Cast your mind back to the original Wii U trailer in June 2011. You may remember Zelda Wii U or the 2D Mario game that became New Super Mario Bros U but one thing that stood out was the game of checkers in which two people played using only the GamePad.
The GamePad is the perfect fit for games like this and Pure Chess, the subject of this week's New Game Of The Week. Not only can you move pieces on the touchscreen but you can play a game using only the controller just as was promised in that first trailer.
Pure Chess does have the potential to be a big Wii U game. Just think, according to a YouGov poll held last year, over 6 million adults play chess regularly while the figure stands at 605 million worldwide. That's a few more people than play Mario Kart!
Here, Mark Williams, Technology Director for VooFoo, tells us more about Pure Chess, its appeal and how Nintendo supported his studio's decision to enable cross-platform play with Android and iOS.
Before we start talking about Pure Chess, can you tell me a bit about VooFoo? What have you done before?
VooFoo are a small and dedicated team of really talented developers. We started as just a three-man team back in 2007, releasing Hustle Kings onto PSN in 2009 - this was a great-looking pool game that had you hustling your online opponents. It got us a bit of a reputation for stunning visuals, and that is something we have been keen to continue in Pure Chess and our other games.
We're now a six-man strong team, so still quite small, but that allows us to stay really focused and means that everyone on the team is always really passionate about the games we create.
Why did you decide to make a chess game for Wii U? Are you chess fans?
I am a bit of a Chess fan to be honest - I used to play it quite a lot, but hadn't played it properly in quite a while when we realised that it would be a cool game to bring to consoles with the high fidelity visual angle.
Wii U really seemed to be an ideal platform to bring Pure Chess to - it's quite a beast of a machine so is very capable of throwing around some pretty impressive visuals. Also, there was no chess game available on Wii U already, let alone one that looked quite as stunning as this. This, combined with Nintendo's desire to get a chess game onto the platform, meant that it was really a no brainer.
When I was a kid, everyone seemed to play chess and someone like Gary Kasparov was a global star. You don't seem to see much coverage in the press for chess anymore. Is it still a popular game with young people
It certainly appears to be - it really surprised us how much of a popular game the PSN version of Pure Chess has been and there is definitely a big appetite for chess out there. Online chess rooms are full of people playing the game, and then you have countries such as Hungary and Armenia making chess a part of their National Curriculum, which I think is really cool. It's a great game for both kids and adults to get into and it really does get those brain cells working!
Another observation about chess. I remember chess games used to sell for full price and in the 80s you used to get electronic chess boards that cost a fortune. I remember they were really desirable items. The Wii U eShop must offer you and other developers the opportunity to release games like chess and, say, pinball, for affordable prices...