BloodyCheckers Review


BloodyCheckers
Adventure/Checkers
1-2 player online
Creator: killroyfx
$1 (80 msp)
Rating: 11/10
Similar Indie Games: None

I have been playing BloodyCheckers for the past 2 months, and I can honestly say it is the best indie game I have ever played by a long shot. I have a love for strategy in games, and checkers strategy is so much fun to figure out. The game literally teaches you checkers in the training missions. These were a great addition to the game and can turn a checkers novice into a seasoned novice. There are intense online matches against friendly people that always end in you learning a new technique, or getting some money back from your traps. Also this game has the best multiplayer system for a 1 vs. 1 game I have ever seen, just to add to the list of accolades. What exactly makes this game the best indie game on the micro level? Read on.
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Welcome to your new home

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Oh yeah one more thing. If you hate checkers, you will hate this game. Sorry. I was impartial to checkers at first, but now I love it. So if anything just try the trial and check and see if your general feeling is wrong.

You may have noticed I gave the game an 11/10. This is my grade for a game that not only succeeds at everything it promises, but does way more than that. This extra point will rarely be given out, if ever after this game. Basically it is me acknowledging that the developer went above and way beyond what he had to do. He is going to update the game constantly until at least December. The next update is a lot of extra gameplay, not just bug fixes. The extreme amount of polish the developer has painstakingly added to the game makes it such a joy to play because you notice something new every time. The dedication the developer has to his fans is amazing too. What other developers  play people online to get their true opinion on the game? I have played my fair share of games against him, and he always makes it fun. (I will not deny I have won a few games, but also lost a few games) There is a reason this game climbed from the 150th top rated game on the marketplace to number 18 (and still rising). Everything about this game is well done, and done with a passion for making the best game possible.

Now that we are passed that, it is review time:

Let us start with the story. The entire premise of the game is that you find yourself in front of a castle that is on a big hill. Naturally you decide the best idea is to walk right inside. First you find your candle, which you will use the whole game to light the castle, with torches are treated as save points. Of course there is no just strolling through the whole castle to start with, there are gates in your way. In order to open gates that lead on to more parts of the castle you must defeat portraits in checkers. The portraits are members of the royal family who lived in the castle, but all of them died. The portraits tell of their deaths and some of them are very funny. Before you battle a portrait it will be dirty, usually in a way relating to how that person died. After you beat a portrait it becomes clean with a golden star on it. You can choose to battle portraits again for money if you wish, because sometimes you will need more money to fun your trap and spell buying sprees. As well as secret keys.
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The castle isn't just made of all castle

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As you go deeper into the castle you will find treasure, locked doors, and Creaky. Creaky is a roaming shopkeeper who will follow you around, tell you about paintings and floors, or explore where you tell him to. Helpful Hint: Let him explore, or else he will never have any money for you to get by selling him stuff. Creaky sells useful items such as items that keep your candle lit or that can relight your candle if you are careless. Also if you get lost he will lead you to a torch, or when you want to see his key shop he will take you. Creaky is a great twist on the traditional shopkeeper character by being the go to guy for help if you need it. Helpful Hint 2: If you haven’t found Creaky by the time you have defeated Chef Butt Beef (real name), you should go search for him because he is very important to have on higher levels. There are also a ton of secrets throughout the game. Like entire extra floors full of treasure.
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Creaky is awesome. Period.

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Now to talk about the game within the game, checkers.

The game gives you 90ish training missions to do within the game. These range from forcing jumps to breaching, to winning the game with a quintuple jump. These are fun, and if you get them first try with no hints you get a gold bonus. These training missions are a great way to learn some hidden checkers tips and tricks. The normal rules of checkers apply in this game, so force jumps are active. That means you have to take a jump if you have it. This leads to more strategy than I expected or ever experienced while playing checkers. I play on the hardest difficulty because it makes for such a great challenge, and I suggest that to anyone who finds normal too easy. The difficulty setting is in the audio menu if you are looking for it. The difficulty is the one thing that will get people. As you go higher in the castle the enemies get craftier and craftier. I would highly suggest playing normal as far as you can (unless you are a checkers master) and then lower the difficulty if it gets too hard. It took me awhile to beat the final person on the easiest difficulty, and it was such an accomplishment to beat him. Oh yeah and you get a lot of treasure for beating the last few people, to the point of being too rich at the end of the game.
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The sight of your victory!

