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Stable game
Developer Chris Morris
Influences Rogue
Released May 30, 2005 (?)
Updated 2007 Oct 20 (0.3.0)
Licensing GPL
P. Language Kaya
Platforms Windows, Linux
Interface ASCII
Game Length 50 minutes
Official site of ChessRogue
ChessRogue is a coffeebreak roguelike

ChessRogue is an out-of-challenge 7DRL written by Chris Morris. It is an interesting experiment in bringing chess rules to a roguelike environment.


There are few types of enemies in the whole game, but each has its unique abilities. All pieces (including you) have but one hit point. That means that the player has to plan moves carefully; any error may result in instant death. By capturing a certain number of enemy pieces of one type a special ability is granted. The more opponents have been defeated, the more moves are available to choose from.

Potions are scattered about the level, and affect either the player's abilities or the enemy's behavior. Potions cannot be stored: their effects are activated as soon as the player moves onto them.

As of version 0.3.0, a protected secondary exit can appear in the upper-right corner of the level. The secondary exit leads to a bonus level which contains a unique mini-boss and usable item. Reaching the exit safely requires acquiring specific abilities beforehand.


The first version was coded in about three days. The second was released in order to fix a few bugs. Recently, the author took ChessRogue to the project stage. Old sources and binaries are still kept at the previous site, but current development is continued on SourceForge.

Known issues

Despite the fact the game has seen a few releases since its first version, it still can be only considered "mostly-playable". The game fails to preform sanity checks to ensure no impossible situations are generated. These situations can range from minor problems such as monsters being generated in locations they can't leave and the player can't get to, all the way to major problems such as monsters being generated in a tight hallway immobile, in an unkillable pattern and blocking the only path to the exit. Although impossible levels can be generated, it's quite rare so only a few games get thrown away.

Related links