Battle Chess was badass, as in, probably the coolest computer game you could play in the early 90's (besides Doom), and all the boys loved it. And for once I can actually include myself in that equation. It tapped into something primative, something absolutely out for blood and guts, the great hard-on for gore we all have. This was a decade before all these first-person shooters and role playing games took over the scene, and back then you were lucky if you saw blood in a video game.
But if I remember right, this game not only had blood, but guts... and limbs getting chopped off one by one... and people going up in a blaze, or getting shrunk down and squashed...etc. This game was hard core in those days, and guess what, they even let us play it in school. Something about watching these little minions smash each other to a bloody pulp made me shit myself with "aww-yeah."
I don't know much about other schools, but in my elementary school, if you could play chess, you were considered one of the elite--the coolest of all. You had skills. If that game of chess involved knights that cut the arms and legs off pawns, rooks that turned into rock men who could pound pawns into a puddle, and kings that had a whole arsenal of weaponry under their capes (whips.. swords... bombs... guns??), then you weren't just cool, you were flannel cool. Heck, this game was so badass, it didn't even care if you saw it cheating. Seriously, you'd be playing against the computer, and all of sudden the pieces on the other end of the board would just switch places. "That's right, I just did. What you gonna do about it bitch?"
Now I'm sure they would have preferred us playing girly games like Sticky Bear and Grammar (which to the eight-year-old me was something you called your grandmother), but the only other game that could touch this in "computer-class" was Oregon Trail (and that is deserving of its own post). Without games like this, computers sucked.