With all of the progress that board games have made over the last few decades, it is easy to sometimes lose sight of the classics. These are the games that may not be as aesthetically pleasing or have as much depth as modern games, but still paved the way for what we have today. More importantly, they are often more accessible, as they can be found in most households and the rules are more universally known. These classics can still have large followings, so why not make them in a way that they appear as timeless as they are?
Maztermind is a Vietnamese brand that develops and produces board games. While Maztermind provides new and modern tabletop experiences, one might find that the main appeal is the handcrafted classics. Tabletop enthusiasts can find games like Ludo and Dominoes in Maztermind’s catalog, each with gorgeous, handcrafted boards and pieces. Today, we will be taking a look at Maztermind’s Two in One set.
Upon opening the simple and elegant box, players will be greeted by a gorgeous chess board. As the name implies, this is a double-sided board that includes two variants of chess. One side has the classic game of chess, that most Westerners are familiar with, while the other features Chinese chess. The board itself is crafted with walnut wood. The pieces are nice-looking brass with leather pressed on the sides. Each piece is double-sided, with a corresponding piece for each game on each side. While enthusiasts would probably prefer for their Chess pieces to actually be shaped like the pieces, this is likely the most practical approach since it minimizes pieces for both games.
The board and each piece appear to be well crafted, and unlike the leather dominoes set, we aren’t as concerned about how long they will last. The pieces look elegant considering that they are the size of tokens and they are constructed in a way where it’s hard to see them getting damaged from standard play. When one considers that this is a chess set that costs more than $200, it’s only rational to want to guarantee that it will hold up for decades. It doesn’t appear that this will be a problem.
While this will inevitably be used as just a decoration or conversation piece, chess is still a game. Because of that, it’s worth it to take a look at how good the Chess set is for actually playing at the table.
While the chess pieces aren’t shaped, they are still clearly marked to make them easy to identify. Players who have played any form of electronic chess online will know what to expect from these pieces. The markings juxtapose well against the color of the pieces, making them even easier to spot. Most Western players won’t be familiar with Chinese chess, and the pieces are so clear that it will make this accessible to those who are wanting to learn. The board and the pieces are compact, making this a flexible set that can fit on most tables without a problem.
Like the leather dominoes set, these pieces aren’t particularly heavy. They have a little weight thanks to the combination of wood and metal, so there is just enough there to make moving pieces satisfying. Otherwise, this chess set is as practical as any.
This set is fantastic for chess enthusiasts who just want to show off a little. It looks great in any home, whether that’s on a shelf or on the table. Of course, there are cheaper sets, and if players want to focus on just chess or Chinese chess, both boards are available with more focused designs on Maztermind’s store as well. Still, this flexible statement piece is perfect for aficionados.