Play Go against your computer or online in a pleasant and reasonably intuitive interface


Our rating: 

License: Free (Open source)
Review & Alternatives: Best Free Computer Go
Categories: Games, Computer Go

Pros & Cons:

2D and 3D boards, adjustable board size and engine strength, play online or offline, etc.
Best to avoid changing audio; GnuGo engine must be installed separately.

Our Review:

PANDA-glGo is a highly recommendable program. It allows you to play Go against your computer or online and has a pleasant and reasonably intuitive interface. The "Preferences" allow you to choose whether you want to see the board in 2D or 3D - a nice touch. There's a slider to adjust engine strength when playing against the computer.

In general, PANDA-glGo offers many features but is also beginner-friendly. It even has a charmingly illustrated tutorial teaching the rules of the game. It's a good idea to start off on a smaller board (eg. 9 x 9). The program is also a client for the free Internet Go server (IGS), where you can get to watch quality games without even having to register.

You have to download the GnuGo engine separately if you don't have it already. The PANDA-glGo program kindly walks you through this when you first click the "Play GNU Go" button.

Just a word of warning about sound—an important feature in Go. When I tried switching from the default (Windows) sounds I lost the audio altogether and found myself having to do a clean reinstall to get it back (the issue is acknowledged in the genuinely helpful User Manual). Don't let this put you off trying this very likable program.

PANDA-glGo was reviewed by on