Laser Chess, from Think Fun, is a real-life implementation of a game based on a personal computer video game design from the 1980s. On a grid similar (but not identical) to a chess board, players arrange and move pieces with the goal of aligning the projector and the mirrored tokens so that the laser beam will hit the opponent’s king. A player can also arrange defensive pieces to protect his or her own king. The game instructions suggest five initial options for starting positions for the pieces, guaranteeing some variety to game play, and players are free to design their own initial setups as well.
The strategic thinking required for the game is very similar to traditional chess, with play proceeding at about the same pace; the length of the games depend on the relative skill levels of the players. My 13-year old daughter very quickly figured out a defense so impenetrable that we had to make a house rule outlawing it in future games. Fortunately, if both players engage creatively in their strategies, Laser Chess is a fascinating game, and players who enjoy traditional chess will certainly enjoy this game as well.
Emily Crawford ©2018 Parents’ Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master’s in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.