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Checkers Around the World Invented Checkers Variants

Alien Checkers Game

Alien Checkers Checkerboard


Alien Checkers game is yet another variant that has been created, but this game is somewhat different from all the other versions discussed previously. This game was invented with the young checkers players in mind, and though strategy is part of the game, the concept of being ‘fun’ is the focus behind this variation. That doesn't mean to say that adults can’t also find the game challenging. It certainly affords the young checkers players a greater chance to win at Checkers.

The following is a commentary that explains the origin of this unique game by David L. Van Slyke, DVS Games: “In 1986, Pierre Clequin and Bruno Faidutti published ‘Tempete sur l'Echequier’, which modifies chess by having players use cards that alter the rules slightly. The English version is called Nightmare Chess. When I encountered these games I wondered, "Why would anyone want to take one of the world's great strategy games and add random non-strategic elements?" If the goal was to allow someone not expert at chess to play evenly with an expert, the classic game Nuclear Chess does the same thing, while keeping the game purely strategic. If the goal was to make the game fun in a silly way, the English version fails because Nightmare Chess tries to be spooky, not silly. So I thought, "I should take another common game and create a deck of cards for it. I can make a game that is much more absurdly fun, while keeping the game enjoyably playable." The result was this Alien Checkers game.” “Alien Checkers is a versatile game. Besides using cards during the game, players select one of nine special cards to secretly find out which planet they are representing: each planet has a different secret victory condition. Children can enjoy how the game is silly and (compared to plain checkers) gives them a better chance of winning when playing their parents. Adults who wish to analyze the game more carefully will notice new flavors of strategy as the cards and secret goals work together.”

Entertainment Digest, Volume 1, commented on the game: “ALIEN CHECKERS: No, this isn't a game about X-Files or border guards. It's a basic Checkers game, plus a cute piece of animation when you play against the computer of your alien opponent moving his pieces, and with a flexible rules system that lets you play by many different variations on the basic Checkers rules. If you like Checkers, you'll love this alien checkers little number. I found the alien opponent challenging but fallible. Then again, I'm not very good.”
  1. The game board is a standard 8 x 8 checkerboard that consists of 64 alternating light and dark squares.

  2. Two players each have twelve checkers of contrasting colors.

  3. A deck of cards and a set of tokens are also part of the play.

~ Object of the Alien Checkers Game ~

    The game objective is, of course, to win and there are three ways in which this can be achieved:
  1. By capturing all the opponent’s checkers, as in regular Checkers games.

  2. Before the start of the game, a player can draw a card that determines the planet he/she represents and this will affect the game by giving the player a second way to win.

  3. By collecting five kings or a total of five kings and emperors.

~ Game Starting Position ~

  1. The board is positioned between the two players so that a dark double corner is at the right of each opponent.

  2. Both players place their checkers on the first three rows closest to them as in a normal game of Checkers.

  3. The tokens are placed to the side of the board so that each player can reach them.

  4. The stack of cards representing the nine planets are shuffled before each player draws one card; the remaining deck is placed face down to the side of the board where it will not interfere with the play because these cards are not used again for the rest of the game.

  5. Each opponent looks at the planet card and keeps it secret, face down near his/her end of the board.

  6. The other deck of cards is also shuffled and placed face down where both players can reach it as a draw pile; the top card is turned over to reveal its face and placed next to the draw pile.

  7. If using the rules of regular American Checkers, then the player who has the darker checkers begins the game with the first move, and then the opponents alternate turns.
  8. On each turn, the players complete the following procedure:

    1. Move a checker one square at a time.

    2. Turn over another card from the draw pile.

    3. Choose one of the two face up cards to use.

    ~ Game Moves & Captures ~

    1. Before turning over or using a card, it is important to move the checker piece so that the player knows at least half of the options given and the move is safeguarded.

    2. Movement of the alien checker is the same as in the regular game so that each player can only move his/her piece in a forward diagonal direction, either right or left one square at a time onto an unoccupied square immediately beyond.

    3. Also, as part of regular checkers rules, capture is mandatory and if it possible to make one or more jumps, the player must do so.

    4. The cards determine game play as well, once the initial move has been made; all but one of the cards can be used at any time.

    5. Card instructions are worded clearly and if a card is used when it is not ‘useful’, then nothing is achieved within the play.

    6. Only when it is ‘useful’ can the Antimatter card by played; it will remain face up beside the draw pile until it is used or the pile is reshuffled.

