CIPC #349: House on the hill

There is a whole wide world out there of indie horror games. They usually only last a couple of hours and are made on a small budget by independent studios with strange and unfamiliar names like Chilla’s Art, Puppet Combo, or Steppe Hare. That lagomorphic one is responsible for House on the hill, in which the player takes the role of a burglar who breaks into a creepy house. It doesn’t go exactly as planned. There is a chess puzzle, though!

And we’re not going to talk about it. Who saw that twist coming? It makes sense, though: there is no position to talk about, there’s just a couple of chess pieces that are misused as keys.1 However, right at the beginning, there is a chess board set up in the middle of what seems to be an enormous dining hall. Who or what was playing here and when that happened I cannot say.

I can say, however, what the position was. After scourging YouTube for gameplay footage where the chessboard is clearly in view, I did manage to reconstruct the position. I’m even quite confident in the result:2

I’m not quite sure what happened, but it gave black a devastating attack.If it’s white to move, he can take on b6. But even then, with a queen more, it’s far from a trivial win. So I’m guessing it’s black’s move here and white resigned, perhaps belatedly noticing the check on a5. Why else would the players have abandoned their game — and their apples?3 It’s a mystery.

Although I suppose it could be because of the demons in the house. That may be a reason for leaving a chess game, I guess. Maybe.

Realism: 2/5 I have no idea how that king got on a3 or, in fact, what the last move could possibly have been.

Probable winner: Black. White seems to be stuck in a horror game.

1. [And so I ended up talking about it anyway. Drat.]
2. [King of the hill, easy mode.]
3. [Perhaps they switched to android.]