LEGO Chess

LEGO Chess is a beginner-level chess program using familiar Lego characters. Any parent who has shelled out several hundred dollars for a growing Lego collection will recognize the cowboys, Indians, sailors and pirates that comprise two 3D sets. There’s another 3D set of Staunton pieces made of Lego blocks and a 2D set is also available. One of the few disappointments was the lack of a module where one could design their own set with Lego blocks in which to play.

10Children access the game through a 3D representation of a throne room. The “King,” an Elvis impersonator, is the child’s guide to the game choices. In addition to playing a single game of chess, there are two adventures and a tutorial covering the rules and basic strategies of the game. The adventures are really a series of full-motion video sequences between chess games. The progression is linear and kids must win to advance in the stories. The tutorials, though well done, are also strictly linear. The child must complete every chapter before being allowed to advance to a new book.

The full motion video sequences are computer rendered and entertaining, and kids don’t seem to get bored from repeated viewing of the 70-odd captured combinations. While not strictly non-violent, the captured pieces meet their fate in such end scenes as seeing stars after falling or running from a lightening bolt that is zapping their bottoms.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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