|Chase down your opponents! Get the drop on them to win!|
— Mini-Game Menu caption
Checkerboard Chase is one of the Mini-Games available in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. One to four players choose from characters Kirby, Waddle Dee, Adeleine, or King Dedede and battle it out on a large checkerboard suspended in the air by making pieces of the board fall in an attempt to be the last one standing. Four players will always play, but those not controlled by humans will instead be controlled by the CPU.
How to Play
Each player is placed randomly on an 8x8 board made of blocks in a checkerboard pattern. Using the + Control Pad moves the player freely around the board, and pressing the A Button (2 on the Wii Remote) causes them to release a shock wave ahead that causes any blocks in its path to fall. The goal of the game is for the player to catch the other players in their shock wave and cause them to fall off the stage. Once a player has fallen five times, they are out of the game, and with each elimination, the stage will shrink in size. The last player who has any lives remaining is the winner.
- When a shock wave is released, the blocks fall in order from closest to furthest, with the furthest taking some time to fall.
- Blocks that fall (apart from the ones that fall in an elimination case) will return after a few seconds.
- Although the checkerboard is a grid, players are not locked to it, and can stand in-between blocks.
- After being knocked off, a respawning player comes back on a safety platform in a random position that disappears after a few seconds, or when that player steps off it. Before disappearing, this safety platform will persist even if there is no block beneath it.
- It is possible to move around before the game starts, but no shock waves can be created until the timer begins.
- It is not possible for a player to walk off an edge. They only fall if the block they are on falls.
- The high-score kept for this game is based off the shortest time taken to eliminate all other players.
- If both remaining players fall at the end of the game and lose all lives, whoever fell second is the winner.
There are four different levels in this game, representing each difficulty. Each difficulty must be completed sequentially to unlock the next. Each is listed below, with notes of what can be expected in each one:
- Easy: The background is an island with a tall volcano in the middle, and the board is a brown and tan color scheme.
- Normal: Same as before, but the board has a purple and indigo color scheme.
- Hard: Same as before, but the board has a red and pink color scheme.
- Intense!: The backdrop changes to a space theme, situated over Pop Star. The blocks are a vaguely green metallic scheme that somewhat resembles a computer chip in design.
In addition to these changes, each increase in difficulty also makes the CPU opponents faster and less random with their shock waves. At Intense, they will often attempt to systematically clear the board.