I like when developers get all inventive and crazy with their game ideas! There are already plenty of entries in the match 3 and shmup genres, so when MeYuMe came up with Holochess I got kind of curious.

As the name implies, Holochess is kind of like chess with its wacky rules and strategic play, but it also looks very cartoony and you get to blow up your opponent’s pieces which are both nice bonuses. The board bears some resemblance to the Dejarik game that Chewie plays with R2D2 on the Millenium Falcon (do I really need to name the movie?), and Dejarik happens to be one of the two sets of rules – Courtier being the other – that Holochess comes equipped with.

Courtier starts you off with six pieces and the object is to capture the other guy’s King, just like in normal chess, and pawns are eliminated by double-teaming them on either side. Dejarik starts with four pieces and there’s no King, so you have to win by eliminating pawns with diagonal moves or by lining your pawns up in a neat little row on the board’s center ring.

The rules for both games may sound confusing at first, but Holochess has plenty of instructions as well as a tutorial demonstration for each set of rules. Once you get used to how pieces move and how the board is laid out, it’s pretty easy to learn… but, like normal chess, it’s really hard to master. I can’t really say which one is easier… playing vs. the computer is pretty hard in both games, but like any strategy game I suppose it takes some time to figure out the best opening move and how to corner the other guy. At the start of each game you also get to choose how many games to play before a winner is declared.

Gameplay is smooth but could move a tiny bit faster in 1 Player mode. Aside from 1 Player, there are also 2 Player and Wifi options which is nice to see. 2 Player is a pass-n-play deal, and Wifi (which I haven’t tried cuz I have no friends) is for playing against the loser sitting next to you with his own iPhone/iPod.

Both Courtier and Dejarik have an on/off toggle for the tutorial which plays before the game starts, but I’m dumb as a post and would like it if the thing would move a little slower or maybe give me forward and back buttons in case I miss something. The fact that a tutorial even exists, however, is awesome and it’s things like this that separate the pros from the shmos in app development.

Holochess plays well with the iPod and overall it’s a solid and unique game. One of the biggest selling points for me is the pass-n-play option, and if AI difficulty levels could be added in (easy/hard) I’d like it even more. If you’re a chess nerd or just need something to fill the void that match 3 and shmups aren’t filling, $2 for this app should be a pretty easy decision.

iTunes Link – Holochess
Version 1.1
Reviewed on iPhone 3G OS3.0.1

11 Responses to “Holochess”

  1. Michael (Admin) Says:

    Thank you MeYuMe! Dang, it’s been a while since we gave out any free codes, huh?

    Please play nice and LEAVE A COMMENT telling everyone which code you took. If you get one, I’m sure the developer would also appreciate an App Store review!

    1. RY6PPA7KM9RN
    2. NEM3AP6AH3XT
    4. W4K3KFFJJJ7T
    6. 367HFP7HHMJP
    7. 4FEHKNK37KAF
    8. KY39HT73PKTW
    9. 9R4R4L6RYF7T

    Instructions on how to redeem promo codes can be found here:

    You must have a U.S. iTunes account to redeem codes.

  2. alchemistmuffin Says:

    Used code

    Thank you

  3. momtotwo Says:

    used #8, KY39HT73PKTW , thanks.

  4. PL Says:

    #4 W4K3KFFJJJ7T and thanks.

  5. Ml Says:

    Got #9, thank you!

  6. PhillipG Says:

    Took #6


  7. theRealCrazy Says:

    took the #1! thanks!

  8. RUAvina Says:

    took #2 – NEM3AP6AH3XT

    Thank you!

  9. Tom Says:

    #5 is mine…Is that all accounted for?

  10. the flash Says:

    thnx i get #3 :D

  11. Trev Says:

    rats all gone…

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