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The thing that separates the checkers within BloodyCheckers from normal checkers is traps and spells. These have no affect on the actual game of checkers, but they are great ways to make gold/get experience. You buy traps from paintings or Creaky and set them before the match. Then, during the match, if your opponent places a checker on a trap square, their checker gets beat to a pulp, sawed in half, eaten by a bear trap, etc. This makes the piece spit out money and become bloody. This does not destroy the piece or anything, but it still adds a lot of strategy to the game. You want to make your money back on your traps, so you will sometimes force an opponent towards a trap cluster. Traps last for 3 uses before they disappear. Some traps will give you a lot of gold and low spell points, while other give you a ton of spell points and not a lot of gold. Three of the traps also give you experience as well as gold and spell points.
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Spells are always fun

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If you have spell points, you can use spells. If you cast arrow barrage for example, when you hit a piece (friend or foe) you get experience. Not a fan of experience and prefer money as payment for landing a hit? Shoot cannon balls to get a ton of money, or fire axes at your enemy for a mix of money and spell points. Since spell points do not add up outside of the match you earn them in, it is always wise to fire them for a chance at extra experience. TIP: It is more effective to fire one cannon ball at a time then to fire them all at once. I do wish the controls for firing spells were a bit better, but I got used to it fast. Spells and traps add a layer of strategy I didn’t think possible with checkers, plus it also adds excitement and a lot more fun. Knowing that you might lose the game, but still make money is an enticing factor to online play. Or, if you are not careful, you could win the game, but lose money overall.
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There is no such thing as overkill

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Online play is also very fun, and easy to play. Now you may be saying “Wait, indie games are pretty dead online, I don’t want to wait an hour for a match”. Well fear not! Instead of waiting in a lobby for an hour you can just start up single player and hit B. This will activate your lobby (make sure messages are turned on). This will allow you to play single player, but if someone joins your lobby you will be told and you can hop straight in to play them. It is an ingenious solution to a generally broken system. Make sure to save before you hop into a match though. In online mode you place your bet before the game, and so does your opponent (these can be wildly different, it is just up to you how much you want to bet). The higher you bet, the more bonuses you will have. Like more money from traps, more exp, more spell power, and even a rare item if you win. This is a very cool way to encourage higher betting. Be careful though, the money you bet in online correlates to your single player account.
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The Pits are a terrible place to be, unless you have a certain item

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The Graphics and Audio in this game are perfect. The music and sounds of the castle go so great with the visuals. There is an element of mystery and suspense to the game, but no horror. The graphics are great, especially the graphics of the checkerboard. When a trap goes off and bloody and money spills out, it is a great sight to witness. Same thing when spells are cast and things are flying everywhere. I always get tired of graphics in games and find myself skipping as much as possible, but not this game.

All in all this game is a must buy for adventure fans, checker fans, and anyone who wants the best deal on xbox live. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of either adventure games or checkers (I wasn’t a huge fan of either) you will love this game.

If you love the game, check out Killroyfx’s and I’s BloodyCheckers Guide. If you really want to help with it, send me an email. (about me page)

Future Update Information:

Where I will post update information once I get a hold of it. This game was reviewed on the game with the first 3 updates.

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About Dcon
Just a 20 something dude who like to think a lot about things, sometimes even write about them.

8 Responses to BloodyCheckers Review

  1. Pingback: Xbox Indie Reviews’ August Recap « Xbox Indie News and Reviews

  2. Miranda says:

    Nice review !! I agree 100% this game is great ……

  3. I expected Bloody Checkers to be, frankly, a bit rubbish. But it turned out to be pretty good, and certainly good value for its price. I think it helps that the whole castle thing reminds me of Shadowgate, which I have fond (if frustrated) memories of.

    • Dcon6393 says:

      A lot of people heard the word checkers and just assumed that. I fell in love with the style and gameplay almost instantly. The game is so full of secrets and everything that it astounded me. There is actually an update coming soon that adds more than just checkers to the game. Like fighting enemies and stuff like that

  4. Kilroy Fx says:

    Thanks for the amazing Review !! The next Update#4 is very close to being released…it will hopefully put this game over the top…..

  5. David Loves Sandy says:

    FYI update is now available and well worth the d/l!! I just updated my game of BloodyCheckers and the only thing I can say is WOW and still only 80ms pts!! This was a good game before but now it’s a great game. If anyone was waiting to buy this they need to buy it now if you ever played checkers in your life (who hasn’t) or if you like dungeon crawlers/RPG type games. Those that already own this need to revisit it. As for the main quest they added new textures to everything in the castle AND some surprises as well (hint: killing bats that scare you at first help you earn gold)! And they have added a whole new section where it teaches the finer art of checkers for anyone looking to go pro or just get better at the game so you can show off to your friends. Oh and there is a multiplayer available over Live that I’m not sure was there before (I play only single player games for the most part) This game is a steal now….get it before they increase the price. I bought it when it first came out and I’m so glad the update is out finally! Add this comment as well. I just played for about 30 mins now I started over to get the full effect of the update and I have now changed my star rating on this from 4 to 5 stars. The playbook alone is worth 80ms pts. (that is the teaching checkers section).

  6. DUDE! NICE POST! I’m a game reviewer myself, and I gotta admit I’m no where that close to such a good reviewer. I do try however! I hope you don’t mind if I used some of your images since I couldn’t find any other ones that fight what I was talking about. I gave you credit, no worries. If you don’t want them on there, send me a message and they’ll be removed.

    http://thestealthminer.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/bloody-checkers/ << See yourself, I credited you. Once again I like your reviews. BloodyCheckers has been entertaining me to!!

    • Dcon6393 says:

      Haha its totally cool for you to take them. I took them from the xbox marketplace mostly myself, or from the creator. He is cool with anyone using them to further the name of his game

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