Everyone knows what chess is. Few will admit to being avid players, though. Whether it’s because of an actual lack of playing, or just fear of being labeled a nerd, Good vs. Evil tries to drum up interest by adding something the ADD generation can relate to: fidgety battle sequences.
He had it coming.
Good vs. Evil divides the board equally into just that, Good vs. Evil, which roughly correspond to chess pieces with a few more elements and varied movement abilities. With every piece having a matching counterpart on the other side, choosing a side is just a matter of listening to whichever voice in your head is louder. Two game modes change the health of the king and queen in relation to the other pieces on the board.
The action component prompts a battle screen reminiscent of dodgeball, taking place on a very simple board split in half, scattered with rocks and the occasional bonus item on the dividing line. Pieces battle it out by shooting mysterious projectiles, the speed and power of which depends on the piece. Graphics here are shoddy at best, and the pieces are often only half-responsive in their movement. Combat is frustrating with its frantic mashing of fingers on the screen, hampered by the random placement of rocks that hinder your movement and get your piece killed.
All the same, the concept is a good blend of strategy and action, and we like the idea of chess with a little more excitement. Of course, there is no victory in the eternal battle of Good vs. Evil, which is disappointing. The goal is to destroy all of the other pieces, at which point a new, stronger army will march upon you–just hold out as long as possible. This may appeal to some of those who play Left 4 Dead on Expert, but for those who want to feel like we’ve accomplished something, it isn’t a good feature.
Good vs. Evil gives a shot of adrenaline to an otherwise slow game, but it needs a bit of a style facelift and more forgiving modes before it will be worth your while. As is, it may quench the thirst of strategy-addicts, but its technical flaws and lack of visual polish are hard to overlook.