Thursday, 30 June 2011

Game review: Fy.WoD!

Genre: Arcade
Author: Schnatterplatsch(Wiz) / port by Farox
OHH download: v1.1 (21/08/10)
Size: 2.9 MB
Licence: GPL v3 (says v1 on OHH, but actual archive has v3)

Fy.WoD! was originally a Wiz game. It's officially described as "some kind of racing game", though you're in a race against time and the level itself rather than against other racers. You progress through a series of maps, the next one being unlocked when you have reached a set medal status in four categories: time, coins, "wall hits" and total number of points. You can then move around a "galactic map" to choose the route to your next map. If you don't get all your targets, you don't get to go on. It sounds difficult, doesn't it? Well, it is!

On each level you are shown a basic plan of the map and have to select how many units of fuel you want, from 0 to 100 -- it soon becomes reasonably clear why you shouldn't simply choose 100 every time (because your ship is heavier, and therefore slower) but as with rather too many other things about Fy.WoD!, it's very well explained either in-game or in the readme. Anyway, you then navigate your little ship around the map, collecting coins and trying to avoid bumping into the walls, while also perhaps making use of other phenomena such as speed-ups.

Addictiveness: 6
There's no doubt that Fy.WoD! has the potential to be a hugely addictive game, and its nostalgic 8-bit feel doesn't do this any harm at all. It's engaging and challenging to play -- but perhaps a bit too challenging. There are no difficulty levels, and you do rather feel that you're forced into playing it on "hard" at all times. For example, as soon as the second-level maps you can be faced with passageways barely wider than the ship. With a tweaked learning curve, so that the first few levels eased you into the game rather than becoming rock-hard after the first map, the game would certainly have scored higher.

Depth: 8
This really depends on how much time you're willing to spend on the game. As you progress, more complex maps appear, with extra features (such as the deadly skulls) and that always holds the interest. However, the game is so hard that you may well end up giving up in frustration long before you get to the (apparently) interesting thing that happens if you reach a million points. So, a high score here -- but in this case I'm not sure that's entirely a good thing!

Controls: 7
Stick left/right rotates your ship, and the B button accelerates. L acts as a sort of brake, putting the ship into slow motion. It's fairly easy to get used to, especially if you've played something like Asteroids. "Menu" (a Wiz-ism; it's Start for us, or Home if you have an F200) pauses the game -- this only works at certain points -- and brings up a menu. My main problem initially was that X, given as "Back", didn't seem to work at all; in fact it's actually used to back out of menus, whereas I'd been expecting it to give the actual ship a reverse thrust. Another bit of poor documentation.

Graphics: 8
These have a nice retro feel about them, being highly reminiscent of the better class of 1980s 8-bit computers. Actually, I could imagine a game very like this working well on my BBC Micro! The animation is somewhat like that as well: it's not absolutely silky-smooth, but it's close enough to make controlling your ship quite easy. I think the general look of the game suits it nicely, and that this is one of the most successful aspects of Fy.WoD!

Sound: 6
There's no music, and sound effects are fairly sparse but generally effective -- and they're not eardrum-perforating by default through headphones, hurrah! Your ship's engine sounds a little bit anaemic, but the explosion when you die is a pretty good one. Inoffensive is probably the best word to use here.

Documentation: 3
I was irritated by this from the (very basic) readme: "The rest is explained in the game or so easy to see, that I would waste my words on it." Sorry, but that's just lazy: it's simply annoying to assume that everyone will be able to see how to play a game as easily as you (the programmer!) can. For example, it is not entirely obvious at first how the galactic map is navigated. On the plus side, the little scrolling hints that appear at the start of each game are just right.

Completeness: 6
There are still a few translation errors to be ironed out: "uncompleten", "You hitted the death", etc, but that's minor. There needs to be better help (especially in the readme), too, and of course a more sensible learning curve and/or the choice to select an easier standard to start with, perhaps with lower scores as a penalty. The core game, however, doesn't really seem to need anything much doing to it; it's the difficulty that's the problem, not the gameplay per se.

Overall: 6
As you'll have gathered by now, inadequate documentation is easily the biggest flaw in what is otherwise an interesting, if perhaps too difficult, arcade game. Fy.WoD! has a truly ridiculous name, but then so did Sabre Wulf, and that did okay for itself. A potentially super game, but in its current form it's just too unforgiving for all but the most accomplished players and so is rated as only quite good.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Game review: Super Pixel Jumper

A while back, I reviewed Dont Get Crushed, and Super Pixel Jumper is by the same author. It's another fairly recent game, dating back just to this spring, and of course it's always pleasing to see continued GP2X development.

