Review by Sour
"Either an ego booster, or an ego killer."
This Checker game is a Program, with a small twist. Oh it's not a fun twist either, but more so...to even it out. Programs are created to have no errors, and to execute the most efficiently as possible which is essentially what this is. This is a written on Android by Aart Bik, but was originally created on the PC as a program called Sage Drought...the best checker program out there. So that's where the twist comes in..Aart has added a "Random Mode" which will allow the computer to make completely irrational moves that just make you go "what just happened?". Two minutes into your game it'll be a decent game, and then the computer moves into a triple jump for no reason...Or they often give up pieces right at the beginning that have no relevance at all.
When you download this game, the game automatically defaults to a Skill Level of 1 which is when the Program is turned on, so be vary aware of that. Most people hate this game because they can't beat the Program, and I myself having several years of Checker experience under my belt can only draw this program a handful of times. So for those who need it, you can change the difficulty by clicking "Menu" then "Level". One of better aspects of this game is the ability to change the side in which you can play from to add a bit of variety rather than always going first each time, as well as being able to undo moves so if you have a great game going and you make one crushing mistake, you can give it another shot.
Although this game is very hard when the Program is turned on (Level 1 or higher) there is an option for a "Move Coach" which unfortunately only gives hints often, but will give hints on a few occasions for those who will need it. That being said, there's no full move list to view the game details or history from, so you basically just have to "remember" where you messed up and to those who really know checkers..the history can sometimes be very helpful.
You can play this game with either the trackball by scrolling to the piece, clicking, and scrolling to the square you want to move it or the touch screen where it's a click to grab, click to set. Unfortunately there is no sound in this game what so ever, but then again you're playing checkers so what sounds can you expect? But it still wouldn't hurt to put in a click for the move, or maybe some noise when you get a King, or piece taken.
The graphics are very minimal and basic, I mean for crying out loud the checkers are two white circles (one inside another) There's two types of boards you can choose to play on; Wooden Board and the Basic board, which will show up if you only by disabling the wooden board that is the default board. Within the Wooden board you have white squares and wooden grain brown squares (the best part of the graphics in the game, sadly) and with the Basic board you only have white and blue squares.
Unfortunately there is no option to invite players through IP's or any other route(via their website), causing this game to get boring as you're constantly playing a computer each time, and depending on the difficulty you're either getting massacred or the game become so easy a cave man can do it. However, there is the option for a "free mode" which will allow you to move as both sides...so if you have a friend who likes checkers or wants to play near you, you can both play checkers against each other.
As bad as it sounds, this game is fun for those die hard checker lovers like myself who just want to play the game and keep their skills up. I've had this game for weeks now and I've never lost on Random so it's quite an ego booster, but at times you can get burnt out on crushing the AI every game.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 05/24/10
Game Release: Checkers (US, 01/13/10)
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