Incorporates a user-friendly design into a full-featured and versatile gaming program.


Our rating: 

License: Free
Website: Shogidokoro

Pros & Cons:

Responsive play, user-friendly, versatile.
Lack of piece movement guide may be difficult for novice players.

Our Review:

Shogidokoro incorporates a user-friendly design into a full-featured and versatile gaming program. Masking the program's versatility is a surprisingly modest interface that efficiently covers all of the essentials without confusing the player with overly-complex and unfamiliar controls and toggles. Such activities as adding engines, linking to remote gaming servers, and importing and exporting games are easily accomplished with a minimal learning curve.

While aesthetic options are limited to 4 choices of wood tone for the playing board and 4 different piece sets (one of which features Western style symbols), the overall look of Shogidokoro is attractive and conducive to good play. Unlike some other Shogi software, Shoidokoro does not show the player the possible movements available for each piece, so it is necessary for players to have some familiarity with Shogi rules prior to playing.

More important than the look of the program is the playability, and Shogidokoro does not fail to deliver a positive game experience. Play against the AI is smooth and agile and head-to-head play via remote servers is supported.

Included in the initial download is the Lesserkai 1.3.3 engine. For those wishing to try additional AIs, adding engines is simple. I personally added Spear CSA 2008v.1.4 within the first 10 minutes of downloading the program. Note: players will need to add the Lesserkai engine the first time a one-player match is begun. This is easily accomplished simply by clicking on Game?Engine Manager ? Add and then browsing to the Shogidokoro downloaded files to locate the included Lesserkai engine. Additionally, review and analysis of saved games is supported for CSA, KIF, Ki2, PSN, and PSN2 formats.

Shogidokoro was reviewed by on based on version 2.3.0.