Super Pixel Jumper
Genre: Jump and Run
Author: ThatOtherPerson
OHH download: v1.1 (08/03/11)
Size: 2.6 MB
Licence: Freeware

This is a pretty simple game in terms of rules: you play the part of a little pink square, and must jump along a side-scrolling landscape of platforms made up of blue squares. As you continue, the scrolling gets faster. You must avoid touching the white squares which are scattered randomly around (and on the left and bottom sides of the screen) because doing so means game over. Your running score and the high score are always shown as you play.

Addictiveness: 7
There are some games which look as if they ought to be addictive but turn out not to be. Super Pixel Jumper goes the other way: it doesn't look that exciting in a screenshot, but the compulsion to better your score is high. I certainly found it holding the interest for longer than Dont Get Crushed did, perhaps because it's rather similar to "Rapid Roll", a favourite game of mine from an old Nokia mobile phone.

Depth: 3
Let's face it, there's not a lot of this. You run along, jump, and avoid enemies. You need quick reactions, but not much in the way of strategy. The only real development as you play is in learning how to judge the size of your jumps.

Controls: 6
Nothing much to remark upon here. Stick for left and right, and B to jump. Holding down B for longer gives you a bigger jump, which works well. There's no pause, but Select will exit:The animation is decent, too instantly, with no confirmation screen, which is a bit irritating. Between games, Start is used to... er... start.

Graphics: 7
We start with a splash for the "Pandora Angst Coding Competition", but after that everything's simply done; again, it's reminiscent of a mobile phone game. The addition of colour, even simple colour, puts it one up on Dont Get Crushed and makes the thing look significantly more attractive. The basic square-based design (hence the game's name) actually works very nicely. The animation is decent, too. One small criticism is that it's not that easy to see your score, as it's in black on a purple backround.

Sound: 5
Do I need to tell you that it's initially too loud through headphones? No, thought not. Still, you can turn it down. The background music is a looped techno sample, surprise surprise, and frankly I wasn't keen on it at all. Personal preference, of course, but then that's what reviews are for. (Mind you, it's just a .wav file, so presumably it could be changed easily enough.) Actual sound effects are limited to a few whooshy noises: two for take-off and successful landing, and one (which is disconcertingly cheer-like) when you are obliterated by a white square.

Documentation: 2
Pretty much non-existent: even knowing to press B to jump is something you have to discover for yourself! No readme and nothing in-game other than a mention of the Start and Select buttons.

Completeness: 7
Most of the way there, I think; I'd like to see something approaching a readme, at least, but the basic game doesn't show any serious weaknesses in this department.

Overall: 6
Super Pixel Jumper is another ThatOtherPerson game which makes a virtue out of simplicity: you can pick it up in seconds and yet keep playing for a while before you get bored. It nearly scored a 7, actually, but I really don't like the music at all. If you do, adjust my rating accordingly!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Coming up on 2XGB...

Yes, I know, this is an obvious space-filler of a post. I've got a lot going on this weekend, but I don't want to just let things slide for days and days. But I have a couple more game reviews lined up for next week, including one that was (gasp!) released in the spring of this very year. (If you think you're the author of that game... then you're probably correct!)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The end of the drought, but...

The GP2X section of OHH has seen its first upload since 16 April. It's a music game called Txishos... but I can't review it, as it's a touchscreen-only game! Argh! Ah well, those of you with F200s can snigger behind your hands at we stuck-in-the-muds as you download it. I've no idea whether the game's any good, but hopefully it'll give enjoyment to some.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A look inside the GP2X

Photo from this Flickr page, copyright © Nick Ames. Licence: cc-by-sa 2.0

While surfing* around semi-randomly last night, I came across the interesting sight (above) of a GP2X with its top off. Oo-er missus, etc. Nick Ames, who took the picture, adds some detail on Flickr about the reason for the opening-up: to do a little soldering in order to make the USB networking facilities compatible with a new kernel on his computer. Good stuff!

* Look, I like sounding as though I'm still living in 1995, okay?