    7. On the cards, the word checker refers to a single checker or a king; a ‘normal’ single checker is called a pawn and a ‘normal’ king of two checkers on top of each other is referred to as king.

    8. Most of the cards have self-explanatory effects that the player must follow.


    Walls ~ when the player builds walls, he/she can only use tokens that represent his/her own checker color:
    1. A player can move through his/her own walls, but the opponent cannot.

    2. Walls must be placed in pairs along adjacent edges of the checkerboard squares.

    3. A player may choose to place his/her walls on two edges of a single square, thus making it into an ‘L’ shape or along the edges of two different squares, which result in a line segment two edges long.

    4. Walls only block diagonal checker movement if the checker crosses from one side of the wall to the other so that walls in an ‘L’ shape only block diagonal movement that crosses the vertex but not diagonal movement that skims beside the vertex.


    Monolith ~ cannot be placed on squares that are occupied:
    1. If the monolith moves across an edge containing a wall, then the wall is removed.

    2. If the monolith is moved into an occupied square, then the checker is ‘pushed’ into the next square, which may then result in a ‘chain reaction’ of pushing should the other squares also be occupied by checkers.

    3. A checker that is ‘pushed’ off the game board or against a wall is removed from the board in the same way if is was captured.

    4. The monolith may not be moved halfway or completely off the checkerboard game.

  9. The card deck may be reshuffled when indicated by a specific card, and when this task is completed, the top card is turned face up and placed next to the draw pile in the same manner as at the beginning of the alien checkers game.

~ Promotion to King ~

  1. When a single checker or pawn reaches the opponent’s last row, it is crowned and promoted to King as in the regular game of Checkers; however, this only applies if one or more single checkers have been captured by the opponent because there will not be any checkers to ‘crown’ the pawn with.

  2. A pawn cannot be crowned if all other pawns have been made into kings and there are no other available single checkers to place on top; in this instance, the pawn must wait to be crowned king and in some instances, this may not happen because it is captured or moved before it becomes king.

  3. If a checker is captured on the opponent’s move, it can immediately turn any of the player’s pawns into a kings if they have reached the opponent’s end.

~ Winning the Alien Checkers Game ~

    • It is possible for a player to win the game on the opponent’s turn, if the player ends up with five kings/emperors.

    • If neither player can make any further moves, the game ends in a draw.

Alien Checkers ~ TOKENS

    This fantasy variant of checkers also uses a set of tokens represented by the diagrams below (the exact set can be found in the actual game of Alien Checkers by DVS Games).

Alien Checkers Brick walls

Alien Checkers bricksAlien Checkers bricksAlien Checkers bricksAlien Checkers bricksAlien Checkers bricks
Alien Checkers bricks 2Alien Checkers bricks 2Alien Checkers bricks 2Alien Checkers bricks 2Alien Checkers bricks 2
Alien Checkers red bricks
Alien Checkers red bricks.Alien Checkers red bricks.Alien Checkers red bricks.Alien Checkers red bricks.Alien Checkers red bricks.

Rings

Alien Checkers yellow ringAlien Checkers yellow ringAlien Checkers yellow ringAlien Checkers yellow ringAlien Checkers yellow ring
Alien Checkers green ringAlien Checkers green ringAlien Checkers green ringAlien Checkers green ringAlien Checkers green ring
Alien Checkers yellow - green ringAlien Checkers yellow - green ringAlien Checkers yellow - green ringAlien Checkers yellow - green ringAlien Checkers yellow - green ring

Snookles

Alien Checkers SnookiesAlien Checkers SnookiesAlien Checkers SnookiesAlien Checkers SnookiesAlien Checkers Snookies
Alien Checkers Snookies colorsAlien Checkers SnookiesAlien Checkers SnookiesAlien Checkers SnookiesAlien Checkers Snookies

Water

Alien Checkers WaterAlien Checkers WaterAlien Checkers Water

Fire

Alien Checkers FireAlien Checkers Fire.Alien Checkers Fire.Alien Checkers Fire.

