn't playing against Battle Chess; I really wasn't.

I haven't played GoK's hardest level, but I can only imagine that it's barely as good as the original BC Novice level, let alone their level 1. And, BC had 10 levels excluding the novice one! I understand that there have been negative reviews in regards to BC's extreme difficulty, pointing to the fact that it's been TOO frustrating that players could never beat it. People obviously want something playable so that they’ll actually buy it. Understood. On the other hand, I don't think that should be any reason to take out all those difficult levels altogether. Those original difficult levels 1-10 should still be there, in addition to the incorporation of easier playable levels. Again, I can't emphasized this enough: they were what defined the Battle Chess series!!

I've covered the main part of my review, but the "AI" is far from the only thing needed to be mentioned.

The tutorial is a rather cheesy duplication of the one made in the 1992-3 version. It offered nothing new in explaining chess, and then the mediocre voicing of the characters were pretentious, trite, unenthusiastic and simply uninteresting. The "sumo-"sized rook, for example, spoke in a rather superficial European accent (Italian?), and one would not feel the threat of his almost-monotonic dialogue, "If you don't understand, I'll smash you." (In the original 1992-3 tutorial, the rook had a rasp, crass and intimidating voice that varied in pitches as he emphasized the different words of that same dialogue, which excellently portrayed the sense of threat that he means to.)

Speaking of which, isn't the Rook supposed to be a tower that transforms into a wretched stone beast, not a tactless obese "Sumo" guard?? Again, another proud tradition of Battle Chess which has been broken, since in all of its previous versions the rook indeed was a stone beast.

Finally, another BC tradition broken, minor though not insignificant, is the color coding: it appears that OldeSkuul has switched the colorsaround so that red is assigned the BLACK pieces and blue the WHITE pieces. I contactedtheir FB page, and BurgerBecky responded that she will create an update with the option to switch the colors around. So far, no such update was made. (I'm guessing it's on queue to be worked on after the bugs.)

In conclusion, while it's pleasantly enjoyable for a pastime, Game of Kings is as good as any decent chess program and is nowhere near as good as the Battle Chess it’s supposed to be an upgrade from. To save my pride for the chess program that has taught me so much about chess since I was7, I can't call this Game of Kings version "Battle Chess". The 1987, 1988 and 1992-3 versions are the ones I feel rightful to call Battle Chess. However, take heart, my word is only the unofficial opinion of one user in the minority, and it's not to discourage folks from buying it. As far as anyone's concerned, it does after all do the job nicely. Furthermore, most of the younger generation will probably not be able to relate to anything I'm saying, since this is probably their first exposure to the BC series. Finally, I'm aware OldeSkuul is putting much effort in making updates to the game. There's always a chance to turn an unofficial negative opinion around. ;)

p. s. I want to extend a note of gratitude to Olde Skuul and express how much I appreciate them having taken on the project to finish Game of Kings when it couldn’t be finished by Subdued Software. I was aware what financial trouble they had to go through to finally gained enough to open the option for online play. Thank you greatly for the time, effort and devotion!!
Posted: April 1
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64 of 77 people (83%) found this review helpful
285 products in account
2 reviews
0.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Looks good on first impression.

I would love to see some more humour and an "adult" mode that is a bit more violent and wickedly evil.

I'll keep my eye on this, loved the original back in the day and can't wait for a morphing castle to bash a queen or a king pulling out a pistol! And of course, see a knight have hiss legs chopped off ;)
Posted: March 17
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