Monday, 20 June 2011

C++ for Logans

Hmm. I had a look in my local library to see if they had any C++ books, and they did. One. C++ for Dummies, which doesn't get the greatest reviews on Amazon. On the plus side, most people seem to like chapter 1, and at least some of the complaints are from people who were confused by the unexplained use of conventions such as "int" for integers. That sort of thing won't worry me, at least. I suspect I'll stick with SdlBasic for any remotely serious GP2X programming, but a little C++ might even be fun. It can't be worse than the little C I tried about 20 years ago, anyway... can it?

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Game review: REWORD

Genre: Puzzle
Author: Al McLuckie (purplepup)
OHH download: v0.5 (19/06/08)
Size: 3.9 MB
Licence: GPL v2

REWORD (yes, unfortunately the ugly ALL CAPS appearance is official) is a word game based on a Flash game called TextTwist. It has vague similarities to the Countdown Conundrum: you are shown a six-letter word whose letters have been jumbled up, and must work out what the original was. However, you also need to find as many three-, four- and five-letter words as you can before the time limit expires. When the level finishes, you're shown any words you didn't get, and can also see their definitions.

The game offers three levels of difficulty: as you go up, the time limits decrease, and more difficult words from the wordlist are used. You score according to how many words you find and how much time you have left when completing a level. There are two additional game modes: Speed6, in which only finding the six-letter word matters (you can ignore the shorter ones) and TimeTrial, in which you have an overall time limit to find as many six-letter words as you can.

You do need to remember that the word list is a British English one: "colour" is a valid choice, but "color" is not! On a rather cruder note, that also means that "piss" is there, but not the Americanism "pissy" (meaning irritable). You'll also come across the occasional irritation, such as the fact that "yip" is accepted but "yips" (the golfing term) is not; you can either edit the wordlist to suit or just put up with it.

Addictiveness: 8
Given that this is by no means an easy game, even on the Medium setting, I think it will appeal mostly to those who are already into wordplay, and who have what might be called "the right sort of brains" -- ones which are good at picking out patterns against the clock. If you do fall into that category, though, then REWORD is a treat: the compulsion to do better than last time is strong, and you'll frequently kick yourself when at the end of a level you discover that you've missed some supremely obvious word.

Depth: 8
The wordlist contains about 7,400 words (including 2,800 six-letter words) which is enough to ensure that you don't come across the same puzzle too often. By no means all the words are obvious ones, and even those who enjoy word games or play Scrabble are likely to find their brains heating up somewhat, especially when playing at the harder difficulties. Even at Medium, I've had words like "arnica" showing up in the six-letter spot. REWORD also allows you to expand the wordlist yourself, so the game should have plenty of replay value.

Controls: 7
These take a little learning, as almost every button is used: B selects a letter, X deselects it, Y submits your chosen word for checking against the wordlist, and A shuffles your "tiles" (which can help you see things you didn't before). Either L or R will bring up the last word you submitted (handy for quick plurals if there's an S in the tile set). Space is a pause button -- but this works on Easy mode only! Select brings up the quit dialog -- but the clock keeps ticking, so if you want to resume, do it quickly...

Graphics: 7
The main game screen is simply but effectively done, and the pink-and-yellow colour-scheme works better than you mgiht think. The menus are well presented, and pretty easy on the eye. The high-score tables are perhaps slightly cluttered, but not overwhelmingly so. Overall, REWORD scores fairly well in the graphical department.

Sound: 6
The theme tune to the game is a bouncy little thing, and for once the default volume isn't horrible through headphones. The in-game effects are basically a little collection of beeps (including the dreaded ten-second countdown) but they serve their purpose.

Documentation: 8
REWORD does better in this department than many GP2X games: there's both a solid and decently clear readme and a good in-game instruction section. I'd personally have put the control quick-reference screen after the overall "How to Play", rather than before as is in fact the case.

Completeness: 8
For a v0.5 game, this seems pretty much finished. There is the odd six-letter word which you're told "has no definition", which is a pain, though if it bothers you that much you can edit the wordlist to add it yourself. The high-score entry is also slightly clunky compared to some.

Overall: 8
The only thing I really dislike about REWORD is its shouty name. The GP2X is not well supplied with word games (it's actually a genre I'd like to write something in if I ever get back to learning to program) so it's pleasing that this one is very nicely done -- though not easy! If you're a fan of word games and want something that will give the linguistic part of your mind a good workout, then this might well be what you're looking for. It's staying on my card, anyway.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Well, I suppose someone must be watching, then!

