Review: Pure Chess

I don’t ever like to sound cliché but with Pure Chess it is hard not to, the game does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s simply Chess, nothing more or nothing less.

Thankfully it plays Chess well. It’s smooth, simple to play and the board and pieces look elegant. Of course chess is difficult to learn to those new to the game. Pure Chess contains a wealthy amount of tutorials to help you understand the moves that each piece can make and different styles of playing. Once all tutorials are completed you are ready to play chess on your own hand.

Pure Chess allows you to play either a quick exhibition match, a tournament or bonus games. Firstly the bonus games consist of pre laid boards where you have to achieve check in a certain amount of moves. There are 20 pre set challenges for each number of moves you are allowed. So overall there are 100 challenges to attempt.

Exhibition match allows you to choose the piece and board style and difficulty of your opponent. Generally it is the option you want for a quick relaxed game of chess against the computer. As for the different styles of piece and board there is a wide selection. You can choose to play withStaunton, Checkers, Williams or Park Animal pieces. Each can be made out of wood, marble, stone or metal. You can also adjust the area in which you want to play, such as in a Museum or Library. It offers variety to the game and means you won’t get bored of the same piece set up.

There are three separate tournaments to complete, all of which are different difficulties. Each offer a series of matches to play and hopefully after all are completed you will have passes the tournament. You can also track in game single player statistics.

Pure Chess does feature online features in the form of Play by Mail which allows you to play matches against your PSN friends one turn at a time. Sadly though you need PSN friends who actually have the game, so if that’s none other than you then this feature is completely useless to you.

The game is very relaxing which is achieved by the wonderful classic soundtrack that plays continuously in the background. It helps you focus on the game and at the same time is lovely to listen to. You can also find yourself recognising certain classical scores. Pure Chess looks great too. The board and pieces are shaped well and are elegant and look very realistic; you could even mistake in-game for real life.

There is not much else to Pure Chess. Understandable there is a limited scope, but there could be a better integrated online play other than Play by Mail to only PSN friends. In theory you should be allowed to start a match with any Pure Chess user. What’s more is that even though this game is on both Vita and PS3 cross play is out of the question, as I discovered by trial and error. Also purchasing the game on the PS3 does not give you the Vita game too as I again discovered to my dismay.

Overall what Pure Chess needs to do well it does. Having a virtual game of chess couldn’t be any easier. For newcomers to the game the tutorial series is a perfect introduction into the game. As for experienced players the wide range of difficulty levels is appealing. The wonderful soundtrack will also make it a relaxing and focused atmosphere for you to play. Chess fans will find themselves in check mate whether deciding to purchase this game.

Game Rate: 7/10