For those who love the game, chess never grows tiring. Chessmaster 8000 adds new personalities and features to enhance the strategic game even more. The login process requires you to solve a simple little puzzle on the left of the screen and then offers several modes of play. One is geared toward children and offers less challenging opponents and cartoon-like playing pieces. It's a perfect way to introduce youngsters to the game with its ease of play and step-by-step approach.
In-game tutorials range from explaining legal moves of each piece to traversing the complex techniques of past champions. The beginner's section teaches both piece movement and board set up and goes over some basic gameplay techniques. The intermediate section offers specific strategies to try. Initially, you receive a series of questions asking which is the better move of the two shown, which helps in understanding the main objectives of chess. The advanced section presents even more complicated techniques and ideas.
The three basic modes prepare you for the final section where you meet International Master Josh Waitzkin. In this section, he comments in detail on games played by professional players. Since he moves rather fast through a multitude of ideas and maneuvers, following and understanding him isn't always an easy task. At times, he talks so incredibly fast and zips through strategies so quickly that it's difficult to follow his main point. If you know the lingo and feel you're advanced enough to understand his in-depth analyses though, the section can be very helpful.
While Chessmaster 8000 will show you how to play the game from the beginning, until you've mastered certain concepts you're guaranteed to lose against difficult opponents. Fortunately, you have the option of choosing your opponent from any level of competition. You can challenge a 5-year old with a rating of only 100 or have a go at a chess master with a rating exceeding 2000. With even a larger selection of opponents than previous Chessmaster games, you always have a chance to win. Don't make the mistake of judging opponents by their picture, though -- many have incredible skills.
The game has a championship mode in which each game you play is rated. You begin with a rating over 2000 and lose or gain points each loss and gain respectively. The mode allows you to choose opponents but rating changes are directly proportional to the skill level of the opponent. If you're not up for the championship, you can opt to simply play a normal game in the game room.
A database on the CD includes many famous matches and personalities and offers a chance to study their games one move at a time as the game plays out. Although the tutorials, personalities, matches and championships are very good features, the online multiplayer system is the most important. With an Internet, LAN or modem connection, you can challenge players from anywhere in the world without leaving your home. There's no experience in chess better than playing a live opponent.
One of the obvious drawbacks in terms of playing chess on the computer is the loss of realism that playing on a real chessboard with real pieces gives you. Although somewhat defeating the purpose of the computer game, setting up a real board next to the computer and moving the pieces along with the onscreen game will give you a better feel of actually playing and quite possibly a better perspective.
Chessmaster 8000 can be a difficult game. If you don't choose your opponent carefully you can be defeated quite easily. It's very complex in that it caters to all levels of players, many with different objectives, but still offers an easy setup for simply playing without accessing all the features. Due to its incredible content and easy interface, the game is one of the best of its kind on the market for both casual and professional players.
Graphics: Three different types of playing pieces include the children's cartoon scheme, a regular game mode and championship pieces. Pictures of each personality are included along with their profiles. Several piece sets, backgrounds and board display options complement the various setup options.
Sound: The game includes voice tutorials and moves are clearly stated during gameplay, should you choose that option.
Enjoyment: Whether you're playing against human or computer opponents, the game truly immerses you in the world of chess. An easy to use mouse interface makes navigation within the program a breeze. A wide range of skill levels ensures equality in competition for any chess fan.
Replay Value: The nature of the game insures unlimited replay value, although the number of game analyses by Waitzkin are naturally limited.
People who downloaded Chessmaster 8000 have also downloaded:
Chessmaster 9000, Chessmaster 10th Edition, Chessmaster 5500, Chessmaster 4000, Fritz 9: Play Chess, Hoyle Majestic Chess, Monopoly (1999), Chessmaster 3000, The
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