I noticed today that this blog has reached 500 pageviews, not including my own. A tiny number compared with many blogs, obviously, but I'm actually fairly pleased: given the size of the GP2X community these days, I wondered at first whether anybody was going to look in! I certainly intend to keep going, not least because I have several hundred original games I still haven't reviewed!

(The occasional comment would be nice, though. Anyone?)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Game review: River Crossing

River Crossing
Genre: Misc
Author: Dr_Ian
OHH download: v1 (08/03/07)
Size: 0.8 MB
Licence: Freeware

This is a simple game reminiscent of those old Game & Watch handheld machines. You control a man who has to get across a river while avoiding obstacles -- shades of Frogger there. All you can do is to jump forward, but the key to the game is in the timing, as rocks may be slippy (requiring you to pause until you gain your balance) or sink (requiring speed) and you may be knocked over by swans and debris floating down the stream!

You start off with five lives, but you lose one every time you fall into the river. If you succeed in your crossing, you gain a life, though you can't go above the original five. There is a basic cheat mode -- pressing Start while on the first level will skip forward ten levels. However, if you activate this mode, your score display will note that you have been cheating!

Addictiveness: 7
I could see some people rating this higher than that, actually, as there's a definite "one more go..." factor at play here. Once you get past about the first dozen levels, there's a lot of frustration to be had as you get swept into the stream just short of your goal.

Depth: 5
For the first few levels you're discovering new obstacles, but after that it's really just a case of things getting more and more difficult. Game & Watch games weren't designed to be deep and complex, and neither is River Crossing.

Controls: 6
Extremely simple: you press Start to begin, B to jump and L to quit. That last option is unusual, and I don't personally like it that much as the way I hold my GP2X means that I can occasionally press it by mistake. As there's no confirmation dialog, it can cause problems. B is certainly the best choice for movement, though.

Graphics: 8
I rather like these, and they give a nice sense of the old machines. I particularly like the way in which non-active symbols are still faintly visible (as on the original LCD) and the attention to detail shown by the startup, when (again, as with the old games) every symbol lights up at once as a brief test mode, with your score showing as "888" in seven-segment display numerals.

Sound: 4
This scores poorly, despite having a suitably nostalgic bleepy feel, because not only is it far too loud through headphones, there doesn't seem to be any way to turn it down; even the standard volume buttons don't work. That's really very disappointing, and makes the game slightly but significantly less enjoyable.

Documentation: 6
Nothing in the game itself; a readme which is fairly brief but covers all the necessary details.

Completeness: 7
The core game is largely complete. It badly needs a volume control, and a level select other than cheat mode (maybe via a password system) would be good for experienced players, but otherwise anything to be added would be window-dressing.

Overall: 6
River Crossing is a likeable game, and one which I mostly enjoyed playing. There are rather too many niggles for a game given a v1 version number, that sound problem especially, but it's nevertheless worth a look if you're a Game & Watch fan.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The recent past -- stats and thoughts

On the left of the OHH page you can see a list of the most recent 50 files uploaded. At the time of writing the latest was the PocketSNES update (to v7.2.0) from 16 April -- which, incidentally, makes a substantial difference to speed on my GP2X, although it does always crash on exit, requiring a reboot. The 50th most recent was the FX00 Battery Meter from 30 June last year -- so the software drought since mid-April means that we're almost up to the year mark.

Let's break those figures down a bit. For each complete month in that time (ie July 2010 to March 2011 inclusive) the number of uploads is as follows: 4, 7, 4, 11, 2, 6, 4, 6. I'm not sure you can really infer too much from that sequence, other than that there's never been huge activity during the period. So, how about comparing with the other consoles covered by OHH? The last 50 uploads have taken the following time:

GP32: 1,115 days
GP2X: 347 days
Wiz: 237 days
Caanoo: 90 days
Zodiac: 226 days
Dingoo: 209 days
Pandora: 76 days

Let's be honest, it's not going to surprise any of us that GP2X development has slowed a great deal recently. It's just rather brought home seeing it in stark numerical terms like that. I'm sure there will be more GP2X releases, but there probably won't be very many of them: it'll only be the real enthusiasts who stay interested in the system with so much else available now. So, for the most part we'll have to make do with what we have, and accept that an awful lot of the niggles and bugs that have been advertised as "will be fixed in next release!" won't in fact ever be. That's a major part of the reason I have a "Completeness" score in my game reviews.

