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Wii Chess Review

The king of board games makes its move onto Wii

Okay, time for a confession. Certain members of the ONM team like nothing more than a good game of chess. Yes, we know. It's not hip, it's not cool, but we care not; it's everything a game should be. However, it's got to be done the right way. It needs to be played late at night in front of a roaring fire. Players must be wearing tweed, be nursing an enormous glass of brandy and slowly stroking their bearded chins. Silence is mandatory - a suspicious stare and the occasional raised eyebrow are all you'll need.

You see, chess is all about atmosphere, so forgive us if we approached the decidedly vanilla Wii Chess without a great deal of enthusiasm. The presentation is, at best, no frills, at worst, drearily basic. Don't expect chessboards populated by Mario and friends or any oddball mini-games here. But you know what? That's fine. This is chess. It's sacred. You don't mess with it.

En Passant!

While it lacks character, there's no denying it plays a mean game. There are 10 difficulty levels to choose from. We're reasonable players and demolished Level 1 in about four minutes, were beaten by Level 5 after a tense half hour and were reduced to tears by Level 10 after about five moves. Whatever your ability, there's something for you here. Should you be struggling, there's the option for a 'hint' (you're only cheating yourselves people) and after the game you can go back and analyse where you went wrong. Win games and you unlock different boards and themes.

Wii Chess does absolutely nothing wrong. Frankly, however, it's not nearly as fun as playing with a real board. Where it does score points though is with its online mode. The option to boot up WiFi Connection and take on players from around the world is a nice selling point. However, it's worth noting there are countless websites out there that do the same thing for free.

If you're a bone fide chesshead, this is easy to recommended. It's slick, easy to use and boasts extremely well-implemented online play. If you're of the opinion that it's a slow, stuffy, old-fashioned game, however, there's nothing here that'll help change your mind.


20 comments so far...
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  1. Yesthatisme Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 18:25

    Whats really the point??? You could buy a chess set for cheaper and try to become a champion in a club. Its one of the worst ideas ever. :!: :!: :!: :!:

  2. Koopa man Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 18:31

    I thought this would get higher, but when you think about it, you can get it with 42 all time classics with a load of other games...

  3. Asteroid Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 19:36

    Whats really the point??? You could buy a chess set for cheaper and try to become a champion in a club. Its one of the worst ideas ever. :!: :!: :!: :!:

    People generally don't want to go to clubs and many have no one their skill level to play against at home.

    I am a member of a chess team at a chess club. It does look good fun but I probably won't get this as i'm not that interested with playing in the computer. Fred said it, it's the atmosphere that does it.

  4. KraTerrak Friday 18th Jan 2008 at 23:08

    I suppose it is a question of whether the game has a tutorial mode. If so, then it'll sell reasonably well. If not, then it will just be left to rot and die.

    I like Chess, but I prefer to play against an opponent in real life. No tweed please ...

  5. checkmiiout Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 18:13

    Whats really the point??? You could buy a chess set for cheaper and try to become a champion in a club. Its one of the worst ideas ever. :!: :!: :!: :!:

    same. id rather buy a chess board and game in the shop. ok so maybe i can play some bloke who i dont know in china but that dosent really make it up

  6. egg651 Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 18:38

    ummmm... why?
    Why would anyone want to play chess on the Wii when it is easily playable on the PC for free (installed for vista + mac,or at, and tutoraals should be easy to find on the net

    Can anyone see any point to this game?
    :?: :?: :?:

  7. Anonymous Saturday 19th Jan 2008 at 19:41

    This really begs the question WHY???

    Why do we need a Wii chess game. Most people probably have a tattered old chess board in their cupboard anyway. I would be suprised if more than one person bought this "game".

  8. Anonymous Sunday 20th Jan 2008 at 03:59

    I've bought it for my Other Half;he likes chess but I don't want to play.This way he can have an opponent and I can watch the match on the big tv screen.Shame there's no 'cute' factor, like Mario, though

  9. superdudemiles Sunday 20th Jan 2008 at 15:46

    Waste of time really, i would of been interested if nintendo brought it out as a wiiware title instead. whenever wiiware is out.

  10. Larki Sunday 20th Jan 2008 at 17:19

    Why are people giving out about this.It's totally worth the buy for my brother who loves chess and his birthday is next week.2 in 1 :wink:

  11. Anonymous Monday 21st Jan 2008 at 14:28

    Whats really the point??? You could buy a chess set for cheaper and try to become a champion in a club. Its one of the worst ideas ever. :!: :!: :!: :!:

    But the thing is you need somebody to play against. Nobody in my family can match my level of skill. The same can be said for my friends.

    I'm not even that good. If I want a game of chess I ccan now just pick up my wii remote. Though 42 All Time classics seems like the better deal.

  12. sithskywalker Tuesday 22nd Jan 2008 at 14:15

    Yeah, I wont be getting this game, for the very reason that you said so.

    It will be cheaper to buy a board and play.

  13. Hiphopopotamus Wednesday 23rd Jan 2008 at 15:58

    Man, i love chess. The other day, i beat my dad for the first time! Yay! I don't think i'll get this game though. I get a challenge from my dad, and although it's a good idea, i think i'd rather add on Ł10 (or however much it is) and get advance wars.

  14. cambel Wednesday 23rd Jan 2008 at 16:45

    Okay, this is something that really anoys me.
    Why didnt they just put it on Wiiware!?

  15. BESTBUYZ4YOU Sunday 27th Jan 2008 at 19:02

    i saw this in GAME and i wondered wth Nintendo were thinking

    then again it does feature online play

  16. Biometagross Monday 4th Feb 2008 at 17:32

    "good value for money?"

    The review seems solid and the game does what it's supposed to, but what's up with this? The game does what it's supposed to, but Mario chess pieces would be much cooler. :?

  17. ploiper Wednesday 6th Feb 2008 at 14:26

    im very tempted by this. 10 difficulty levels and online play, its worth a purchase i think. maby not at full price.

  18. Anonymous Tuesday 6th May 2008 at 14:56

    A great rendition of a classic game.

    If you want to play against other Wii Chess players, go to

  19. xs3mx Tuesday 2nd Sep 2008 at 21:50

    Ok to begin with this might not have your eyes on as i only started to be intrested in this as its part of the wii series in which i am trying to collect but it comes at a good price, it has good gameplay with loads of design ideas, its well designed and for a ches game its pretty packed also the game had great wi fi but its a shame it has no mario characters or mii support as all the wii series do however its worth a rent then a buy.

  20. Okami Saturday 15th Aug 2009 at 10:56

    I think Nintendo should have left this to Sega or something, so that they could make kinda like a Mario / Sonic version, or make up new characters or use other characters from their other video games.

    I mean, I can understand Wii Play and Wii Sports, but Wii Chess?!

    I will be very surprised if this becomes a hit.

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