Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Welcome to the Game Zombies' realm!

Game Review

Knightmare Chess
The Original Game of Chaos on the Chessboard (2nd Edition)

Knightmare Chess 2
More Chaos on the Chessboard

Steve Jackson Games
Knightmare Chess © 1996,1997 Steve Jackson Games Incorporated
Knightmare Chess 2 © 1998 Steve Jackson Games Incorporated
Uncle's Games link(Knightmare Chess) Uncle's Games link(Knightmare Chess 2)

2 Players 30+ minutes


Take a standard chess game -- then with each move, change a rule or a piece's placement. Chess isn't boring anymore!


Players provide a chess set. They agree to a set number of "deck points" to choose cards. (The rules suggest 150 points.) Card point values are located on the upper right of the card -- When the total points of all of the cards you pick is the agreed amount, you have a deck that is ready to play. Each player will need one deck.

There are enough cards in a game box for both players.

Players set up the chess board according to normal chess rules. Each draws five cards from their deck. Play proceeds with standard chess moves, however, on each player's turn a single card may be played. Play continues until one player is checkmated.

There is one important rule that must be described for the game to play well: the checkmate rule. This rule requires that the checkmate condition may not be caused by a card play -- that is, you cannot capture the opponent's king by using a card. Although, the card may be used to remove an obstacle and then a moved piece may checkmate your opponent.

The cards are what makes the game. Every card is different, so I will only describe a few. Knightmare (10 points) -- cancels your opponent's move & requires a different play from them. Doomsayer (2 points) states that the next player who mentions the name of a piece, except king, loses a piece of that type. And, Earthquake (4 points) rotates the chess board 90 degrees -- yet play still continues in the normal direction. Every card is different and changes the rules in its own manner.



Winning Conditions:

  • As with chess, checkmate your opponent.

Our Opinion:

Thumbs Up!Do you like chess? If you do, this might be a good novelty game for you. If, however, you are the current chess club champion and hate to lose when luck is involved -- you may hate this game. You have to say to yourself repeatedly, "this is not chess, it is a different game."

The difference between Knightmare Chess and Knightmare Chess 2 is the cards... the rules are the same, you only need one set to play.

This game uses chess as a baseline, and the leaps beyond normal strategies and patterns in chess. If a player tries to play chess using these cards as accents to their game, they will LOSE. This game is NOT chess! If you think like you are playing a chess game when you try to play it, you will not like it. If you treat this like a totally different game than chess, you will find a well written game that is difficult to tell who is going to win until someone sneaks into the right position to claim victory.

All of the Zombies own this game. We like it. We bought it. The problem is, we don't play it. We like it enough to recommend it to chess fans. You need an opponent who is willing to play with you -- and therein lies the problem. Not everyone like chess or even the hint of chess -- and if you are like us, chess does not top our list for most commonly played games.

We also find that other games (like this one) already have the chaotic style of play incorporated into them and so there isn't a great motivation to try Knightmare Chess unless you actually play chess regularly.

In brief: Is it fun? Yes. Is it worth buying? If you like chess, yes. Is it good for a party? No.

If you can convince a group of people to form a Knightmare Chess league, you could have a lot of fun with this game. It could be as addictive as other trading card games -- but the players have to enjoy chess.

Where to buy:

Any local game store -- Each set costs from $15-$20.

Uncle's Games link(Knightmare Chess) Uncle's Games link(Knightmare Chess 2)

Other Reviews
Zombie Main page