Talking of which... thanks for wading through these turgid ramblings. By way of reward, I promise that the next post here will indeed be a game review! I haven't decided what it will be yet, but I have a few candidates in mind. (Incidentally, I will consider requests to review specific games.)

PS: I don't know who you are, but hello to the person who came here via the Wall Street Journal! As it's behind a paywall, I can't see the article you arrived from, but it certainly adds a bit of tone to this place. *grins*

Friday, 10 June 2011

A little tweak

I've changed things so that if you click on the thumbnail above a game review, it'll now appear double size, ie 640x480 pixels. The original size of 320x240 looks pretty titchy on a modern monitor, so hopefully this will help to make things a bit clearer.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Game review: Castle of Dr. Malvado

Castle of Dr. Malvado
Genre: Jump and Run
Author: Eclipse
OHH download: v?.?? (12/01/08)
Size: 4.1 MB
Licence: "None" (?)

First, note that I'm going by the title used on the OHH page, but the title in-game is The Castle of Dr. Malvado. In this review I'll just call it Malvado for simplicity's sake. Anyway, this is a port of an old DOS side-scrolling game, via the GP32. It has much the same object as most of these games: collect coins (or whatever they're supposed to be) and either avoid or squish monsters as you make your way through the levels.

Addictiveness: 7
My main problem with Malvado is its toughness; this one seems to be aimed at old-skool gamers who have the superb reactions and skills needed to get very far. It took me a long time before I even managed to get beyond the first couple of minutes without dying, something it's extremely easy to do: falling in the water will do it, for example, as will being stung by a wasp. It's a nice enough game to keep me coming back, but the first level is a lot harder, even early on, than the equivalent in any Super Mario game.

Depth: 6
It's pretty rare for any side-scrolling platformer to be astounding in this category; Super Mario World has a claim to be, but then that's among the greatest of all console games, in whatever genre, and Malvado doesn't quite measure up to that mighty opposition. There are bits and pieces to discover as you move along the levels (not least which bits of scenery you can stand on!) but the running and jumping come first.

Controls: 7
You start the game with Start (something which seems surprisingly rare!) and the stick moves you around. The only other control is jump, for which you can use either A or Select; I'd personally find B more comfortable, but you can't redefine the layout. Pressing L+R together will quit, without a conformation screen. There doesn't seem to be a pause control, which is unusual and irritating.

Graphics: 8
The first thing you notice, apart from the cheerful (and Spanish!) credits pages, is that the game doesn't fill the screen: this is because the original DOS graphics were 320x200, and that resolution is used here too. It's mildly irritating, but nothing you can't get used to. A shame it wasn't centrally "letterboxed" rather than being shoved up the top, though I don't know how easy that would have been to program.

The actual graphic design is very good. Malvado is a really attractive, bright and colourful game, quite reminiscent of the look of some 16-bit console titles. Scrolling and animation generally is excellent and smooth, and it's easy to distinguish between different items. The only real problem (though it may be deliberate design) is that you often lose your character behind grass, signs etc, thus increasing the risk of losing a life.

Sound: 7
Not bad at all. Although (as usual) it's a bit too loud for headphones users straight off, you can easily turn that down with the normal volume controls. The main music is a jaunty little number which is clearly based on some nursery rhyme, TV theme or similar that I simply can't bring to mind right now. The tune used for the actual gameplay is different, but similarly bouncy and vaguely forgettable. Sound effects are okay without being stunning: bloops when you collect coins, screams when you die, etc.

Documentation: 3
Malvado falls down rather badly here: the readme tells you a fair bit about the port, but nothing at all about the game, other than how to quit -- and even that isn't quite right: it states that L+R+stick will quit, but actually L+R alone will do it, at least on my F100. There's no documentation whatever in-game, though to be fair it's not really needed.

Completeness: 7
The core game is fine, and my only complaints with it are that it's too hard; that's partly down to my lack of skill at games like this, though, and isn't a completeness issue as such. The documentation could do with considerable improvement (like actually having any to speak of...) and localisation of the credits, level screens and so on into English would have been nice.

Overall: 7
Malvado is a good example of a game that looks really nice, has obviously had plenty of work put into it and does most of the basics right, but which doesn't quite have that something extra to lift it above the "pretty good" and into the realms of the truly great. I'd prefer a less unforgiving difficulty level early on, a bit more clarity about where to stand and much better documentation. I could see a tweaked version of this game scoring 8 or 9 without too much trouble, but this is merely a solid 7.

