August 8, 2010
Dr. Evil taught us anything, it's that everything is better with lasers. Indie developer Hexagonal Studios has taken that advice to heart with their new game Chexx for iPad, a turn-based board game that features frickin' lasers. Chexx is a two-player game that's a mash-up of different board games, most notably chess and checkers, that also features laser beams. The object of the game is to dispose of your opponent's king before they do the same to you, something that can be done in a variety of ways. In Chexx, each person gets two moves per turn. A move can consist of moving a piece a single space, rotating a piece, or firing a laser. You have a variety of different pieces to move and rotate, each with their own unique properties. Some pieces act as channels for your laser, allowing it to travel around your own or opposing pieces. Other pieces act kind of like pawns in chess, where all you have to do is land on an opposing player's piece to remove it from the board. Some pieces are even equipped with mirrors on their edges to reflect the laser beams back. All of the pieces must be utilized in the best possible way to take down your opponent's king piece to win the game. Although, at least on the surface, Chexx may resemble a board game you have already played, the lasers truly add a different dynamic. It creates so many different ways of playing the same game, as some players may focus on laser path building, while others may use a defensive strategy against the lasers and then go straight for the king. It's really a fresh take on the usual board game, and the steampunk inspired graphics don't hurt. Chexx isn't flawless, however. The game doesn't contain AI, so if you don't have someone to play with at home, it's not even worth a second look. It also is a bit limited on content, with only two different board layouts to choose from at this time. During my playtime I noticed a few slowdowns as well, where rotating a piece or firing the laser took a longer than one would hope. If you are a board game enthusiast looking for something a little different for your iPad, Chexx is definitely worth checking out, as long as you have someone to play with, of course. It's now available in the App Store for $3.99.