Official Nintendo Magazine

Log in to access exclusive Nintendo content, win prizes and post on our forums. Not a member yet? Join for free

New game of the week: Pure Chess

VooFoo tell us why their 'stunning' chess game has the potential to be one of the biggest online Wii U games

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.

Click to view larger image
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!

Click to view larger image
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...

Previous 1 2 3 Next page

Comments

13 comments so far...
Add a comment

  1. Pokemon Luke Tuesday 27th Aug 2013 at 16:14

    I may get this if its under Ł10 it looks quite good

  2. Lazara the Last Tuesday 27th Aug 2013 at 17:02

    I would love to buy this! And hopefully, I could convince my brother to buy it on his iPhone (if he haven't gotten a Wii U by then, he's buying it when WW comes out) so I could play with him! :D

  3. carnivine chaos Tuesday 27th Aug 2013 at 18:04

    Is this a joke? "The next big Wii U game"? If this is the next big game for, currently, the only next gen home console then there is no hope for the video game industry.

    ...If I wanted to play chess I could just get out my real life chess set for <deleted> sake. Seriously, who... WHO thought this was a good idea!? If I ever wanted to play chess online I'd download one of the numerous <deleted> softwares that are FREE onto my computer. This is one long ass article for something that doesn't even deserve acknowledgment. It's chess. <deleted> chess...


    WOW!

  4. 9 Times Tuesday 27th Aug 2013 at 18:13

    Is this a joke? "The next big Wii U game"? If this is the next big game for, currently, the only next gen home console then there is no hope for the video game industry.

    ...If I wanted to play chess I could just get out my real life chess set for <deleted> sake. Seriously, who... WHO thought this was a good idea!? If I ever wanted to play chess online I'd download one of the numerous <deleted> softwares that are FREE onto my computer. This is one long ass article for something that doesn't even deserve acknowledgment. It's chess. <deleted> chess...


    WOW!

    I don't remember the article saying it was 'The next big Wii U game' it said it had 'POTENTIAL to become a big Wii U title'
    Geez, not to mention how you overreacted. If having to buy a chess simulation game is so much of a big deal, then it's like saying football games are stupid, and you can just play football in real life. I mean, you COULD , but playing it on a console has benefits...

  5. TheVelvetRoom Tuesday 27th Aug 2013 at 19:23

    But what benefit is there to buying it on a console when every single computer comes with a version?

  6. BattleGooseUK Tuesday 27th Aug 2013 at 21:07

    This is one of the best chess games going, if I didn't have it on the Vita already it'd be a definite purchase for the Wii U.

    Perhaps if it goes on sale one day.

  7. starman292 Tuesday 27th Aug 2013 at 21:36

    It looks really nice, the fact that they have used real chess sets will appeal to experienced chess players and collectors too. Yes you can use your own chess set to play or play on the pc, but this will attract more players meaning a variety of challengers. Plus the nice visuals is a change to looking at a wooden board or the mediocre visuals on most free versions. I hope they do well with it!

  8. carnivine chaos Tuesday 27th Aug 2013 at 21:51

    Is this a joke? "The next big Wii U game"? If this is the next big game for, currently, the only next gen home console then there is no hope for the video game industry.

    ...If I wanted to play chess I could just get out my real life chess set for <deleted> sake. Seriously, who... WHO thought this was a good idea!? If I ever wanted to play chess online I'd download one of the numerous <deleted> softwares that are FREE onto my computer. This is one long ass article for something that doesn't even deserve acknowledgment. It's chess. <deleted> chess...


    WOW!

    I don't remember the article saying it was 'The next big Wii U game' it said it had 'POTENTIAL to become a big Wii U title'
    Geez, not to mention how you overreacted. If having to buy a chess simulation game is so much of a big deal, then it's like saying football games are stupid, and you can just play football in real life. I mean, you COULD , but playing it on a console has benefits...


    Such a scrub. Something like FIFA or PES isn't exactly football though, is it? It's clearly a video game with its own mechanics and nothing like what it's based on. This chess game is exactly that. Chess. Nothing different. I don't believe I'm overreacting considering how utterly painful it is to watch Nintendo and the magazine embarrass themselves with crap like this. Again, why... WHY such a long article devoted to this!? No offence to the creators of this 'port' of a real life game, but surely there's something better to be worked on.

  9. 5OUNDWAVE Tuesday 27th Aug 2013 at 23:11

    i thought chess was just for loser's then a friend showed me how to play it and i became addicted , at the start he alway's destroyed me but after a while i started hammering him so if this has a half decent price to it i'll definitely download it cause i haven't played chess in about 6 year's , i alway's meant to buy a chess set but this will do me big time !

  10. tomonm Wednesday 28th Aug 2013 at 08:05

    Is this a joke? "The next big Wii U game"? If this is the next big game for, currently, the only next gen home console then there is no hope for the video game industry.

    ...If I wanted to play chess I could just get out my real life chess set for <deleted> sake. Seriously, who... WHO thought this was a good idea!? If I ever wanted to play chess online I'd download one of the numerous <deleted> softwares that are FREE onto my computer. This is one long ass article for something that doesn't even deserve acknowledgment. It's chess. <deleted> chess...


    WOW!

    Of course it's not the next big Wii U game. If you read what it says, this guy is saying that he hopes it will be a big online Wii U game.

    Back to the article itself, its part of a regular feature called New game of the week in which we'll be focusing on smaller indie games that the readers might not know about. These games are from independent studios. Pure Chess was one of the games in Nintendo's recent showcase of indie games during Nintendo Direct. By reading this, you won't just find out about chess but about indie studios working practices with Nintendo.

    I, for one, found it interesting that this game will enable cross-platform play between Wii U and iOS/Android devices.

    Of course, there will be games in New game of the week that won't be of interest to you. I'd suggest that you don't read those articles rather than ranting about them. It's not as if we're charging you for this - it's free content. I fail to see what's so offensive to your eyes!

    Pleased to see that some of you are interested in reading about this stuff.

  11. tomonm Wednesday 28th Aug 2013 at 08:44

    But what benefit is there to buying it on a console when every single computer comes with a version?

    If you read the article, I asked about this...

  12. smikey666 Wednesday 28th Aug 2013 at 09:15

    Looking forward to it I lay chess online every single day on the biggest chess website helps keep my IQ sharp or it use to anyway don't do so well anymore 33 and the brain cells are slipping a bit or maybe it's just the kids putting me off.
    But despite playing online daily I'll still get this it will open up a whole new load of opponents to play and maybe just maybe I'll get my winning streak back again.

  13. Time-Bomb Wednesday 28th Aug 2013 at 10:20

    I love these articles. I'm not that interested in the chess game but its well interesting to see how the small development teams make games! Only 6 people in the team! Even I've been part of a bigger game development team! Amazing.

Register or log in to commment
Add a comment
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is the owner of certain copyright which subsists and trade marks and other intellectual property rights in certain content, characters, artwork, logos, scripts and representations used in this publication. All rights are expressly recognised and they are used by Future Publishing Limited under licence © 2006 Nintendo Co., Ltd. All rights reserved. "Nintendo", "International Nintendo Licensed Product" "Nintendo DS", "Nintendo DS Lite", "Nintendo DSi", "Nintendo 3DS", "Nintendo DSi XL", "Nintendo 3DS XL", "Wii" and "Wii U" and the associated logos are the trademarks of Nintendo Co. Ltd. All rights reserved.