Monday, 6 June 2011

So much still to do...

I've had my GP2X for a couple of months now, and I'm still barely scratching the surface. For example, there are a number of emulators I haven't even downloaded (Atari 7800, Wonderswan, Neo Geo) and quite a few more I've barely tried beyond checking that they work -- even the C64 comes into this category. And, the focus of this blog being native GP2X games, there are hundreds and hundreds of those still to be tested. For all it has its flaws (and you'd have to be in extreme denial to claim otherwise) the GP2X is an extraordinarily lovable little machine.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Game review: Chess2X

Genre: Board
Author: ParkyDR
OHH download: v0.4 (28/12/07)
Size: 8.7 MB
Licence: GPL (see below)

This is a chess program (surprised?) using the popular GNU Chess engine and XBoard. I wasn't entirely certain about the licensing, as there wass no specific mention of which licence the program has in its documentation, but ParkyDR has confirmed that it's GPL; this is mentioned explicitly in the source listing. At any rate, this is very much aimed at people who simply want a game of chess without too much extra paraphernalia.

You can choose to play against the CPU (as either white or black) or to use the program simply as an electronic board to record the movements of two players. While playing, a graphical display shows the location of the last piece moved by your opponent, and a side display gives a summary of the game so far in standard algebraic notation. It's possible to take back your last move, and the CPU can be told to give you a hint.

Addictiveness: 7
This really depends on how interested you are in chess. As there aren't that many bells and whistles, it's a case of "if you like the game, you'll like this". Since I do like chess, I'm rating Chess2X fairly highly here!

Depth: 9
There are 10 difficulty levels, which seems a fair number. On the lowest setting the game is a bit of a pushover for all but the very weakest players, but if you push the level to the top it's likely to make even a good club player sweat. Chess, of course, has plenty of depth of its own, and so this is a game which is not likely to pall.

Controls: 6
In the menus there's a useful strip at the bottom of the screen telling you what different buttons do. In the game itself, it's as simple as can be: the stick moves the highlight square around, while B selects and moves your chosen piece. Start quits (after an "Are you sure?") but this is not stated on the board screen itself. X will force the GP2X to move; useful, as in the higher levels it can otherwise take ages to do so! The controls do feel slightly "sticky" at times, though; that's why this category scores only 6.

Graphics: 6
Quite a nice "crazy paving" background in the menus. The game board is, by default, a very plain black-and-white affair with simple symbols. I like it that way, but if you don't you can customise it to some extent: there are three other skins to choose from in the main menu. The symbols stay as they are, but the board colours change; the "wood" option is probably the nicest. Red, green and yellow highlights on squares show the plain cursor, a selected piece and the last piece moved respectively; simple but it works. The board doesn't quite fit the screen; there's an irritating messy line down the right-hand side.

Sound: 2
A rather nasty "blip" every time you move, and a nearly as nasty "bloop" when a piece is taken. I'd much prefer to play in silence, but the volume controls don't work.

Documentation: 5
Very little in the game. The provided readme is little more than a list of button commands, but that should get you going. It won't teach you to play chess, but I wouldn't expect it to.

Completeness: 6
This is v0.4, and in truth it sometimes feels like it. The program itself works, and you can play a decent game against the console. What's missing is polish: the default move/take sounds are horrible, the "sticky controls" thing is a pain and it doesn't seem possible to quit merely to the menu instead of completely. Another problem is poor "common sense" -- if you try to move an opponent's pawn to the top of its column, Chess2X will ask you what piece you want to promote it to and only then tell you you've made an illegal move!

Overall: 6
This is the first chess program I've tried on the GP2X, and to be honest I wasn't blown away by it. That's not to say it's terrible, because it isn't -- its solid score is testament to that -- but it could have been a good deal better. It's a shame that development ceased at this point, because I suspect v1.0 of Chess2X might have been a very good game indeed.

Update 18 Jun 2011: As well as confirming Chess2X's GPL status, Parky2X has mentioned a couple of other points, for which many thanks. First, during a game "Select" will allow you to quit or save a game. Second, pressing A will launch an audio player, but there's not enough CPU free for anything beyond low bit-rate files. Finally, the move_sound and take_sound files can be edited (or deleted) to change (or remove) those beeps.