Go Player logo

Oxford Softworks £24.99

Go is one of those annoyingly simple Oriental board-games that proves incredibly popular with Occidental players. Played on a grid with basic black-and-white pieces, the concept is basic but the strategies needed to win are tortuous.

Thinking four moves ahead is just about essential, and that's what makes this game a classic to play. For board-games to be successful they need few graphic twirls, just decent computer opposition. Go has both with incidental screens and a fiendish variety of foes. YOu can also mess with the board size making it good for both beginners and experienced Go'ers.

Go Player logo

Oxford Softworks £19.99

The Amiga version of the classic Chinese game which features Atari as one of its moves. Basically, it's a chequer-board game for two players, where the aim is to encircle your opponent's pieces with your own. It's a bit similar to Othello, but slightly more difficult. You'll need all your tactical skills working at their best to defeat even the lowest-level opponent.

The display is simplistic, featuring one of three different-sized boards - the largest one being the most difficult to conquer. The counters are circles coloured black (for your side) or white (for your opponent). You place them on the board by clicking the mouse over the grid-lines. Once placed, the computer has a quick think and then places its own counter.

The game is reasonably fast-paced, and the computer doesn't spend too long pondering over its moves, which is a boon. Each computer move is accompanied by a world-beating beep, which you can (and probably will) turn off. It's all great fun if you're an avid Go player and you have no-one to play against, but it's not really that attractive for first-timers.

Go Player logo

Wenn der Deutsche Michel mal ein bißchen grübeln möchte, ist meist eine gepflegte Partie Schach angesagt. In China und Japan erfüllt nun seit 4000 Jahren Go diesen Zweck - und dank Oxford Softworks jetzt auch am Amiga.

Das Brett ist größer als beim Spiel der Könige: 19 mal 19 Linien, die 361 Schnittpunkte bilden. Diese Punkte besetzen zwei Strategen nun abwechselnd mit schwarzen bzw. weißen Steinen. Ziel der Übung ist es, möglichst große Anteile des Brettes mit den eigenen Truppen zu umschließen.

Gelingt es, eine gegnerische Konstellation einzukesseln, darf man sie unter Umständen gefangennehmen und vom Brett führen. Das Spiel endet, wenn beide Parteien passen oder keine Züge mehr möglich sind; bei der finalen Abrechnung werden die besetzten und eingeschlossenen Punkte gezählt und mit den wechselseitigen Gefangenen verrechnet – der höhere Score gewinnt.

Weil die Sache in der Praxis ganz schön verzwickt ist, dürfen Go-Neulinge mit kleineren Spielfeldern beginnen. Diese Option findet sich auch hier wieder, außerdem kann die Spielstärke geregelt werden (wobei es aber u.U. zu laaangen Rechenzeiten kommt), und auch die Speicherung von Zwischenständen und komplette Partien ist möglich. Dazu gesellen sich noch etliche andere Features wie z.B. Zugrücknahme, Help-Funktion, etc...

Die Grafik ist gerade mal zweckdienlich, trotz des netten Steckbriefs, mit dem die Computergegner vorgestellt werden – wer mag, darf natürlich auch gegen einen Freund antreten. Sound gibt es fast gar keinen, dafür läuft die Steuerung (Maus und Pulldownmenüs) ohne Fehl und Tadel. Fazit: Go for Go! (jn)

Go Player logo

Computer boardgames are the bane of a reviewer’s life. Generally they’re perfectly competent conversions of the original, but substituting computer opponents for human interaction, which presents a dilemma – do you mark the original game, the accuracy of the conversion, or the concept of transferring it to computer in the first place?

In this case, I think I’ll mark the original game, ‘cos I’ve wanted to get into Go (a deeply strategic Japanese thing which is almost certainly the oldest board game in existence) for ages, so anything which saves me the trip to Tokyo to actually find someone else who can play it has to be a good thing.

This version (one meg only as far as I can tell, one player only, but with lots of difficulty options, and apparently the European Computer Go Champion) doesn’t dress things up to any extent, but it plays a fine game of Go (which is to say it trashes me easily every time) and it’s fairly quick about it (well, until you up the skill level that is).

You can play it at one of 101 skill levels, on a board measuring from 9x9 to 19x19 points (the bigger the board, the more complicated the game) and pre-configure the board to any set-up position you like, for practice on specific plays or as a neat handicapping system (as practiced in the real thing with specific handicap set-ups, also included here).

The instructions are brief but pretty comprehensive, and basically everything you need to become a respectable Go player is here.

For once, too, this is a justifiable conversion – Go players in the UK are few and far between, so providing an opponent to potential fans is actually a worthwhile gesture. Broaden your horizons, buy this.