I’ ve always hated turn-based games. I just get bored waiting to have my go, by which point I’m so impatient I just make any move without any thought of strategy, and thus don’t do very well. I just don’t find them entertaining. I managed four hours of Fallout, two hours of Fallout 2, and have never completed a game of chess. At least I don’t think I have. If I did, it was so boring I don’t remember. This is why we only play board games at Christmas, and even so, I prefer the fast-paced Boggle to the lumbering Monopoly.
Thus it was a welcome tweet from kateri_t that drew my attention to Chess Without Turns, a free-to-play browser game by indie designer Sosker. It’s specifically designed for those of us with the attention span of a toddler goldfish after too many sweets.
She’d spotted a post on the Indie Games blog praising the rapid-fire “action-packed arcade simulation” that trashes the conventional rules and favours speed over strategy. Player are automatically matched, with each moving their pieces at the same time. The winner is the one that completely eliminates their opponent.
It’s player-vs-player, so it does depend on there being other users online, but the game’s growing popularity suggests that finding a sparring partner won’t be too tricky. Indeed, when I tried it, I could have had a choice of matches had my adversary not been randomly selected. I spent my first few games just randomly clicking on as many pieces/squares as I could as fast as I could (and being humiliated by my opponents) until I noticed that you can learn how to play if you do it a few times. For a start, it helpfully lights up “legal” paths for your piece to take, which is great for those of us who don’t know our prawns from our horsies.
I won a few; I lost a few. Did I win more than I lost? Oh, I have no idea – I wasn’t paying attention.