Too Much Free Time

Discussion and reviews of games for NES, Intellivision, DOS, and others.

Checkers

Posted by Tracy Poff on January 6, 2009

Checkers is a Windows 3.1 implementation of checkers by Gregory Thatcher, released in 1990.

I’m just going to assume we all know the rules of checkers, and skip that part. Checkers provides an AI, so you can play against the AI or another human in hotseat play, or watch the computer play against itself. The difficulty (how smart the AI is) can be selected from five levels, Beginner through Master. You can also choose whether to play black or red, and can switch in the middle of the game, if you so desire.

The one with the white circle on it is a king, and was thoroughly beating me.

For anyone who doesn’t know how to play, the help file includes instruction on how to play the game as well as how to use the software.

Checkers can be downloaded directly at this link.

AI: 4/5
The AI beat me, so I guess it can’t suck too badly. However, I do suck very badly at checkers, so I’m only weighting this half to account for my inability to tell whether the AI is actually good. Minus a point since it could be more granular, too.
Gameplay: 4/10
It does what it says on the tin, but minus a point because waiting on the computer to move is boring.
Graphics: 2/10
The graphics are far too simple, and the board looks rather squashed. There’s no excuse for this, given that the DOS version of Battle Chess came out two years earlier and looked much, much better. The Windows version of Battle Chess wouldn’t come out for another year or so, but it too would look much nicer.
Personal Slant: 1/10
I don’t really like checkers that much, and this particular implementation doesn’t make me want to play it any more. I give it one point for including 0-player mode. Fight amongst yourselves, my minions, fight!
Total: 3.1/10
Checkers does indeed play checkers, but it doesn’t do anything beyond that. The overly-simple and somewhat poor graphics hurt this one quite a bit, along with the utter lack of anything original. Battle Chess had been out for two years at this point, so we all knew more was possible. Of course, this implementation probably wasn’t intended to be anything special–but it gets no points for achieving that goal. There’s really no reason you’d want to play this, since there are far better checkers games out there.
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