Chess Kombat is a special gameplay mode making its debut, and so far, only appearance in Mortal Kombat: Deception.
Chess Kombat is based on real life chess games where the player's pieces have to fight their way through the opposition's stronghold to their side and defeat their king. Keeping in with the theme of Mortal Kombat, the pieces are renamed and given special functions. The pieces are represented by characters selected by the players and assigned to specific classes.
As with chess, players take turns advancing their pieces forward. Depending on the class of the piece, the number of squares in which they can advance varies as well as which direction they can move in. Whenever a piece comes in contact with another, kombat commences in which the game switches to a normal one-round fight. The piece who declares battle against the other piece receives a health bonus. The winner occupies the square of the enemy. Any damage taken is carried over in fights. In order to claim victory, the player must defeat the enemy Leader in kombat. You can also win the game if you use the Sorcerer's Imprison spell on the leader if he/she is the only piece left. A tally will be shown at the end of the game for both players
There are five different classes of pieces, each based on a class in real life chess. In accordance with the Mortal Kombat theme, the classes have special abilities.
- Leader (King) - The goal of the game is to protect the leader whilst attempting to defeat the enemy leader. Once the leader is gone, the game ends. A Fatality is automatically performed upon seizing victory of the match. The leader starts out with a nearly full health bar. The Leader can move in any direction but can only advance one square. The leader starts out at the center of the far side of their base holding a light overhead. Concept art depicts the leader piece sitting on a throne with a malnourished servant carrying him, which explains the Leader's limited movement.
- Champion (Queen) - The champion serves as the personal bodyguard of the Leader, standing beside them as the last line of defense. The Champion can move in any direction and number of squares they wish, allowing them to easily close gaps. Players start out with two Champions and they stand beside the Leader. They start out with a full health bar.
- Sorcerer (Bishop) - The Sorcerer is a very dangerous piece on the board. While not geared towards direct kombat, they possess the ability to cast spells that can affect the flow of the game. The Sorcerer's movement is restricted to diagonal advances only. Each player starts out with two. Unlike the other pieces, both Sorcerers are unique. The one on the left casts offensives spells that range from space swapping to instantly killing any piece short of a Champion. The right casts buffering spells that range from healing to reviving a fallen piece. Each spell can only be cast once, so the player must conserve their spells until truly needed. They start out with a 30% health gauge. The spells are:
- Heal - Restores any piece's health fully
- Teleport - Teleports any Grunt, Shifter or Champion to any unoccupied square on the board
- Resurrect - Revives any Grunt, Shifter or Champion that has fallen.
- Protect - Safeguards any chosen piece from battle declarations
- Kill - Automatically removes any Grunt or Shifter from the game.
- Exchange - Swaps any Grunt, Shifter or Champion's current position with the enemy's.
- Sacrifice - Removes one's own piece to restore the health of another piece.
- Imprison - Prevents any chosen piece from moving and prevents kombat declarations.
- Shifter (Rook) - A formidable class. The Shifter has the ability to mimic the form of whomever they commence kombat with. They also mimic the current stats of their opposition. Shifters will not activate their special ability if they're fighting another Shifter or if their opponent is the same as their initial form. Should they do kombat with another Shifter, both kombatants will start out with a full health bar. Shifters can advance four spaces forward, backwards and sideways and can move any number of squares diagonally. They start out with half a health bar. There are only three of them.
- Grunt (Pawn/Knight) - The Grunt is the bulk of the player's army. Though weak in stature, they're numerous and indispensable. They can move two squares backward, forward and sideways and one square diagonally. Each player starts with eight pieces and each has 40% health.
Another aspect that both players must take caution of is the spaces. In each game, there are two types of spaces: Power Cells and Traps. Power Cells are visible, represented by decorative glowing green squares and placed on either horizontal side of the board. Any piece occupying this square receives a full health gauge. A 25% health bonus is granted to all pieces of the player for as long as their piece occupies the Power Cell. The Traps are set by the players before the match starts and can be set anywhere except for the enemy's side and Power Cells. The Trap is invisible and can be switched in position before the game starts to confuse the enemy and a Fake Trap can be set to keep things on edge. Any unwary piece who sets foot on their enemy's Trap Space will be propelled off screen by an explosion. The next turn or in the victim's turn, the piece will fall back down and smash head-first to the ground in a spectacle of gore, eliminating the piece from the game automatically.