|Multiplayer:||Yes, local pass n play and Game Center|
|AI:||Yes, 5 levels of difficulty|
|Universal App:||Yes (there is a single app which works on both iPhone and iPad in HD)|
|Purchase for iPhone:||Use link below to purchase universal app|
|Purchase for iPad:||
GD Star RatingKhet 2x,
Despite it’s ancient Egyptian theming, Khet is a relative newcomer to the abstract strategy world, having been created in 2005. Each player takes on the role of one of two rival pharaohs of ancient times, each determined to thwart the other and prove themselves the rightful heir of the Sun God’s legacy. They do this via that most time-honored of all noble traditions – by firing lasers at each other.
Khet is played on a 10×8 grid. The lower-right corner (from each player’s perspective) is occupied by your Sphinx. The Sphinx will not move, but may change its orientation 90 degrees. On a turn, you will either rotate one of your pieces one quarter turn, or move any one piece (except the Sphinx) one space in any direction. Then you fire your laser to see if you capture anything.
Aside from your Sphinx, there are 4 types of pieces. Pyramids have a mirror that bounces the laser 90 degrees, and 2 non-mirrored, vulnerable sides. Scarabs are all mirror, and can also force another piece (any piece of any color) to trade spaces with them. Anubis (you have 2 of these) is non-reflective; if he stops the beam with his face, nothing happens, but he is captured if he stops the beam on any other side. Finally you have your Pharaoh. If your Pharaoh is ever hit by a beam (regardless of which player fired it) the game is over.
A few spaces are marked with symbols matching player colors – a piece may not enter a space marked by the opposing color. Beyond that, players alternate turns until one Pharaoh is illuminated. (Illuminating your opponent’s Sphinx has no game effect, but does unlock a Game Center achievement.)
Khet supports online play via Game Center, local pass n play, and 5 levels of AI. A non-obvious pull-out drawer in the main game interface lets you rewind through moves and change the board to one of 5 different textures. We were unable to test online play – we never found any opponents – but local multiplay worked well.
The app features a non-interactive slide show tutorial that does an adequate job of explaining the rules. No strategy assistance is available. Even on the “anoobis” setting (noob – see what they did there?) the AI is unforgiving to new players; for all that Abalone is greedy in it’s multiplay setup, it’s tiered single-player mode does a fantastic job of teaching strategy to new players, and nothing like that exists here.
At $8, Khet is one of the more expensive abstract strategy games on the App Store. For the price, you get a brutal AI, some cosmetic options, and not a lot of live opponents. The game is elegant but sparse in its presentation, and the AI player takes its sweet time making its moves. It’s a decent implementation of an interesting game, but with so many games that get so much more right at cheaper prices, you’d probably have to be a committed Khet enthusiast for this purchase to really appeal.