Chess Brain: Dark Troops is a sequel to the game Chess Brain from developer Caio Flavio (Who created Dracula Frames which we have covered on the Youtube Channel previously). Unfortunately the original never made it to the Xbox consoles but thanks to publisher QUByte Interactive we are now able to try the game on the Xbox platform! This sequel brings with it 30 new levels in which to play through. Your objective is to move your king chess piece to the destination point by choosing the correct path and not colliding with the AI pieces. The devs describe one of the purposes of this game is to develop the ability to predict movement in Chess, using a playful and immersive concept and from playing this game I can totally see that.
As you progress through the levels you will come across a variety of chess pieces to avoid. They start as black pieces which follow the standard sort of chess directional movements and then eventually a new red piece is introduced. These new class of enemies have longer movement paths and this makes the puzzles take more thought and care when deciding on your path to the destination. The way your king piece moves is by you drawing the full move out from start to finish, which will lead to alot of trial and error. However once you get used to the movements and the different pieces you should start to master the puzzles much quicker. It's not that long of a game either, with a completion within an hour depending on your skill level - definitely one for you achievement hunters out there to take notice of.
Compared to the original game there are also a selection of quality of life improvements. As well as graphical improvements and UI tweaks to make everything easier there is also a visualisation option that lets you see where pieces are going to be moving to. Overall the game itself is a definite improvement over the original but it just feels so short and more of an expansion than a full game. Luckily the low price makes up for that. A fun puzzle game for fans and non-fans of chess alike.
TOTAL SCORE: 7/10
Chess Brain: Dark Troops was released onto the Xbox store on the 1st September 2022. The game is playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. The game costs £3.29 and can be purchased HERE. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for this review. A huge thanks for that.