ActionChess: More Tetris than Chess…perfect for me

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Puzzle

ActionChess is a surprisingly fun puzzle game that combines the strategy of chess with the fun of Tetris.  Actually, the game has very little to do with chess other than the game pieces.  You have the opposing black and white chess pieces (you’re not limited to one or the other…you can move either color during the game), but the objective is simple—capture pieces to clear out rows.  The one thing to note is that board is scrolling upwards with the game ending as soon as you have a chess piece reach the top.  As you progress, the scrolling increases in speed.  If you’re a masochist like me, there’s also an arrow that allows you scroll faster and show more game pieces.  After playing a few times, I managed to get through Level 8 and score 108,000 points.

The three modes—Arcade, Timed, and Specific Piece—offer similar gameplay in that you need to clear out rows. In Arcade, you simply play as long as you can.  You begin play with Rooks, Pawns and Knights as you progress through the levels you unlock additional pieces in the Bishop and Queen. Obviously, you score more points as you move up the levels, but you’re also dealing with a faster moving board.  In Timed, you have the option of either 3 or 5 minute play with the objective of clearing out as many lines as you can in the allotted time.  With Specific Piece, you pick what chess piece (Rook, Pawn, Queen) you want to play with and just as in Timed Mode, you have a certain amount of time to capture and clear as many rows as you can.

The tutorial could use some additional content to address the value of pieces, and I would prefer sound effects or background music to add to the feel of the game.  But otherwise, I wouldn’t provide my impressions on any game unless I thought it was good.  You should consider ActionChess if you’re looking for a different kind of puzzle.

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