Well in actual fact it's more than that. It's Fritz Chess, which means the game is powered by the best chess AI program currently available.

There's a loose adventure mode taking you through a series of medieval "castle" opponents, but you won't be playing for the story; Fritz is all about the super challenging AI.

Fritz Chess costs just £14.99 and offers a range of single-player and local multiplayer modes.

If you've been wanting to learn how to play chess for a while, Fritz Chess is very likely the perfect tool. Despite being light on game strategy, there is enough theory and visual aid presented to make the product an inexpensive way of learning the game of chess. Hints provide you with the next "best move" if you're stuck, and visual cues show you where your pieces are safe. The game also provides the option to watch some historical matches, providing strategies from the world's best players. If you're serious about learning the game, there's no better package.

We're not going to admit to being the best chess players in the world, we're not, but we're competent enough at the game and quickly found a difficulty setting that was challenging to us. The Fritz AI is extremely impressive and is able to cater well to your level of ability. If you're never able to find a human opponent good enough to give you a challenge, Fritz will certainly do that.

Fritz Chess provides a range of puzzle based modes that challenge you to find the "best move" or checkmate the opponent in one move. The best thing about these puzzles are that the computer generates them as you play, so basically you never run out of challenges to complete. They are infinite. Something that really helps the replay value.

Despite the main story mode, simple one on one chess and puzzle mode, there are also historical matches and a range of variants of the standard game of chess. I.e. there is a lot to do in Fritz Chess and if you're interested in the content it will take you a while to play through everything.

We can't really find a reason for why you'd play Fritz Chess other than the fact that you're looking for a challenging opponent or a learning tool. Even in the case of the former, the lack of online play makes it somewhat of a stripped package for those who want to find a human opponent. Despite the AI being extremely intelligent you can't beat going head to head against a real opponent on a real board. Fritz Chess does everything right but still ends up being a niche package because of its content. Thankfully the game is priced reasonably.

At first Fritz Chess' music comes across as a pleasant cinematic soundscape. But once you hit the 30th loop it divebombs into a grating mess of synthesized pads.

Hardcore players will want to come up against real human opponents no matter how good the AI is. In fact players can already play chess online for free in Sony's Playstation Home service.


Fritz Chess is a reasonably priced package for learners or chess aficionados. The lack of online play is detrimental, but those who actively seek challenging computer competition or an interactive learning tool will find their niche here.