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Pure Chess is a game developed by VooFoo Studios, and published by Ripstone. It originally released April 11th 2012 on the PS3 in Europe, and launched on other platforms since. It has now released on Xbox One and PC as Pure Chess: Grandmaster Edition.
Now I already know what you're thinking. Just how different can you make chess from real life? I mean, it's chess right? There's not really any way you could change the game. If you thought that, you'd be correct, because you can't change the game. However, one thing video game chess does allow is improvement, more so than real life would offer. Pure Chess offers the opportunity to learn how to play the game from beginner to professional, and allows you to play opponents that are better (or worse) than your standard family member that you'd usually force to play a game of chess.
There are a lot more elements than one would initially think a chess game would have. At first I expected there to be a challenge mode and perhaps a tournament mode, but the game is packed with a lot more content than that. The main thing this game offers is knowledge. The amount of training challenges and information that is on offer is enough to make anyone good at the game, if they can actually understand and pull off what their reading. The game starts at the very basis, teaching you what all the different pieces can do, and takes you to the extreme, teaching you to pull of incredible one move checkmates and tactics on how to win in impossible situations.
Another element that I think would be overlooked in this game is the ability to just practice freely. Sometimes it's easy to play overly competitive and focus only on getting better, or entering tournaments. The free play option however allows you to play against a beginner level bot, and practice everything you've learnt without the risk of getting crushed instantly (like I did multiple times).
Aside from the lessons and freeplay mode, you can choose to play online against randoms, or play with your friend locally, and show off your new abilities. The game offers hours upon hours of content and if you're a big chess lover you're sure to learn a lot from this game, as well as enjoy it a lot.
Soundtrack and Visuals
The Soundtrack, or more easily put, music choices, are very basic and simple, as to fit in with the relaxing and somewhat posh assossiation with Chess. There are four options, all of which are just simple melodies that seem to get very boring across the hours I spent playing the game.
The visuals, much like the music, also fit the rich taste that is associated with Chess. However the visuals are what make this game very good to play. While the environment you play in has little effect due to the limitations of the camera, the different styles given for the chess pieces are beautiful. You can choose over different brands of chess pieces, and once that has been selected, you can choose the material you'd like the pieces to be made from. My personal favourite is the marble set, because let's be honest, that'd be an expensive chess set in real life.
Overall I'd say if you're getting bored of socialising with your family and friends playing chess in real life, and fancy escaping for a while to play virtual chess with a computer, this is a great game to choose. With all the options for learning the game and improving, you're sure to be a Grand master in no time, at least, if you can handle listening to that terribly annoying "failure" song it plays every time you don't complete a challenge correctly.
You can watch the trailer here:
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(All Images taken by me.)Last modified on