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Children's Software Review:    Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster

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Children's software really needed a title like this one. Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster is a tad slow-moving at times, but its system is quite effective and the story very charming. Slowly but surely, kids learn the basics of the game of chess as they follow Fritz and his cousin Bianca through the castle grounds. The story is that Fritz's parents, the King and Queen, have decided to take a vacation, leaving Fritz and Bianca as stand-in royalty. The conniving King Black jumps on the opportunity to challenge the "king" to a duel--a chess duel! Fritz will need to brush up on his chess skills before he takes up the challenge, and that's where kids step in.

As Fritz and Bianca make their way through the kingdom toward the Intelligym, they encounter a series of mini-games that help acquaint players with simple moves and strategies involved in the game. For example, the acceptable moves of the king piece are compared to sumo wrestlers, as pictured at left! 

Once they arrive at the Intelligym, kids begin a series of interactive lessons before they can "duel" with King Black. Piece by piece, kids learn acceptable moves and plays, and they practice what they learn.

What sets this title apart is its story line. Children don't just jump in and learn chess. Instead, they follow an animated adventure. Also, the mini-games and lessons are strong and, oftentimes, quite clever. Playing chess requires a fair amount of patience, and it exercises logical thinking skills. Kids need to plan ahead as they play. This game offers kids opportunities to pick up the basics as well as a few strategies that will help them along the way. 

  

coverFor more information, user reviews, or to buy: Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and... [Now that the second title in the series is released, this first title is generally available at discount prices.]

 

 

Update: Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster 2: Chess in the Black Castle is now also available.

Pros:
  • Learning chess is made into a story with a goal--effective motivation to learn.
  • Clever mini-games and lessons.
  • Cute graphics.

 

Cons:
  • Slow-moving at times, with the inability to click through sequences as the main problem.

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Published: 2003 By: Viva Media Ages 7-11 Win/Mac
 

 

 

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Our Rating:

A

To Buy this CD-ROM:

Buy Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and... at Amazon.com

 
Reviewed June 2003  Comments? Email us.
 


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