Chessmaster: The Art of Learning DS

  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: Oct 23, 2007
  • Also On: PC
User Score
6.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
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  1. PatrickCarroll
    Jul 21, 2008
    8
    A fine chess game for the DS. Huge improvement over the chess game included in "Clubhouse Games."

    There's nothing special about the graphics, music, or sound effects, but they're all quite adequate. The interface is slightly annoying (for instance, you have to choose a language preference every time you start the game; luckily English is the default). I don't know
    A fine chess game for the DS. Huge improvement over the chess game included in "Clubhouse Games."

    There's nothing special about the graphics, music, or sound effects, but they're all quite adequate.

    The interface is slightly annoying (for instance, you have to choose a language preference every time you start the game; luckily English is the default).

    I don't know how strong the game engine is, but it poses a challenge to a novice-intermediate player like me. And I find that even the lower-rated AI players usually make humanlike moves rather than the predictably bad computerlike moves you sometimes see.

    This DS version is missing a lot of the features found in PC versions of Chessmaster, but it has all one needs and then some. Also included are a few minigame alternatives to straight chess (various kinds of fun practice exercises).

    On the whole, I'm pleased that Chessmaster DS not only plays a challenging game, but it's also user-friendly. I've always had some version of Chessmaster on my PC, but it's such a brain-straining game that I find it intimidating and usually choose to play something else instead. I feel good about popping the Chessmaster cartridge into my DS, though, because I know I can play an unrated just-for-fun game, fool around with minigames, or whatever I like. I don't feel pressured to be a genius; this game assures me it's OK to be a learner (even if I have been a novice for some forty years).
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  2. DanielM.
    Apr 24, 2008
    9
    Just had to chime in on this one. Chessmaster on the DS is an excellent chess game. Plays much stronger than the Chess in Clubhouse Games which really stinks. Chessmaster will give you a good game. The personalities and rating system really make the game a lot of fun. The board is 2D and very easy to see. The bonuses are the only negative part. The lessons are really short and too simple.Just had to chime in on this one. Chessmaster on the DS is an excellent chess game. Plays much stronger than the Chess in Clubhouse Games which really stinks. Chessmaster will give you a good game. The personalities and rating system really make the game a lot of fun. The board is 2D and very easy to see. The bonuses are the only negative part. The lessons are really short and too simple. There are no historic games included which would be realy nice to have in a portable format and the puzzles where you fork fruit and stuff is really kind of lame. When you want to play a quick game of chess this thing is great. You can choose color, set time limits, and play in a hurry. The only real negative is the lack of WiFi online play but to me it isn't too bad since the personalities are fun to play against and finding someone online can take 10 to 15 minutes of waiting like in Clubhouse games or Chessmaster on the XBOX. Instead of waiting to play people who quit as soon as they start losing, I'd rather play the computer... I highly recommend this game to anyone who wants to play chess it is stronger than the Clubhouse Games and easier to sue and more fun than the GBA version which'll play in the DS. Expand
  3. GobinderG.
    Jan 27, 2008
    9
    I love it! It works beautifully and is very easy on the eyes. Chess is the best game of all time and the DS is the greatest handheld gaming machine; what's not to like? It's a match made in heaven. Honestly this might be the best game on the DS (and thats saying something...).
  4. Jamie
    Jan 8, 2008
    8
    I really liked this game. I don't play that much, but I loved having it portable on the DS to play at work and being able to play by moving pieces rather than that e2-e4 crap or moving a cursor makes the whole experience seem more natural and fun. On the downside, calling this "the art of learning" is laughable.First they run through all the rules (which is fine) and then you have I really liked this game. I don't play that much, but I loved having it portable on the DS to play at work and being able to play by moving pieces rather than that e2-e4 crap or moving a cursor makes the whole experience seem more natural and fun. On the downside, calling this "the art of learning" is laughable.First they run through all the rules (which is fine) and then you have "advanced" tactics which consists of telling you about pins and skewers. What about detailing what combinations of pieces can mate t the end? Or including some famous games? Also, the AI's seem to have ONE opening each ... for example, every time I played MIA, If I started a certain way, she responded exactly the same each time... 4 games in a row. Some people have complained about the graphics...actually, I found them functional and clear. And someone else complained about limited customisation... who cares? I just want to play chess. Different baords colors and sets just gets in the way. Overall, it was fun. But I've already beaten all the easy and medium AI's after just two days ... hope the advanced ones are better. 10 points for sheer fun ease of use and playability, minus 1 for not enough "advanced" tactics and minus 1 for being unable to play one-on-one against someone unless they also have a machine!!! If you like chess and aren't too serious about it, get this --- you'll enjoy it. Expand
  5. Anonymous
    Dec 31, 2007
    9
