Mean Machines

By Hi Tech Expressions
Game Boy

Published in Mean Machines #8


The armies are prepared, so let the battle begin! The latest strategy cartridge to arrive on the Gameboy is one of the oldest games known to man - chess. Believed to come from the Middle East, it is a stylised form of armed conflict that has become the most sophisticated mental challenge in the world.

Chessmaster includes a host of options to determine the skill of the computer opponent and the speed of its reactions. A head-to-head link allows the ultimate conflict, against another human. If things are going really badly, changing sides with the computer can help to rescue the game.

A takeback option means that a silly blunder isn't automatically fatal (as it would be in the real game) so amateurs and professionals alike can get benefit from this simulation.

All The Right Moves

The Chessmaster

All the manoeuvres in chess are to be found in this version. En passant, taking a piece adjacent to a pawn, is here, as well as both castling moves. As the computer can be made to solve a game, and the board can be set up in any way you like, this is excellent practice for serious chess players, as well as great fun for the slightly less committed!

Saving Grace

Chessmaster has a save option unlike the majority of Gameboy cartridges. This means that a game doesn't have to be finished in one sitting, so loading a position and playing part of the game every day on the bus becomes easy!


My chess is a little rusty, but this game has rekindled my interest in it! This works so well on the Gameboy, and the graphics are clear and not confusing. This effectively turns the Gameboy into a great portable chess board with no chance of losing those fiddly plastic bits. Hooray!


The Chessmaster

Clear graphics, superb presentation, a tutor mode and skill levels ranging from hopeless idiot to Grand Master make this a stunning Gameboy title, and one that you'll keep playing as long as you have a Gameboy to play it on.

Not only is Chessmaster a superb chess game, it's more portable and more flexible than dedicated chess machines costing five times as much!

If you've got the slightest interest in chess, you've simply got to get this (and don't show it to your Dad otherwise you'll never get your Gameboy back!).