I downloaded Absolute Chess dsiware this week, and I like it! It's not usual chess by any means, more like pick up-and-play quick game of chess, and in that role, it does very well. The game engine is set for speed, and does not think too deep. At the advanced level, it can spot mate in 3. So, I think, it's about 5 ply, or 2.5 move deep.
It has 4 levels, and 8 characters for a variety opponent. Missing features are timer, auto play, hint, undo (somewhat). If you come in expecting the usual trappings of chess, you will be disappointed. This game is geared more toward blitzkrieg chess.
Some bugs are presents: Racheal instead of Rachael. b4 instead of d4. "wait" instead of undo. Minor blemishes to what an otherwise good program.
I appreciate the designers for injecting flavor by doing anime style character, even if they're not animated. There are different pictures showing different states: neutral, winning, and losing.
I really like the download play feature. Alas, no timers. At least the graphics are clear and pleasant. No worries about confusing pieces, that's for sure!
It's too bad you cannot turn off music or sound effects independently. If I want to listen to music while playing chess, that's what mp3 players are for. The majority of chess players prefer quiet solitude.
It also has challenge mode. Not a big deal, though. 1st level, win the game. 2nd level, win the game in 12 minutes, a casual game. 3rd level, use bishop to take 4 or more pieces. Easy, since pawns count as pieces. 4th level, leave 3 or more pawns. Keeping 3 pawns in castling does the trick just fine. 5th level, 70 moves, 7 minutes, Blitzkrieg chess with 2 extra minutes. Did I mention that the early level makes all kind of blunders? Just play a defensive game, and you'll beat the challenges no problem!
Here's a sample game that I played:
1. e4 e5 2. f4 xf4 King's Gambit Accepted
3. d4 Qh4 4. Ke2 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qg4 6. h3 Qe6 7. Nc3 Qc4 8. Kf2 Qb4 9. a3 Qd6 10. e5 Qh6 Harassing the Queen while developing
11. Nd5 Kd8 12. Nxf4 Be7 13. Nd5 Bh4 14. g3 Qe6 15. Nf4 Bxg3 16. Kxg3 Qh6 17. d5 g5 18. xc6 xf4 19. Bxf4 Qxc6 Clarifying position
20. Bg2 Ne7 21. Kh2 Rg8 22. Rg1 Qe4 23. Bg3 d6 24. Ng5 Qf5 25. xd6 Qxg5 mate in 2
26. xc7 Ke8 27. Qd8 mate