Brain Games: Chess Helps You Keep Your Wits Razor Sharp

Improve Your Game

With its scoring system, Brain Games: Chess is designed to give both beginners and intermediate chess players a mental workout. It takes factors such as your play speed, the number of hints you ask for as well as the number of undos you've made per game. Its AI then adjusts accordingly to provide you with the challenge you need to take your game to the next level. Those who are new to the sport will benefit from the game's enhanced tutorials.

Brain Games: Chess

Are you already familiar with the basics? There are multiple skill levels available so if you find that the Average Joe isn't keeping you on your toes anymore, you can always try going up against someone like Einstein. The game lets you analyze your performance by rating how well or how badly you did in a match. Once you're confident enough to face your pals, there's no need to dust off the chess board. You can use the program to play against real life opponents as well.

Life in 3D

Although at the time of release, the game's graphics were already considered above average, they do look quite dated by modern day standards. The renders look flat and lack texture. The environments are muddy and blocky with little effort put into providing a cohesive color palette. On the up side, the interface is customizable, with fifteen 3D piece sets and boards available for you to choose from. And, if you find the game's 3D models to be too distracting, you can ditch them completely and play in 2D. The bottom line is, the graphics aren't quite at the level of Chessmaster XI but it will do.

It's a Pawn, Not a King

Brain Games: Chess is fun to an extent but it isn't hitting all the right notes. It features 3000 classic games featuring known Chess Masters but its system is in need of some refinement. The game sometimes forces illogical moves and declares a draw due to impossibility of a checkmate when there's still some life left in the match.

Brain Games: Chess

Another problem is the developer's confusing description. Although it promises "enhanced tutorials", there are actually none to be found. What that is actually referring to are the hints you can ask for to help you out in case you've run out of ideas. What happens is that the game lights the square underneath pieces that are within the range of attack of your opponent and vice versa, leaving you to decide accordingly. There are no written or spoken explanations of what is happening and there is no handholding for complete beginners. On the other hand, the game does allow for take backs during rated games at the cost of 50 points each, which makes it a bit kinder to play than other hardcore chess titles.

Basically, your enjoyment of Brain Games: Chess will depend on how complex or advanced you want your matches to be. It's good enough for those who wish to practice simple strategies but are already familiar with the rules. However, those who are serious about competing will likely find this title to be a tad too clunky. Considering how far 3D graphics have improved since the game's time of release, Brain Games: Chess is also not for those who are looking for some eye candy.