Interplay is reviving the classic Battle Chess franchise with a reboot for the PC and iOS that will arrive later this summer.
Originally released in 1988, Battle Chess was a fairly basic computerized chess game with a unique twist that made it an instant classic: the pieces would come to life and do battle in animated clashes on the board. The combat couldn’t be controlled and had no impact on the outcome – the game operated strictly by the rules of chess – but it looked awesome and really made the game stand out in the then-crowded chess genre.
The game was popular enough to spawn a few sequels but aside from a 2008 Battle Chess Special Edition re-release, nothing has been heard from the franchise since the mid-90s. But Interplay is gearing up to introduce the game to the current generation with an all-new Battle Chess game currently in development at Subdued Software. The game will offer play against the computer or against human players online, special “Skill Challenges,” a “Battleground Training mode” to test strategies and of course “stunning visuals and clever animations” that can be enjoyed from multiple viewing angles.
On a related note, Joystiq pointed out that back in October 2010, Interplay won an injunction against TopWare Interactive, which was advertising a very Battle Chess-like game called Battle vs. Chess. Despite the courtroom victory, the Battle vs. Chess website is still active, saying the game will be out on May 17.
Interplay’s new Battle Chess is being developed for the PC and iOS, with more platforms expected to be announced in the future, and is slated for a digital release later this year.