    A different view... I got this game for Christmas and I love it. With the size of the DS and the simplicity of motion for moving the pieces with the stylus the game becomes abstraction without distraction. I have played (and own 2) PC computer games, chess handheld games, and the old style LED-indicator board computer chess games. This is the most engrossing and addicitve. A PC game is A different view... I got this game for Christmas and I love it. With the size of the DS and the simplicity of motion for moving the pieces with the stylus the game becomes abstraction without distraction. I have played (and own 2) PC computer games, chess handheld games, and the old style LED-indicator board computer chess games. This is the most engrossing and addicitve. A PC game is indispensible for its capability and flexibility, but this is more addictive. The music is terrible. I just turned it off by a checked box in a menu. For those who think the gameplay is not fleixible enough, I can only say that I am astonished at such a proposition. You can set timer options or select no timer, select black or white or for the DS to choose randomly, choose a rated game with strict ruleplay or pracitce games with take-backs, etc.. I am amazed at the options available, and in the excellent judgment as to which options to include. I feel that the rating scores of the computer opponents are on the low side -- that is, the DS computer players play above their ratings. There is much variety in style. Also, these personalities are not comical and do not make blunders. They are solid players with additional capabilities as you move up the line. The highest rated player on the DS is only 1850, but I do feel these ratings under-represent what the computer players are capable of. I can trash Chessmaster PC characters with about the same chess ratings as DS characters who give me some trouble. The Board layout is fine for me and is very easy on my eyes. After a few days with this, I went back to the PC and was thrilled to find I seem to be a stronger player than I was even a few days ago. The DS is a little slower than the PC for a given rating, which I think you might expect given the relative resources. Where the PC might act immediately the DS might take bettween 5 and 30 seconds, depending on the flexbility of the situation. I personally have no desire for wifi on a DS chess game, but for those of you who do, maybe time time I guess. I can see your point. I just play chess games so far with this. I have no opinion on the mini games, but maybe I'll give them a try. So, with the few downsides in mind, I personally am totally thrilled with this. Expand
  6. TygerK.
    Nov 9, 2007
    6
    I have seen better from Ubisoft, the learning is in form of puzzles and games, which is not readily apparent. Unfortunately,some sites, as well as promotional developers mix the DS ads with the ads for the 360 or the WII, which gives one many false impressions. This is done in am attempt to save writing time, but does damage to the devoted buyers opinions. The graphics are plain, and I have seen better from Ubisoft, the learning is in form of puzzles and games, which is not readily apparent. Unfortunately,some sites, as well as promotional developers mix the DS ads with the ads for the 360 or the WII, which gives one many false impressions. This is done in am attempt to save writing time, but does damage to the devoted buyers opinions. The graphics are plain, and generic. But i have to agree with JT, although I gave it a higher score. Better Luck next time Ubsift, I'll stilll try again, your last Xbox version was great. Expand
  7. BK
    Nov 3, 2007
    3
    Flat out a huge disappointment. The online is one thing, but for me the bigger disappointment is that there is almost no Teaching whatsoever, funny considering its called Art of LEARNING. All along they have been saying it will feature 900+ of the best games ever (even here on Metacritic's description), but that is NOT the case. There are NO GAMES. ZERO. Apart from the basic rules of Flat out a huge disappointment. The online is one thing, but for me the bigger disappointment is that there is almost no Teaching whatsoever, funny considering its called Art of LEARNING. All along they have been saying it will feature 900+ of the best games ever (even here on Metacritic's description), but that is NOT the case. There are NO GAMES. ZERO. Apart from the basic rules of chess there is almost nothing here to teach you to become a better chess player. Also, I totally agree with JT about the personalities being similar. A rank 500 player will start out sloppy, but from the time you have the upper hand on, they are all of a sudden playing like they are masters. Even the puzzles were botched because you have to pick the exact type of puzzle so you kind of know what to look for. You cant even have it randomize Mate in 1s with Capture Piece, etc. A nitpicky complaint is the "narration" which consists of a guy making weird poses as the words appear. You'll know when you see it. Just really annoying/lame. All in all you get a decent game of chess, but Club House Games gives you that and so much more. I was looking forward to this for months and I can't say how much of a let down it is. Chessmaster on my 2 year old cell phone has more features than this, better puzzles and it DOES include hundreds of famous games. Ubisoft really made a mess of this. Expand
  8. JT
    Oct 27, 2007
    2
    Better Chess engine than club house games. Very little customization, cannot change board colors or board themes. Stuck with light gray and white board, which is hell on the eyes and confusing. No multiplayer online. All chess personalities are nearly the same, except weaker ones tend to make a random completely dumb move every once in awhile. End game for all AI personalities is strong. Better Chess engine than club house games. Very little customization, cannot change board colors or board themes. Stuck with light gray and white board, which is hell on the eyes and confusing. No multiplayer online. All chess personalities are nearly the same, except weaker ones tend to make a random completely dumb move every once in awhile. End game for all AI personalities is strong. Has a neat ELO rating system, though it is biased due to AI personalities being almost the same. A week 500 player can end game like the 1800+ players. I am disapointed and feel I wasted my money buying this up front, should of waited, but I took the chance. Let this review help you make a better choice: Do not buy this,wait for a better one to be released. Very rushed feel, little features. NO customization. Buyer beware. Just another hacked game to get a quick buck. If you want a better chess AI though toplay than Clubhouse games, here you go. Using the touch screen is great. HOwever, if that is not impootant, get chessmaster for the GBA and save the money. Expand
  9. RickM.
    Oct 24, 2007
    5
    Very nice chess package for DS. But I am appalled that any developer would release a chess game on the DS that cannot play online! How absurd!! Clubhouse Games for the DS outranks Chessmaster DS on this point as it allows you to not only play online chess, but a ton of other games! Ubisoft, you should hang your head in shame!!!!
Metascore
tbd

No score yet - based on 3 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. 70
    A great Chess game for those who want to learn Chess or for those who have been playing for years.
  2. 78
    With one exception, this is about as good a handheld chess collection as any DS owner could hope for.
  3. The presentation sucks, but games are ultimately about something more than that. They’re about the entertainment value, and if you’re a fan of chess or don’t yet know how to play, Chessmaster is great game to have on your DS.