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Medieval Chess

DOS - 1996

Also available on: Atari ST

Year 1996
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Strategy
Theme Board / Party Game, Chess
Publisher JV Enterprises
Developer JV Enterprises
Perspective Top-Down
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Description of Medieval Chess

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Medieval Chess is a unique chess game from short-lived JV Enterprises that is more intriguing in concept than how it actually plays. The game is best described as an attempt to make chess "realistic" - sort of a cross between chess and Archon, but not nearly as fun. Here is the summary of the official rules: "There are many similarities between the rules of chess and the rules of Medieval Chess. However, because of the content of the game some rules of chess do not apply. First, there is no check or check-mate in Medieval Chess. The object of the game is to defeat the king, in combat. Placing the king in check-mate does not constitute a win. Second, when a pawn reaches the other side. It will automatically replace itself with a missing piece. If there is no pieces missing, the pawn will wait till one is defeated. Finally, the el-passant rule was eliminated. A player combats for the same square as their opponent. All other rules of chess apply. This includes rules of movements and attacking. King-side and Queen-side castling are also available, so long as the King or corresponding Rook has not moved during the game.

When a piece confronts an opponent, the screen then changes into an attack arena. The player that instigates the attack gets the advantage: extra strength. Attacking a King, however, will not award you with any advantage. In the attack mode, each piece differs in speed, strength, weapon type, weapon recharge, weapon speed, and weapon damage. The king also has a magical defense that is stronger when more of his pieces are remaining on the board. The battle will continue until a piece is defeated. Any damage sustained in battle is permanent, but each piece will slowly heal as the game continues."

Although it sounds good in concept, Medieval Chess unfortunately doesn't play as well as it should. The range of strategic options you have available is much more limited than Archon, which also boasts a much more balanced gameplay (losing a knight in this game makes it very difficult to win). The game is worth a look for die-hard chess fans, but the rest of us would do well to stick to Archon or Dark Legions (if you prefer a dash of arcade action) than playing this shareware underdog.

Review by Home of the Underdogs

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DOS Version

Atari ST ROM

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