Checkmate Showdown is the chess-themed fighting game I didn’t know I needed

Chess tournaments matter, fighting game tournaments matter, so you can see why Checkmate Showdown hybrid chess fighting game is after some of those eyeballs. It’s a silly but competitive combo of the two in which you move chess pieces around a board (your checkmate) and then switch to a side-to-side combat game where your pieces fight against each other. another (your confrontation) to determine who stays on the board. Does he deserve those eyeballs, then? After playing an early version myself, I think so.

Checkmate Showdown begins with typical failures. You’ll take turns with your opponent to move the pieces around the board, but when someone tries to take another piece, it’s time for the fight. Only special pieces fight. Pawns, for example, don’t enter combat to get things done quickly, but they can be upgraded by reaching the opponent’s side of the board (just as they can be in real chess). Whichever piece wins the side combat remains on the board. To achieve this victory, you must master both strategic positioning on the board and the combat controls (thankfully easy to learn) that allow you to punch a bishop in the face.

Surround an opponent’s piece with several of your own, for example, and you can choose a partner to help you. This allows you to unleash a special tag assist attack in combat sections, which will cause the partner piece to quickly rush around the arena and hit your opponent for easy damage.

A player uses a tag assist move in Checkmate Showdown, causing the orange queen to kick a purple knight while the orange bishop backs off.

However, whoever initiates combat (i.e. moves their piece onto an opponent’s piece) will also receive an ultimate attack which they can unleash once during battle for a huge chunk of the health bar . It forces you to balance between carefully placing your own pieces so your opponent can’t call the fight and gaining an easy advantage, while being aggressive so you can seize that advantage at every opportunity.

After combat, any damage your piece takes will persist between battles. Each room has its own health bar, and plunging the same into frequent fights alone is sure to see her get killed sooner rather than later. To win fights consistently, you’ll need to strategically position yourself to get an assist and an ultimate in as many battles as possible.

A chess board in Checkmate Showdown, showing orange and purple pieces.

If, like me, you’re too tired from school/work/life/whatever makes you want to pull the duvet over your head and not leave your bed to even think about something competitive, then you’ll be glad to hear that Checkmate Showdown is also great for more casual fighters. I don’t have the best understanding of optimal chess moves, for example, but I still found it relatively easy to set up my board for tag assists, and it gives me something to work towards which I know can pay off in future fights.

Likewise, the combat controls are nice and simple, putting it in the same vein as Super Smash Bros and Street Fighter 6 with its modern control scheme. Directional inputs are easy to pick up and remember, but I could also see there’s clearly plenty of depth here too, with throws, guard breaks and move cancels all available for tactic more advanced combat. But I also found it easy to pick up and play during my hour-long preview session, as someone less interested in the hyper-competitive side of fighting games (although I’d appreciate that). watch), its simplicity seemed like the perfect fit for me when I know some friends are online and want to play something quickly.

An orange bishop counters the move of a purple knight in Checkmate Showdown.

A crazy uppercut hits a tower in Checkmate Showdown.

Also, on the chess side, there is an anti-stall feature called Final Showdown that prevents people from dragging the game when they are in a losing position. If 20 consecutive rounds pass without a fight, Final Showdown kicks off and you enter a series of battles where all the remaining pieces face off to quickly decide the winner, ensuring huge chunks of the match don’t become one. dead end.

Based on what I’ve played so far, Checkmate Showdown is shaping up to be a fun competition that feels fast and fluid, and something you should definitely have on your radar in this seeming year of big gaming. combat, with Street Fighter 6 followed by Mortal Kombat 1 and Tekken 8 later this year. Checkmate Showdown doesn’t have a release date yet, but you can find out more on Steam.

Leave a Comment