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iPhone/iPad review of the day: Knight Defense - a little chess, a little tower defense, a lot awesome

On iPhone
Game:
Knight Defense
Price: $0.99 / £0.59
Size: 32.9 MB
Get it now on the iTunes store: US / UK 

On iPad
Game:
Knight Defense HD
Price: $2.99 / £1.79
Size: 31.2 MB
Get it now on the iTunes store: US / UK 

Knight Defense is what happens when chess gets the Pac-Man Championship Edition treatment. Sure, it looks like chess, but with an almost completely changed rule set (how completely changed? Keep reading.) and a hyper modern presentation, it feels new. And it feels great.

The biggest difference is the goal of the game. Instead of trying to capture your opponent’s king, all you need to do is protect yours. But that’s easier said than done. Enemies come at you in waves and you’ll need to position your own pieces so as to keep your king safe. It’s a lot like a tower defense game. As you kill off enemies you’ll earn points that can be used to upgrade your pieces. And, as with chess, each type of piece has its own unique abilities. This includes not only how they can move but also their special abilities, which come in the form of explosive attacks or temporary shields.

Each stage provides a different puzzle to solve. You’re given pieces to use and enemies come out of specific places on the board, but the strategy is up to you. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a remixed classic without bright, glowing graphics and thumping electronic music. This is what chess looks like during a rave.

Just like Pac-Man and Space Invaders, chess has been given a new life with this remix. It keeps much of what makes the enduring board game so great, but gives it a jolt of modern video game style.

Jan 21, 2011

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