Just Browsing: Reinterpreting the classics...

Platforms: All

“The classics are always the best”. It’s a phrase that we throw around a lot in critical writing. Whether or not we actually mean it is a different subject entirely... This time in Just Browsing, I’m going to cause some controversy by looking at the a couple of recent attempts to pervert and distort classics of gaming history into something... different.

Ninja Chess

Chess. It is about as retro as gaming can be. This game is so classic that it’s origins are lost in the depths of time. No-one would dare to alter its sacred rules for entertainment... surely?
Ninja Chess does. If there is one thing that chess lacks, it is intensity. Ninja Chess turns the board game on its head and turns it into a real time strategy.


I can hear all the Chess masters screaming at these moves. But this is not Chess....

This game just dropped innocently into my ever creeping tendrils that crawl through the Internet’s undergrowth, searching for the best in indie browser games. I admit that the idea seemed to be completely flawed at first, as you throw your pieces around the board in wild attempts to quickly capture the enemy’s pieces. However, somehow, this game just works. It feels like chess should have always been this way...

99 Bricks by Weird Beard Games

Tetris. Not quite so sacrosanct as chess. It is after all only decades, rather than centuries old. People have tried throughout these years to refine the stylish brick building of Tetris. However, nearly always without fail, these are worse than the original. There is something about that simple idea of fitting odd shaped tetragons together that is incredibly satisfying.


I can hear all the Tetris masters screaming at those block positions. But this is not Tetris and I'm just not very good

The genius of 99 bricks is that it does not try to redefine this satisfying idea, it simply bends the goal. Instead of trying to fill in whole lines to remove them from the game, and stop the blocks reaching the top, 99 Bricks wants you to build a tower as high as you can go. This may seem like a trifle of placing blocks on top of each other in maniacal ways to get ever higher, however the game throws in a rather ‘bouncy’ physics engine, which will topple your tower like Jenga if it is not a carefully planned rigid structure.
I like to call this Tetris for Architects.

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