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The Chess Variant Pages

Chesshousers (review)

For 15 guilders (approximately seven or eight US dollars), I bought in a shop a CD-rom, containing a computer game called `Chesshousers'. While the name of the game suggests a connection with chess or chess variants, such connection is not really present.

Three dimensional labyrinths

The game consists of a number of `worlds', i.e., different puzzles. Each level is a labyrinth, where the player must move his own `piece' (designated by a hand-symbol) through. The object of the levels is to move his hand to a king symbol. According to the description, the labyrinths are three-dimensional, but I did not play the game far enough to see things like stairs.

Movement of the `hand', which can move one step in the four orthogonal directions, is hindered by obstacles, many called with names from chess. Pawns are shows as soldiers. When moved, they can continue to move in the direction they face, possibly destroying `crystal blocks'. Queens are a little similar to pawns, but continue to move in the direction pushed, and do not destroy crystal blocks. Crystal blocks cannot be moved, but can be destroyed by the hand when standing next to it. Knights are similar to pawns, but explodes when it his a rock, or when a pawn hits a knight. The hand is killed when it is observed by a bishop on a diagonal line, or by a rook on a orthogonal line.

The idea of the game is to find the right way to push the different obstacles such that the hand can make its path to the place with the king symbol. At a few intermediate places, the position can be stored, but often one needs to redo a part of the puzzle. Some other places allow to see the whole level. There are also `Teletransporters' which transport the hand to a different position in the level.

(This is not a full description of all features of the game.)

The program

The program runs under DOS. I couldn't get my sound settings for this game right (but that is probably due to my own inexperience with this; other DOS programs have similar problems on my machine). The program would have been small enough to fit on one floppy disk.


I was not very impressed by the program. I hoped to find something with some connection to chess, but apart from the names, and some very vague connection around the rooks and bishops, that connection is missing.

For people that are fond of these types of puzzles, the program may be nice, although there are sufficiently many freeware and shareware programs available that are at least as much fun. Others I would recommend to leave the program in the bargain bins of the computer shops where it can be found.

Written by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page made: March 2, 1997. Last modified: May 15, 2001.