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Review: Chess Elite

December 25, 2009 , Posted by App-reciation Reviews at 12:15 PM

Category: Games

Price: $ 3.99
Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch, OS 2.0 or later

What's good: Since its inception, the AppStore has seen a steady number of chess applications, and so have we. These have mostly been pretty basic, and although some might satisfy players looking for a standard chess game on their iPhone or iPod touch, none of them do as excellent a job as Chess Elite by 99 Games. In itself, the gameplay is nothing different from what similar apps have to offer - simply move your pieces around on the board and strategize according to chess rules to capture your opponent's king. What sets it apart, however, is the extensive customization options and additional features that greatly enhance the experience. If you thought chess couldn't get any more exciting than what you're used to, then you're in for a big treat as you battle it out with either the computer or prepare for a real challenge over the net with players spanning the globe. Find opponents sorted by Elo Rating (a system that ranks your performance relative to others in the community) and of course wins and losses, then hit the challenge button and wait for your invitation to be accepted. The new update comes with even more precise player classification as you now get categorized into Chess Clubs and Smart Groups, while a new info page lets you set a status and view your career summary in a straightforward pie chart. Sometimes others might find your profile interesting and pick you for a match, and you can decide to enable push to notify you in these instances. Furthermore, a host of helpful tools - replay and watch, undo moves, pick opponent strength, smart hints, etc. - will get you through tougher times and make a chess master out of you as you continually study mistakes and learn effective techniques. All of this is executed with extreme polish and professionalism and rendered in clean and crisp graphics with subtle yet timely sound effects to create a truly excellent (and as yet unrivaled) chess engine that can be tailored to suit beginners and advanced players alike.

Suggestions for improvement: Background music helps keep lengthy games lively. We also wish there were finer controls for the computer's AI apart from the fast vs. strong slider.

Graphics - 4.75/5 Creativity - 4.75/5 Gameplay - 5/5 Controls - 5/5
App-reciation - 5/5

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