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Chess Rally 2.5 Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Saturday, 18 November 2006
The ancient art of chess has probably been ripped to the PC a million times, how is this game any different from the rest of the chess games out there?

We have been blessed with a number of great chess games for PC and over the Internet, a defining series is the Chessmaster games. Over the Internet we can play chess from opponents all over the world through services like Yahoo Games.

A major problem with chess games is that they are difficult to evolve. Developing them has become more about features around the game than evolving the game play itself. We have seen some less than attractive attempts, for example Star Wars chess and the little bit better Battle Chess.

So what does Chess Rally 2 bring to the table? Chess Rally 2 is packed with features both advanced and basic ones. It’s possible to play the game online in an environment very similar to Yahoo Games Chess but with more advanced features, and players. Chess Rally 2 also includes a parental control filter so that abusive language is filtered out. It might be good for parents who want their little ones turned into the next Kasparov.

The game can also be played using E-mail or LAN. It’s really great playing chess with your friends and associates using the e-mail feature just make a couple of moves a day when you feel like it. However I have a difficult time understanding the LAN feature, it seems that it’s there more for show than value. I think chess would be among the last games anyone would like to play using LAN, but I might be wrong.

Chess Rally 2 also has a huge and extensive single player mode. It’s possible to play against the computer at different difficulty levels (normal, expert and master). The AI is a worthy opponent at all three levels.

It’s also possible to set up your own game scenarios and situations in experiment mode. So if you want to recreate certain famous chess games and practice them. More advanced chess software actually has databases with famous games in them so you don’t have to set them up manually. Chess Rally 2 have an import function so that you can import games, all games in Portable Game (.PGN) or Forsyth-Edwards (.FEN) can be imported.

If you are feeling lonely playing against your desktop you can always chat with it. I can’t see any real benefit of the feature at all. If you ask how the computer is doing it answers, “sorry I can’t understand you, be more specific”. I mean why waste time on the chat thing at all?

As you probably already noticed Chess Rally 2 comes stacked with features. To help you find what you want Ingenuware have put together an extensive HTML user manual. It’s a great effort but the chess board background makes the links unreadable. Also there is no search feature, I wanted to know if it was a way to pause the game but I never found out because I couldn’t search for it.

A very strange thing is the first welcome screen. The screen reads “STOP YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RUN CHESSRALLY”. Apparently Chess Rally 2 has identified that my system clock is set to 2006 (no surprise there) and this distant year might signal that I’m trying to “crack” the game in order to obtain the full version. So basically Chess Rally 2 treats trial users like crooks before the game is even started, very confusing and bad I must say. I’m for cracking down on pirates but this screen really got me started.

Chess Rally 2 is a very extensive and good chess game, it’s a fun experience to play both offline and online. However an impossible user manual and a stupid single player chat function brings the experience down. On top of that the unfriendly and confusing welcome screen just makes you go mad.

Related: N/A
Developer: Ingenuware
Website for Game:
Publisher: N/A
O/S: Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP
Where to get: Click here to download
Cost of Full Game: $19.95
Year of Release: 2004

Pentium 200 MHz, 128 MB RAM (for Windows 2000/XP), 64 MB RAM (Windows ME) and 32 MB RAM (Windows 98)
Tested on:
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz, 2x512 MB RAM, Geforce 4 64 MB, Windows XP.

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