The game rates poorly, even for a chess variant which all lack love here.
Is this game that bad?
I am toying with making a set, is it worth the effort?
There seems like some interesting elements, the monkey jump, crocodile and river, etc
In that it looks fresher than grand chess etc which basically cross pollinate existing chess pieces.
a bit of feedback would be appreciated.
I think this is a popular variant because it uses animals for pieces. Thats it. But the game play is flawed. I checked out the forum at http://www.chessvariants.org/index/displayitem.php?itemid=Co..., here is what Mark Thompson had to say:
The 'drowning rule' in Congo is original and interesting, but it seems to me that it makes it awfully difficult to get an attack going. If you push a piece into the River, your opponent has the option of immediately making a counterattacking move that needs an immediate defensive response, which forces you to lose the piece in the River. It almost seems as though you're better off waiting for the other player to attack and let him be the one whose pieces drown. Does anyone know just how the good players avoid this problem?
Someone once observed that one of the general problems in designing a good strategy game is figuring out how to force the players to be aggressive, since many games tend to favor passive play unless a mechanism is introduced to force conflict. This makes me suspect that Congo might be a better game if the drowning rule, which seems to discourage conflict, were revised somehow: perhaps, a piece (or at least a Pawn) should be allowed to stay in the River one turn without drowning? Any suggestions?