I’ve seen an number of variations on this theme, but this is one of the better ones. What if Chess was a brand new game: how would it be received by the gamer press?
Chess casts you as king of a small country at war with a rival country of equivalent military power. There is little background story to speak of, and by and large the units in the game are utterly lacking any character whatsoever. The faceless, nondescript units are dubbed arbitrarily such labels as “Knight” and “Bishop while their appearance reveals nothing to suggest these roles. To make matters worse, the units on both playable sides are entirely identical aside from a simple color palette swap. The setting of the conflict is equally uninspiring and consists merely of a two-color grid so as to represent the two warring factions. Adding insult to injury, there is only one available map- and it’s pathetically small, an 8×8 matrix (Red Alert maps are up to 128×128 in size). The lack of more expansive battlefields makes Chess feel like little more than an over-glorified Minesweeper.
The entire article is well worth reading. Great pastiche!