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Plays a fine game of chess
It might be lacking in the visual flash of the likes of Battle Chess and Combat Chess but Chessmaster 200 has got it where it counts and that's under the hood. Although somewhat crude visually and sonically, the game offers an impressive computer AI and a decent set of options which combine to create a great simulation of this most classic of games which is suitable for both beginners and veterans alike. The rules of the game itself need not be explained but rest assured if you're taking on Chessmaster 2000, you can expect a tough ride (unless you tweak the settings of course) and this is perhaps where its appeal really lies as the computer opponent is highly sophisticated (especially given its age) and will put up a good fight even for old hands, playing both offensively and defensively with equal aplomb. The range of options on display make it just as appealing for newcomers though, so if you're not an expert but are interested in picking up chess, then this game is also for you. The visuals are simple enough, with none of the amusing or complex death animations that later games would bring to the table but those get tedious pretty quickly so what you're left with here is simply an extremely fine game which does exactly what you need it to and no more. You can however switch between 2D and 3D if you want but it's perhaps easier to stick with the 2D perspective as it makes planning your moves a bit easier. The interface is straightforward enough to pick up and really if you're looking for a new chess simulator then you can't go far wrong with this one.
Old and classy and yet so powerful still
There's just something cool about really old, retro chess; for me, what it does, is, it puts me in a very specific mind state, where I'm free to let my thoughts go out and about, thinking about how technology has advanced, and how some of the most brilliant minds in tech and software and hardware design were putting all their efforts into developing AIs, sufficiently developed to be able to play Chess. So, this game, black and white as it is, plays absolutely fantastic. It was released for the DOS environment, for ZX Spectrum and for a bunch of other home PCs. On the DOS it is a hint more fast paced then on other home computers, so it has that going for itself, and the 2D boards, black and white, raster styled, look mighty cool. There is also an isometric table, if you want to go really crazy about the looks of the game, but truly, it can be a bit harder to visualize your pieces. At any rate, a great oldie in the great Chessmaster series, definitely worth its weight in gold. See other, more recent Chessmaster games as well, if you want to have more options graphical and features wise.