Colossus Chess X – Atari ST [1 Minute Review] | Nostalgia Nerd

Colossus Chess X – Atari ST [1 Minute Review] | Nostalgia Nerd


There are some games which just stick in your
mind. They might not be ground breaking, revolutionary
or even tremendous fun to play. But they were engrossing. One of those for me is Colossus Chess. Based on the board game… chess… derived
from 6th century India. My copy was and remains the medium boxed design
published by CDS and developed by Martin Bryant for the Atari ST in 1989. This wasn’t the first incarnation of the software. That honour went to the Commodore 64 under
the guise of Colossus Chess 2.0. The Atari incarnation retains the ability
to switch between three and two dimensional views whilst bringing to the table 3 additional
piece sets; futuristic, medieval and oriental. It’s easier to play in top down mode, but
there was something utterly captivating about the 3D view which kept me hooked. The black outlined pieces, filled with colour
against the red and white board just felt pleasing, and it played pleasingly too, with
the AI having the ability to learn through play, and it saving to disk. Something I found particularity pleasing,
as if it would soon amass enough intelligence to become self aware. This was in part helped with the “process
screen” allowing me to see the computers thoughts and previous moves. You could even have the familiar Atari ST
speech, further humanising your opponent, or just listen to some soothing music whilst
you play. The sheer amount of options available, combined
with the game aesthetic kept me coming back to this chess program time and time again,
and we have to remember, this is a time before I knew about Doom.

20 thoughts on “Colossus Chess X – Atari ST [1 Minute Review] | Nostalgia Nerd

  1. An engrossing classic for the ST. I sunk a fair few hours of my life into the series. I actually prefer it to DOS battle chess just beacause there was more to fiddle with.

  2. Did you try that chess game where the pieces were animated and had attack animations when they fought? What was the name of that one? Haven't thought about that game for decades.

  3. I had this on Amiga I think. I remember my first computer chess game better… Cyrus IS Chess, played on my 16K ZX Spectrum. When I upgraded the RAM, I flipped the tape to play the 48K version. No 3D mode on Cyrus, but then like you said, they are easier to play in 2D mode anyway. There was a fun twist on 3D chess… Battlechess.

  4. Never played that one; I had ChessMaster 2000 on the ST (and 4000 later on the PC).

    I think I still prefer nice simple Staunton pieces.

  5. Battle Chess for the Amiga is the most memorable chess game I played. It was great watching the finishers being performed on your mate's pieces.

  6. oh that's weird, the Commodore one looks very familiar. I never owned anything gaming until Master System and my school didn't have one (they did have a BBC Micro for Look & Read games) maybe my school did have a Commodore and I was just unaware! Dat 3D doe. Perfecto.

  7. thats classic one!! damn me that i sold my ST at 1995 and i miss the real midi ports and the seqvenser of it, (and for financing my ST 1000 i sold my SINCLAIR QL, that also had one of most hypnotic 3d chess to play…but the most unreliable fuckin mini c-casett kind "disc" drive ever!!… now i dont have those machines no more and i have started understand how ground breaking computers those machines was.) nowadays u can get SD card drives and different memory upgrades dirty cheap online for them…
    i really was stupid back then 8(

  8. You forgot to mention that the game beat all other contenders at the 1984 World Computer Chess Championships (mostly 16-0 I think), and it also beat Karpov 9 games to 4, something I read that rather annoyed him. 😀 I started the chess club at my school; in my long running war with this game set to max, I was trounced 27 games to 3. It was really well written, and quite mesmerising to watch the "thinking" screen (I used the C64 version 4.0 IIRC). Staggeringly better than the Acorn chess game I had for my Electron which, at the hardest difficulty settings, would take hours before making even the simplest move. Colossus Chess had an opening moves book which was a great idea. I didn't know there was an ST version though, very cool.

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