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Arena 3.5

Play chess online or against 250+ engines

by Mike Williams

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Based on 1 ratings
License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English, German, Russian
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 03 July 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 1174
Developer: Martin Blume
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Arena Chess 3.5
Play chess online or against 250+ engines

Arena is a powerful tool for playing chess and analyzing games.

The program interface is better than many similar tools. The 2D board looks good and is very configurable, key options are relatively easy to find, and you can learn a lot about Arena's features just by browsing the menus. There's detailed local help, too (and a real Windows Help file, not a PDF or a website with no search feature).

Arena is able to use more than 250 chess engines, many of which have adjustable strength, so you're unlikely to run out of opponents. Although if you do, it's also possible to play online games against people worldwide.

The program has strong support for analysing games, helping you understand the thinking processes of individual engines.

A host of extras includes support for variant games, including Shuffle Chess and Fischer Chess/ Chess 960. There's a stack of configuration options to ensure everything works as you'd expect. And if you find yourself getting too engrossed when you should really be doing other things, don't worry - a built-in Boss Key (Ctrl+0) can dismiss Arena to the system tray whenever someone gets too close.

Verdict:

A powerful chess playing and analysis tool. Arena's well-designed interface and detailed help file mean it's easier to use than many similar programs, too.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Unreal Engine 4.8

Free Full Commercial Software

Unreal Engine is Epic Games' game engine, a powerful suite of tools for developing anything from basic 2D games to professional RPGs, first person shooters and whatever else you like.

Wide standards support - DirectX, OpenGL, JavaScript/ WebGL - means your projects can be targeted to almost any platform: consoles, iOS, Android, Windows, OS X, Linux, HTML5 browsers and more.

There's a vast amount to learn, of course, and that's even before you start building your game. But there's plenty of documentation, tutorials, demos and sample projects to point you in the right direction.

The package is now entirely free, too - no annoying limitations, nag screens or anything else. Epic now only requires that you pay a 5% royalty after the first $3,000 of revenue per product per quarter. And even then, you "pay no royalty for film projects, contracting and consulting projects such as architecture, simulation and visualization."

8.48 brings:
    - Optimized grass rendering and procedural foliage system preview
    - Plugins available in Marketplace
    - Improved accuracy for motion blur
    - New Tone Mapper
    - Support for all the latest VR hardware including Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Steam VR and HTC Vive, Leap Motion, and Sony's Project Morpheus for PlayStation 4
    - "Scrubbable" network replays with rewind support and live time scrubbing
    - Visualize the memory footprint of game assets in an interactive tree map UI

[...]
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