Thirty years later it’s probably save to admit that when I finally got my hands on an Amiga the first thing I did was hop on a train and visit some old Amiga owning friends with a handful of blank disks and a copy of D-Copy. Battle Chess was one of the big must get, must play titles of the time.
I’ve played chess badly since our class teacher introduced us to the game during the penultimate year of primary school. We also played chess a lot during lunch breaks, in the library, at secondary school. All this youthful practice never made a player of me. Always struggled to see even one move ahead.
Still despite always being on the loosing end, even at the lowest difficulty settings, Battle Chess makes this ancient game thoroughly enjoyable thanks to some canny use of character animations. Every move sees your piece come alive, get up, and walk to the chosen square.
Better still when a piece is taken, time for some one on one combat. A short set piece animation shows the two combatants duelling it out. Each combination (pawn vs pawn, bishop vs knight, queen vs castle, etc) has it’s own unique animation depending on the two combatants and who is set to win. Most with a very good comedic value. Castle vs Knight is a particularly nice one with the poor knight receiving a nasty bang on the head.