Oasis Software
Not Known
1984
Board Game
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

31
Chris Bourne

Draughts is a board-mind game that computer software houses seem to have largely Ignored (there's the C.P. Software ZX Draughts of course). But Oasis have Just released a series of board games, of which this is one. It's a perfectly standard Draughts game, played on the 64 square shess board between two players (in this case the computer is one of the players).

Moves are entered using the traditional algebraic formula, eg. A3-B4, and the player may choose to be black or white (white always goes first). Illegal moves are rejected, so for instance if your next move would let you capture one of the computer's pieces and you make some other move, It will be rejected, forcing you to take the piece.

There are levels of play, with 0 being the easiest and fastest. When the program has completed loading, this Is the first thing you must select under the heading of 'Look Ahead'. What that means is that the computer will search the number of moves ahead corresponding with the selected level plus 1, soon level three it will search four moves ahead. The fastest game is on level 0 where the computer only searches its own move.

Pieces are automatically promoted upon reaching the opposing back file and may then move in either direction.

CRITICISM

'The computer is a very good opponent. It also has a capture command which means that if a sequence of captures is found it will follow that sequence. This makes the game harder. It has all the usual features expected of a good game, ie. it does not allow cheating and it is user-friendly except in play. Oasis seem to specialise in these 'mind' games and they do it rather well.'

'The graphics are very good. The board is nicely presented in yellow and green squares with the playing pieces in black and white. Not only does this mean that the colours are instantly identifiable (not always the case with computer board games) but they tend to be easy on the eye. The alpha-numeric notation Is also very clearly presented as black on a yellow border. Another nice touch is that the piece about to be moved (on either side) flashes before and after doing so, so if you take your eyes away for a second you don't have to spend ages looking for the move if you missed it taking place. A very neat program.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: all alphanumeric keys from A to H and 1 to 8
Use of colour: excellent
Graphics: obviously simple, but effective
Sound: useful entry and key press beeps
Skill levels: 10
General Rating: An excellent implementation of the classic board game at a very good price.

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