Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Battle Chess (UK)

Battle Chess (UK)
Battle Chess (UK)


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Electronic Arts


Release Date: 1/1/1988
Manufacturer: Electronic Arts
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
Donated By: Rob Bannerman
Battle Chess is a computer game version of chess in which the chess pieces come to life and battle one another when capturing. It was released for the Commodore Amiga and subsequently on the 3DO, MS-DOS, Apple IIGS, Apple IIe, Commodore 64, Amiga CDTV, CD32, Atari ST, Apple Macintosh, Acorn Archimedes, FM Towns, Windows 3.x and Nintendo Entertainment System.

Since there are six different types of pieces, and kings can't beat each other, there are 35 battle animations. The rook, for example, turns into a rock monster and kills a pawn by smashing his head. Some battle sequences like Knight versus Knight or King versus Bishop are direct references to the black knight fight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and the short battle between Indiana Jones and a swordsman in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

The game can be played in a 2D version with no animations, and the Amiga CDTV version features a fully voiced introduction describing the movements of the pieces for the benefit of beginners. Digitized sound is utilized in the DOS version for all battle sound effects and is played through the PC speaker, without the need for a sound card, using a technique akin to RealSound.

The game could be played against a human opponent (by hotseat, or by null modem or over a local area network in some ports) or against the computer's artificial intelligence (AI). The game has an opening library from over 30,000 moves (which were not available for the C64 and Apple versions).

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