Oric Chess Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

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Oric Chess
By Tansoft
Oric 48K

 
Published in Personal Computer News #017

Knights And Days

Knights and Days

Far from being squeezed out by arcade games, chess is alive and well and living on micros of just about every make you can think of. The Oric-1 is no exception, since Tansoft has just brought out Oric Chess, with five levels of difficulty and classy graphics.

The micro is your opponent and you enter moves by giving the starting and finishing co-ordinates of your chosen piece.

In Play

Your only instructions for the game are held as the first file on the cassette, not on paper. Learn how to play the game first, since the instructions assume you are a player already.

Loading this tape I found to be a little difficult, with both volume and tone levels needing to be set precisely. And though the first file should load the second automatically according to the instructions, it wouldn't oblige for me.

Once loaded, the display shows the board, a scratch-pad where moves are displayed, and messages. The graphics are good enough to play the game without needing to use a board of your own. But the standard of play was quite a different story.

Of the five levels of play, I won easily at the first three levels. At levels four and five, I found things were little better. The delay between moves was so long that I lost all patience with the game, and quickly gave up.

I thought the length of thinking time was out of all proportion to the level of difficulty the game offers.

Oric Chess lacks a number of features that are standard in other programs. For example, there is no facility to set up the board for problem solving, the computer will not suggest a move, you cannot move between levels of play during a game.

The result is a mediocre game of chess and little else.

Verdict

I am a keen chess player but I'm no Boris Spassky so I think a lot of people will be disappointed with Oric Chess. A 48K machine with a very fast processor is capable of greater things than this.

It is not without redeeming qualities, however. Error checking for invalid moves is of a very high standard and the endgame is strong.

The graphics are excellent with each piece clearly defined, and after moves have been entered both the piece to be moved and its destination square are flashed.

David Janda

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