Monday, February 25, 2008


The open-source community is apparently obsessed with chess. DreamChess is further proof of that, not that I was looking for any. It's the best of the bunch so far, though if Brutal Chess continues to improve, I 'spect it will end up my favorite.

It's got everything the others do (i.e. Brutal Chess and GNU Chess). It's also got more themes than either, and its 3D implementations are as good as Brutal Chess's, although jagged-looking as hell, like GNU Chess's 3D mode (thankfully without the horrible lag of GNU Chess). It doesn't have the fun-but-useless rotate-board feature that Brutal Chess does, so it loses points there.

Still, though, it's got all the functions of either as well a bit more graphical flair than either (DreamChess looks cooler, even though Brutal Chess looks sharper). Especially amusing was an 'Elemental' theme, where instead of white vs. black you have fire vs. ice. Also adding a bit of whimsical flair is the fact that each theme portrays a life-bar for each of the players, which goes down as pieces are captured by the other team, and also keeps a running list of which pieces each side has captured along the side.

When you get right down to it, any of these games will let you play chess with yourself or against someone else locally, and none of them will let you play chess over a network. Apparently chess games improve according their location in the alphabet, though, so I expect we'll get one with network play before we make it all the way to zed. Onward!

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