At last! A quality chess game with plenty of frivolous and totally needless gimmicks. CLAIRE MORLEY swaps some prawns with the Game Gear.

Chess, the ultimate game of strategy, has been played around the world for over 2,000 years. The same moves that stumped thinkers and thickies alike, from Einstein to Mellerick, are now brought to you in wondrous miniature on the Game Gear.

A well presented package, the instructions are direct and to the point, explaining the basics of chess without too much palaver. But as for the options... the sheer volume of them is a mind-boggling.

The Actions menu features loadsa options, with endless possibilities. Change sides with the Chessmaster. so wait until he’s feeling smug and confident about winning then swop around to get some revenge!

Force the Chessmaster to make his move, giving him no time to think! Make a stupid move and you’ll wish you could take it back. Well with this game you can! Get the Chessmaster to solve the mate and reveal how to beat himself. Daft old git!

If it looks like neither you or the Chessmaster can win, it’s possible to offer a truce but he doesn’t always accept. Use a code to save your game and reload when you’re ready to do battle once more.

Deep thought

Chessmaster has a variety of settings; alter them to increase your chess challenge. In addition to a standard 13 skill levels, there are easy-peasy Newcomer levels strictly for beginners, and the Infinite level, where the Chessmaster thinks over his move until you force him to commit himself.

There are three play modes: against a friend, the computer or you can set the computer against itself. Teaching mode shows all moves and suggests a strategy. It’s possible to rethink your game and retrace past moves piece by piece.

Other options such as Deep Thinking Mode, Opening Book (where the Chessmaster consults a book containing 150,000 chess moves), Coordinate Mode on/off, Chess Clock on/off, Touching Rule and position of white pieces are all variable.

Chess pieces are selected with a well-drawn hand icon but an illegal move won’t get past the crafty old sod and he’ll set you right in no uncertain terms. Speech synthesis is excellent for the Gear.

It’s classic chess with mighty fine trimmings thrown in. Well presented and suitably user-friendly for novice and expert alike, it’s the ultimate travel chess computer.

CLAIRE

Producer
Sega
Memory
128K
Players
1-2
Price
£24.99

SF Rating

Presentation
92% - Oodles of fancy gimmicks!
Visuals
89% - Clear chess pieces and hand icon
Sonics
88% - Excellent speech from the Chess Maestro
Playability
89% - Easily controlled, loads of difficulty options
Lastability
88% - As lasting as chess can be!

90%

A great chess mate, with all the extras

Rating
90
Reviewer
Sega Force magazine
Region
UK
Scans
Sega Force - Issue 04, Sega Force - Issue 05

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