Titles such as Battle Chess (1988) from the Amiga days were a fun take on chess in video game form. But now… there’s Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate!
It’s by French indie game studio PUNKCAKE Délicieux and it launched in May 2022. It takes the familiar chess formula and makes it all like a Western. Plus, there’s a shotgun. And it’s a heaping whole load of daft fun.
Go Mental in Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate
Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate is a turn-based strategy game with roguelike elements. It’s available on Steam.
The game does bear many similarities to chess, it’s just you (the player) take control of the Black King. You’ve been a very naughty King and your army has abandoned you. Outraged, the Black King arms up with his royal shotgun and goes out on a vengeful rampage.
That’s the plot! It’s a game you play with your mouse, incidentally, so into each level you go. With the goal of blowing away the white chess pieces.
As you progress through stages, you can add power-ups to your shotgun to give you a strategic advantage. You move around the chess board, you shoot the shotgun, you try not to get caught by the familiar pawn, castle, bishop characters. Simples!
Shotgun King has a Downwell (2015) type of vibe to it. In that the gameplay may appear simplistic to begin with, but the concept is so layered you’ll be surprised just how much you get out of the thing.
Things ramp up fast and you’ll get caught out with some of the computer character’s chess moves.
You need to have your strategy cap on!
Think as you would in most chess situations, but you’ve only got one piece. It’s just that piece is locked and loaded with a shotgun. Hurray! But the game is tricky, make no mistake. It’s you against many chess pieces and one little error and it’s game over.
You need to pick your powerups carefully to ensure you can wipe out as many other dudes as possible. Every time you clear a board, you get to pick between one of two.
Again, if you get caught it’s game over. Boom.
But we liked the thing, it’s unusual as a concept. But then so many indie games are, which is why we love them the way we do. Add into this a great visual style and Shotgun King pleased us mightily.
There’s even a great little soundtrack to go with the experience, which was by composer Pentadrangle from Spain.
It’s really a game you just need to throw yourself into and see where you get. It has a pick-up-and-play quality in abundance, much like Vampire Survivors (2022) which we covered recently.
Once you’ve mastered the basics you’ll be blasting your way around the chess board like a pro in no time.
And you should have a blast whilst you do that. Yeah?
Thanks, I might check this out. I like chess (not good at it though) but variations like this can be interesting. The basis of the game is simple enough that you can do a lot with it.
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You should deffo CHECKMATE this out if it piques your interest. I enjoyed it a lot. Good for short bursts of play and all that.
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