 

Alien checkers galactic hippos

Galactic Hippos

Alien Checkers monolith

Monolith



The following are the cards used in ALIEN CHECKERS GAMES, as designed by David Van Slyke:


FLOOD!
Either fill an empty square
with water or remove fire from a square.
FIRE!
Either fill an empty square
with fire or remove water from a
square.
EMPEROR
You may sacrifice a pawn on the board
to change a king into an emperor. An
Emperor is three checkers tall, moves
as a king and cannot be jumped except
by another emperor.
REVIVE
You may place one checker not on the board
(captured, etc.) as a pawn on any main color
square on your half of the board. This card does
nothing if all your checkers are on the board.
MONOLITH
If the board has one or more empty 2 x 2
areas, put the monolith on one of them.
If the monolith is on the board,
move it (see the rules for how).
DOOM
If the monolith is on the board, move
it twice (see the rules for how). This card
does nothing if the monolith is not on the board.
GALACTIC HIPPO!
If there are fewer than three Galactic Hippos
on the board, another one wanders by and sits
on one of your opponent's checkers. That checker
cannot move or be moved until the hippo or checker
is removed.
SNOOKLE
Place a Snookle creature on one of your checkers. The Snookle remains until that checker is captured or otherwise removed. Snookles remove and protect from Galactic Hippos.
RESHUFFLE
Make a second move this turn, with a different checker. (If you have only one checker, do not move twice.)
TRANSLATION
Either move any checker (yours or opponent's) one square vertically or horizontally or you may take one or more jumps vertically or horizontally.
WORMHOLE
The checker just moved may teleport to any empty square of the same color as its original square. No jumping happens.
WANDERLUST
Next turn your opponent must, if possible, move a checker out of his or her "back row". (This has precedence over the need to make a jump.)
QUEEN
If you have any kings or emperors, you may take a second move with one of these moving any number of squares horizontally, vertically or diagonally. (It cannot jump or capture.)
FORTIFY
If your opponent has played walls, you may remove two of them or if there are less than ten walls on the board, you may play two adjacent walls.
FATE
Choose one of your opponent's checkers. On his or her next turn, your opponent must first move that checker. (This has precedence over the need to make a jump.)
DOUBLE AGENT
Remove one of your opponent's checkers, make a 2nd move in a way that leaves it square empty, then replace that checker in its square.
RING
One of your checkers gets a ring. The ring remains until the checker is captured or otherwise removed.
ANTIMATTER
A 2 x 2 area that has at least one of each player's checkers is emptied. (The monolith is unaffected by antimatter. You cannot play the care if there is no appropriate 2 x 2 area!)
CHEATER!
You may arrange the order of the cards still in the deck.
ROTATE
Rotate the board 90 degrees in either direction. The board edges where pawns become kings change, as do each player's "half of the board".

These next nine planet cards are used at the beginning of the Alien Checkers game.

VENUS
The creatures of Venus enjoy letting smaller creatures ride on their backs.
Special Victory Condition:
Carry 4 Snookles on your checkers.
EARTH
The creatures of Earth brag about their planet's many varied lifecycles.
Special Victory Condition:
Six of your checkers revived as pawns.


MERCURY
The creatures of Mercury are most comfortable in very hot places.
Special Victory Condition:
Three squares are filled with fire.

MARS
The creatures of Mars enjoy conquering with excessive force.
Special Victory Condition:
Make 3 captures with an emperor(s).
JUPITER
The creatures of Jupiter revere size.
Special Victory Condition:
The monolith is centered in the board.

SATURN
The creatures of Saturn love jewelry.
Special Victory Condition:
Four of your checkers have rings.
NEPTUNE
The creatures of Neptune love water.
Special Victory Condition:
Three squares are filled with water.
URANUS
The creatures of Uranus travel in places most creatures avoid.
Special Victory Condition:
Four of your checkers on off color squares.
PLUTO
The creatures of Pluto respect both distance and symmetry.
Special Victory Condition:
Have checkers in two diagonally opposite corners of the board.









Invented Checkers Games

Extreme Checkers Chebache Checkers Alien Checkers Four Handed Checkers Elecrronic Checkers
Elephant Checkers Parachute Checkers Ringboard Checkers Shifty Checkers Modern Checkers
Rubiks Checkers Kinger and Dragons Checkers Enchanted Checkers Space Checkers Nascar Checkers
Hoppin Checkers Cohort Checkers Checker SaurusRex Fascination Checkers Animated Checkers
Cheskers Checkers Hawaiian Checkers Battle Checkers Stadium Checkers Disney Checkers
Giveaway Checkers Bounce Checkers Chinese Checkers Garden Checkers King Kong Checkers
Space 2006 Checkers Quick Checkers Yesteryer Checkers Lego Checkers Insect Checkers
Cube Checkers Checkers 2000 Saving Private Checkers Justice League Checkers Elvish Checkers
Doubles Checkers Hoppin 2 Checkers Safari Dino Checkers Tri Checkers Tournament Stadium Checkers
Caribbean Checkers Turntable Checkers Word Checkers Checkers 4

DeerLake Online Store Items

Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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