|Release Date||June 25, 2020|
Go is an ancient board game, sharing some similarities to chess as well as some significant differences. The rules of Go are quite simple but the gameplay is difficult to master. Go was first invented in ancient China, but greatly developed by Japan and Korean. Nowadays, besides the top AI player Alpha Go created by Google, the best professional players are all from China, Japan, and Korea.
I learned about the board game Go after watching the anime series Hikaru No Go (which can be found on Hulu for those who’d like to check it out) back in China, and it stirred my interest in playing this classic game. Being Stronger While Playing! SilverStar Go DX is the only Go game on Nintendo Switch right now. Even though it is far from perfect, I am still very happy to pick it up on a handheld device.
As this is a video game centered entirely on the board game Go, there is no objectionable content to be found here.
Like I mentioned before, Go is an ancient board game with simply rules: capture as much as territory on the board. You can start to play Go after knowing the basis within an hour. The more you learn about Go, the more complicated possibilities you will discover. It is like the universe, filled with stars in the sky. Each move can change the course the game, from defeat to victory, from advantage to disadvantage. That’s why Go has been considered as a respected strategic game in both military and life for thousands of years.
Let’s talk about some basic rules of Go. You play as either black or white stones in the game. Black always goes first, but modern Go variations (which differ depending on regional and international rules) will compensate for the white stone player’s disadvantage. Surrounding enemy stones allows you to capture them and remove them from play, creating vacant spaces called “eyes” on the board which, when paired together, become safe from later capture. The player who secures the most vacant spaces in their territory combined with the enemy pieces they’ve captured is the winner.
You will find teaching tutorials, 2800+ exercise problems, and free play matches in SilverStar Go DX. You learn Go from zero knowledge to master level 2 dan (a high rank in the game), and can spend months on advancing levels. Go can improve creativity and imagination, so I highly recommend both children and adults give it a try.
You may find its Chinese and English localization not being properly translated. Sometimes translations display mistakes and unnatural sentences structures. Since I speak both Chinese and English, however, I have no major problems understanding it.
Sadly, you can’t play online against others in Being Stronger While Playing! SilverStar Go DX. You can only play with others through the local multiplayer mode. I played some games with my husband on 9×9, and played some games against AI computer on both 13×13 and 19×19. The gameplay runs very smoothly and the control is very user-friendly. The game automatically calculates how much territory you have, how many stones you have taken, and how much time you have left. At the end of the game, besides knowing who is the winner, you can also watch the automatic gameplay and analyze each move. These analysis features prove to be a great tool for studying the game and growing in skill.
In a word, there is plenty of room for Silverstar Go DX to improve as a Go educational video game, due to its localization issues and lack of online multiplayer. Nonetheless, it provides some great tools and lessons, and since it is the only Go game on Nintendo Switch, you can consider this the best option for Go wherever you go.
Editor’s note: The video featured at the top of this review was made by our talented reviewer Karen herself! She has her own series of video reviews on her YouTube channel, Mighty Grace Positive Positive Gaming. Be sure to stop by over there and check it out!
The Bottom Line
If you love Go, or want to learn Go, this is your best option on Nintendo Switch at the moment.