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Game info
PC

Battle Chess

Battle Chess
GenreBoard game
DeveloperInterplay
PublisherInterplay
Released1988
Rating
Graphics:8.0
Sound:6.0
Gameplay:8.0
Overall:7.0
Reviewed byndial
Battle Chess is a unique chess game that features 35 battle animations between the chess pieces, presented in awesome graphics and sound. The game was initially developed for the Commodore Amiga (by Interplay Entertainment) in 1988 and later ported to most home computers like the Atari ST, Acorn Archimedes, Apple IIGS, PC (MS-DOS), Apple Macintosh and the 8bit Apple IIe and Commodore 64. The game gained so great popularity that it was also released for several video game consoles like the Amiga CD32, Amiga CDTV, FM Towns, Nintendo NES, Sharp X68000 and Panasonic 3DO.
 
Review
Battle ChessSTORY / GAMEPLAY
The game, as in real chess, needs strategy, patience and skills. What actually makes Battle Chess unique compared to the rest of chess video games is that the chess pieces come to life and battle one another when engaging; there are 35 battle animations for this awesome feature. Some battle sequences like “Knight versus Knight” or like “King versus Bishop” are direct references to the black knight fight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” movie and the short fight sequence between Indiana Jones and a swordsman in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. The animations vary depending on the piece combinations. Some pieces, like the rooks, are castle walls that actually transform into a giant golem that moves around the chess board. It’s truly a very nice thing to watch! Note that in the NES version, all animated battles are done on their own screen (scene) rather than “live” on the chess board. Also, the action on this version is quite slow and you cannot skip the animated sequences, so your next move needs to wait until the battle sequence is finished. So we have a Battle Chess that’s rather slow paced but with some nice twitches!

GRAPHICS / SOUND
The game on DOS based PCs runs on either EGA or VGA graphics and features 16 colors or little more than 40 colors on screen, with detailed sprites in their full armor. The animated battle scenes are smooth and nice to watch. Every pawn type has its unique way to kill or defend itself. For example when the Queen is challenged, she uses magical power by raising her arms and firing lighting towards an enemy! The rook, transforms into a rocky monster and kills the enemies by smashing their heads with a blow! The sound features some in-game effects but not digitized as on Amiga, ST and Apple IIGS Battle Chess versions.
 
Screenshots
  • Battle Chess
  • Battle Chess
  • Battle Chess
  • Battle Chess
  • Battle Chess
  • Battle Chess
 
Comparable platforms



32 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS



16 colors
Atari ST



40 colors
PC MS-DOS



16 colors
Apple IIGS



2 colors
Apple Macintosh 68k
 
Hardware information

PC (ms-dos based)

PC (ms-dos based)CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site)
MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996)
GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines.
SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!
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The PC (ms-dos based) (default) color palette
CGA: 16-color palette (4 on-screen)
EGA: 64-color palette (16 on-screen)
VGA: 256-color palette (256 on-screen)
 
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