Battle Chess is a computer game version of chess in which the chess pieces come to life and battle one another when capturing. The game itself was inspired by the 3D chess sequences from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Futureworld.
The game was released for the Commodore Amiga and subsequently on the 3DO, MS-DOS, Apple IIgs, Commodore 64, Amiga CDTV, CD32, Atari ST, Apple Macintosh, Acorn Archimedes, FM Towns, and Nintendo Entertainment System.
The game can be played in a 2D version with no animations, and the Amiga CDTV version features a fully-voiced introduction describing the movements of the pieces for the benefit of beginners.
The game could be played against a human opponent (by hotseat, or by null modem or over a local area network in some ports) or against the computer's artificial intelligence (AI). The game has an opening library from over 30,000 moves (which weren't available for the C64 and Apple versions).
The Amiga version received favourable reviews from magazines due its comical battle sequences which were advanced (for the time) in terms of graphics, animation and sound. The German game magazine ASM, however, criticized the weak chess AI.
Over a period of time Battle Chess spawned imitators such as Star Wars Chess and Terminator 2 Chess Wars. Interplay won "Best Graphics Achievement In A Non-Graphics Product" from Software Publishers Association (later renamed to Software and Information Industry Association) for their efforts.
Battle Chess's producer Brian Fargo expressed his fondness for the game in a 2006 interview, although he added that he did not think there would be much of an audience for it today.
Three years later in 1991 a sequel was released titled Battle Chess II: Chinese Chess based on Xiangqi. Following a year later the last sequel called Battle Chess 4000 was released, which spoofed science fiction movies and television series (for example a battle sequence involves the monolith from ).
Interplay launches online games; 3-D Internet service will feature 'Descent' and 'Battle Chess 4000.' (Interplay Productions)(Telemedia Week)(Brief Article)
May 13, 1996; 3-D Internet service will feature 'Descent' and 'Baffle Chess 4000' Interplay Productions soon will put its monster hit game...