November 10, 2011 7 Comments
Avatar Chess is chess with avatars. Yea. I’m really not sure what else to say about it. It’s functional, and it features online play. There’s multiple viewing options, including one where every piece is represented by various random avatars in a way that is im-fucking-possible to use. I mean just look at it.
Even with the little icons over their heads, it’s annoying. To make this in any way good, the game would need some specialized avatar suits. Otherwise, what’s the point? Plus, my avatar was the King. The fucking KING! My vagina has never been so insulted.
As far as the actual gameplay, it’s chess. How good of chess is it? So good that it’s bad, or awful, whatever the case may be. The AI is fierce, even on easy mode. I’ve never claimed to be a grandmaster, and that’s a good thing because easy mode ate me up and shit me out multiple times. It always seems to make the best possible move. Frustrating for me, but downright soul-crushing if you’re a chess novice like Brian or Bryce. I figured something was up, so I tried the game on hard mode, and the AI did pretty much the same strategy, only it took longer to move. Since it was doing the same moves, I figured the extra pause was in there just to mock me.
Once you go online, things are slightly better. It’s still just chess. It’s free all over the internet, but here you can play it with your Xbox avatar, along with some nifty added drawbacks. Once a match ends, you’re dumped back to the main menu, without being given the option for a rematch. So you have to go through the process of sending out an invite all over again. That’s kind of annoying. The game also doesn’t have any display telling you if a move is legal or not, so if you’re a newb the only way to find out is to hear an annoying gameshow-like buzzer go off. Avatar Chess is basically the least newb-friendly video chess I’ve ever played. Granted, I don’t play a lot, so maybe there are worst out there. Overall, chess is a game you can play for free anywhere. If you’re absolutely desperate to know what it’s like to play it with your Xbox avatar, I suppose this is the way to go. If that’s you, say hello to my imaginary childhood friend Mr. Cumberdink because I suspect you might be a figment of someone’s imagination as well.
80 Microsoft Points suspect Bobby Fischer is being made to watch Fiddler on the Roof while being force-fed kasha varnishkas at this very moment, in hell, in the making of this review.
A review copy of Avatar Chess was provided by Turkey Based Games to IndieGamerChick.com in this review. The copy played by the Chick was purchased by her with her own Microsoft Points. The review copy was given to a friend with the sole purpose of helping the Chick test online multiplayer. That person had no feedback in this article. For more information on this policy, please read the Developer Support page here.
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