Wor(l)ds Col­lide

Chess meets Rogue in, er, Chogue.

PC GAMER (US) - - REVIEW - By Tom Sykes

Ien­joy a good port­man­teau, but even I was taken aback by the un­re­pen­tant hor­ror of the com­pound word ti­tle ‘ Chogue’. It sounds like some­thing a cat has barfed onto the floor, but I can’t deny that it’s the per­fect name to de­scribe this chess-meets- Rogue hy­brid. Chess meets Rogue! There’s a brave com­bi­na­tion, of one of the best board games ever (af­ter Bog­gle), and the ven­er­ated grand­fa­ther of the rogue­like genre. In the first stage of Chogue, the chess bit, your goal isn’t to take your ri­val’s king: It’s to clomp your way to a set of steps, which will trans­port ev­ery­one to a pro­ce­du­rally made dun­geon. Once in, you’re sud­denly in Rogue ter­ri­tory, but with pawns, knights, and all their chessy mates.

Now, in chess, ev­ery piece moves very dif­fer­ently, from the knight who moves in an L-shape, to the queen who can do what­ever she damn well likes. In its se­cond stage, Chogue asks you to ex­plore a tra­di­tional, mul­ti­level Rogue dun­geon, but with units that move in this pe­cu­liar way. Ev­ery­thing else stays the same: You move your pieces turn by turn, against the en­emy’s, and each one dies, lamentably, af­ter a sin­gle strike.

As such, the fla­vor of Chogue’s main sec­tion is very dif­fer­ent to that of chess. With un­ex­plored ar­eas ob­scured be­hind a fog of war, this is less about tac­ti­cal de­ci­sion-mak­ing and more of a hor­ror game, as you care­fully map each floor with the aware­ness that a su­per­nat­u­rally pow­er­ful unit could be lurk­ing around any bend. It’s ba­sic, sure, and it comes off as more of an ex­per­i­ment than a full game, but Chogue is thought­fully made, and more con­sid­ered than its mashup name might lead you to be­lieve.

Reach the stairs and ev­ery­one gets dumped in a big dun­geon.

It’s no Deep Blue, but the AI is sur­pris­ingly good.

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