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Game information

Developer: Diabolic Software
Publisher: Digital Dreams Multimedia
More details:MobyGames

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Use the Q, A, O and P keys to move. To push a piece or remove a transparent block, press one of the above keys to point in the direction of the piece/block followed by the Space bar.

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Game description

ChessHousers is a isometric-view puzzle game that is built around the rules of chess, but not directly related to it. The player controls a disembodied hand in a glove (or simply a magical glove, Disney-style) that moves around a maze filled with chess pieces and other obstacles. The objective is to reach the maze exit in time.

Each maze comprises a number of rooms, with the path across many of these initially blocked by chess pieces, boulders, as well as transparent "phantom" blocks. To clear the way, the player can push the pieces, which move according to the international chess rules, and remove transparent blocks. Thus, every room in the maze is in fact a small puzzle, somewhat similar to Sokoban or Cyberbox. As puzzles grow more complex, it becomes necessary to plan many steps ahead and arrange the pieces so that the path to the room exit is cleared.

In addition to the chess rules, every piece has its own special abilities. Thus, a pawn will slide in the direction it is facing until it hits a wall, and will destroy any transparent blocks in its path. Knights explode when hitting an obstacle, which allows to clear boulders that obstruct the player's movement, etc.

There are additional elements in the game, including the map that displays the layout of the whole level, and teleporters (which look like small pyramids) that work both for the player and any of the pieces on the map (the first level has a nasty trap with one of these).

The game has a distinct Amiga-esque look, but it it is unclear whether it came out on platforms other than PC. In fact, there is an earlier DOS version of the game which came out in 1990 and uses only CGA or monochrome graphics. ChessHousers was marketed as shareware. Contrary to what the shareware manual states, you can enter level codes to restore progress, but the option for mid-level saves is disabled.

Description by MrFlibble

Game screenshots