Chessmaster 10th Edition
There has been a lot of things done to the game of chess to jazz up the age-old game. The likes of speed chess, the legitimate sport of chess boxing or the Harry Potter series creating the subseries of wizard’s chess. Though all in all, the game remains a constant through the years in its purest form and Chessmaster 10th Edition tries to do this pure form of chess justice as it has done in previous editions beautifully.
This game unsurprisingly plays much like the board game, chess. It’s an AI program that aims to offer any esteemed chess champion the challenge they need to become better at their craft. Though does offer a number of features and gimmicks that make it feel less like a chess tool and more like an honest to goodness video game centred around the game of chess.
Kings and queens
The title offers a sense of progression for players that many would have assumed to be missing from a title such as this. Ranked match wins allow players to earn rewards in the form of premium chess boards and pieces. Arguably this is a little out of place in such a grounded and simplistic game, though it makes the stakes that little bit higher and gives the player something to strive for which is appreciated if a little bit weirdly executed.
Speaking of weird gimmicks, the game also has a 3D feature-complete with glasses that are enclosed in the game case. This offers a 3D rendered setting that is interesting in the short term but will become obnoxious and tiresome pretty quick. Meaning you’ll switch to the more standard aesthetics. These are fantastic as a whole and really give a phenomenally realistic chess setting to hone your skills.
Chess for everyone
The game offers a variety of modes for every type of player. The ‘fun’ modes seem to act as both a tutorial and a kid-friendly section where basics and puzzles are used to teach core chess skills and tactics. The opponents are also low levelled, use fun and animated chess sets and players receive certificates for completing sections. It’s a great way to draw young players to the classic game.
Then for the adult players, there is an Academy. This features commentary and annotations that analyse the psychology of chess. Allowing beginners and intermediate players to develop their skills and knowledge of the game. This also features a section of puzzles and drills much like the fun section too.
Then for more experienced players. Pro commentary is added and goes through the ‘attacking chess’ mantra. Asking players to truly master the game in this interesting but criminally short section.
Know your opponent
The AI opponents in this title are the true shining aspect for the franchise. The variety of options is staggering considering the very simple premise that the game is built upon. The player can alter difficulty as expected from pure beginner to grand champion. Though players can also read player bios to see what their playstyle is, if speed chess is their preference and so on. This adds a personal touch and allows you to connect with your virtual opponent.
Though preferably, once you are in the game, this personal touch is replaced with a cold and clinical presentation. It’s chess and only chess. No animated opponents, no voice animation, no ambience.
This game also has online features so that you can play games against real opponents. These features had issues at the time of release with connectivity being a major issue. Though it seems these issues have been remedied and players can expect a normal connection speed.
Overall, it’s a game that takes a beloved tabletop version and digitally represents the classic game very competently. There are a plethora of features on offer too, for all types of the player which is commendable. In some areas, there is room for improvement, however. The experienced and advanced areas could be longer and more fleshed out and the personal touches could be brought into the actual gameplay. Though as a dedicated chess title, Chessmaster 10th Edition does a lot more than scratch an itch for keen chess players.
- Professional commentary
- Suitable for any type of player
- Personal touches with the AI
- Presentation is cold and clinical
- Advanced academy sections are too short
Download Chessmaster 10th Edition
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Ok, So You may not be interested in buying the most definitive PC-based chess game ever made, even at this price, but if you are still reading this review (hello mum!), Chessmaster 10th Edition is a must-buy. I mean come on, ten quid - you can't say fairer than that.
What you get for your wonga are countless opponents, ranging from the borderline moronic to near-Grandmaster proficiency, a comprehensive series of tutorials, tens of thousands of recorded games to watch and learn from and 35 chess sets to play on, including some novelty animated ones for the kiddies to enjoy.
Granted, if you own Chessmaster 9000 you'll probably struggle tospot too many major improvements - hence the reason it hasn't scored even higher - but as chess games go, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more exhaustive and detailed simulation of the thinking man's game than this.