SNES A Day 6: The Chessmaster

the_chessmaster_us_box_art

Approximate Release Date: September 1, 1991
Genre: Chess
Developer: Mindscape
Publisher: Mindscape

Do you like chess? The Chessmaster is all about chess.

It took me an embarrassing amount of time before I realized this game even had a menu. Once you press start at the title screen, it just dumps you into a game with a fairly difficult computer opponent. I played a few games like this before realizing that select brings up the The Chessmaster‘s main menu.

I went from thinking the game was embarrassingly barebones to appreciating how broad The Chessmaster‘s scope is. Now, I’m not great at chess. I know what castling is, but that’s about as advanced as I get with the game. So I can’t speak too in-depth about how good of a simulation this is. But it offers a dozen or so difficulty settings (including one called “Infinite,” which sounds horrible) and lets you customize the how the chessboard and pieces look. There’s even an option to ask for advice in the game you’re playing. And there’s multiplayer.

The Chessmaster seems like a high quality chess game for the Super Nintendo. I’m sure that a chess fan could do much worse.

Whatever you do, though, don’t turn on the background music. I’m pretty sure this game only has one song, and it’s a doozy. I think the song should be called “Kitty Cat on a Casio,” because that’s what it sounds like. When combined with the sound effects in the game, it sounds like complete nonsense. Try to make it through this video.

Tomorrow: …what’s Drakkhen? Never heard of it.

5 thoughts on “SNES A Day 6: The Chessmaster”

  1. That dude looks like a wizard, I thought he was one until I saw the image again and saw he lacked both a hood and a wizard’s hat.

    Infinite sounds horrible indeed. And I will remember to never put on the music, thanks for the warning. Be sure to disable the music in The New Tetris for the N64 if you’d ever play it. Makes me nauseous and all, though there’s more than one song in that game.

      1. Ah, it’s not worse, it’s just bad IMO. There should be those loving the soundtrack though. I just don’t fancy techno from that time period. As the Chessmaster soundtrack could be considered universelly awful I’d say The New Tetris soundtrack couldn’t, as some people like it. Others, on the other hand, feel a bit nauseous by listening on it. I muted the music on my copy after 30 minutes of gameplay.

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