Combat Chess (also known as Empire Chess) attempts to combine regular chess with animated 3D combat. At its core this isn’t a bad idea, though the entire idea serves little more than eye candy. Pieces do double-back flips while slicing-and-dicing their hapless victims â€“ overall, the effects rival the best seen in 3D action games. Transparent effects abound. Though there’s only one set of 3D playing pieces, the animation is very well done.
Players, though, will find the 3D board difficult to plan strategy on, and will have to revert to using a side window 2D display to compliment the action. The chess engine at its hardest setting is more than a match for all but professional tournament players. The game is a bit sparse in offering the variety of options expected in such a program. Though it has a hint function for move suggestions, there is no feature for positional analysis, nor is there a provision for forcing the AI to play a particular opening.
System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win95